Last night, I dreamed I was a single mom in the suburbs. I was a stealth trans woman. There was a kind of Donna Reed/Leave It To Beaver aesthetic to the neighborhood and people but it was present day. Through most of the dream I felt this undercurrent fear of being outed as trans. It felt like someone had found out and I was waiting to see if they would spread it around or keep quiet. It wasn’t a nightmare. It was like an anxiety dream. Is that a thing? Google says it’s a thing.
An anxiety dream is an unpleasant dream which is less disturbing than a nightmare. Anxiety dreams are characterized by the feelings of unease, distress, or apprehension in the dreamer upon waking.
So, yeah I had an anxiety dream about being outed while being a mom in a nice neighborhood. I normally don’t know where my dreams come from. This one I know exactly where it came from. The having a kid was likely from the elementary school email list I got put on a few months ago. The other part was from something that happened at work.
Last night after we finished cleaning up the store, we watched a training video about how to help customers with disabilities. After the video our manager asked if we had any questions. One girl asked if we were doing the same thing that Target is doing, that is allowing people to use the restroom that matches their gender. Our manager said, “Yes we are,” and then girl made some comments about men going into the women’s restroom.
The first time I used the women’s restroom at work I was scared but I knew that management would back me if there was a conflict with a customer. That first time there was no one in there. The second time as I was leaving one of the girls I work with came in. I froze unsure of how she would react, even after the generally positive reception I had gotten during my coming out process. She walked right passed me to the sink and said, “I cut my finger,” while rinsing it off. Total non-issue for her or any other co-workers as far as I knew.
But now I have to wonder about this girl. Does she count me among the men ‘invading’ the women’s restroom? Does she see me as a threat? Do any of the others see me that way? These thoughts were all I could think about while trying to get to bed last night. I tried listening to Lore, a podcast about creepy/unsettling history/folklore, because the narrator speaks in an even tone. I did fall asleep during Lore but I still had that anxiety dream about being outed as trans.