The second look is something I've slowly grown addicted to. It's almost New Year's Eve. We're at the height of the party season and nights out abound. I love girl's nights out. Being single now and able to go out with everyone else on a Friday night is something that was out of the question when my family were younger and I was in a relationship. Much as part of me craves to be back in a relationship, I love nights out when it's just the five of us, a bottle of wine each and the chance to talk about whatever we want, without boyfriends or partners. It's good to be able to talk about who we like, fancy, bitch about others and have an unashamedly good time. As a trans woman, I missed out on this earlier in my life and it's great to have the chance to catch up with it now and enjoy it, even if the enthusiasm with which I do it means I may well regret it a little the morning after.
I grew up incurably shy, partly because I hated being me so much. Much more recently I used to hate or dread 'second looks', it paralysed me when I went out early in my transition. A second look which was almost a stare meant that I was being read or seen as a guy in a dress. It wasn't nice, something to take away your confidence and crush you, often for weeks afterwards, playing that look back in your head. Looking back, I realise that I probably read more in to such things than was actually there. Such is the trauma of learning to go out and be natural when you're transitioning.
These days I realise that second looks aren't always like that and I've grown to love and appreciate them. Second looks aren't always hostile or voyeuristic. Second looks with a smile are nice, especially from a cute guy talking to his friend somewhere at the other end of the bar. Shy second looks from a guy on his own feel reassuring too. Let's face it, we all want to feel pretty and attractive, whatever our age and second looks give you the assurance that mabe you are. Second looks give you confidence that you can be liked and loved.
My friends have the confidence to go up to them and flirt, but there's no way that I'm going there just yet. Flirting is a girly skill that I envy and practice but it's hard to do really well when you're new to it, especially with a total stranger. I know I have to learn if I want to be out there. It's addictive and girl's nights out are a great place to do it.