I just finished listening to an interview of Lizzie Hale where she spoke of the motivations behind her band’s new song “Uncomfortable.” After hearing the song, I couldn’t help but wonder how many people I make uncomfortable when presenting my feminine persona.
Clearly, I am sensitive to the feelings of others, but I stop short of denying my own self-expression just to keep others from feeling uncomfortable. Lizzie says the lyrics to their new song celebrates self-expression and champions those who dare to be different. The lyrics remind us that we don’t need to apologize for being who we are, even when we know we might be making someone else uncomfortable.
For the most part, I don’t get the sense that I make those I interact with uncomfortable, but there are rare occasions. Just the other day, while purchasing a book at a local bookstore, it was obvious to me, the clerk waiting on me was apprehensive. I think my presence got her flustered as she kept making mistakes during an otherwise simple transaction, and she pattered nervously the entire time. I sensed her distress and felt sorry that I was the cause. Perhaps, I was her first trans customer. If this was the case, I hope her interaction with me prepares her for the next time she encounters someone who is trans.
Ultimately, I can’t change who I am, and in fact, I wouldn’t want to, even if doing so saved someone else from discomfort. And to those out there who are nervous around anyone daring to be different, I encourage them not to be uncomfortable. Instead, I want them to embrace another’s differences and recognize that unique individuals add color, spice and joy to an otherwise ordinary world.