I’m on a small island off the midcoast of Maine called North Haven. The people I live with (my adopted family) have invited me here for Labor Day Weekend and even though the journey here involved 9 hours of travel time, I’ve never been to a more serene destination. The night sky is unpolluted by city light and is so dark that the Milky Way Galaxy is visible when the moon sets. So, I’m vacationing on this remote Island off the coast of Maine. The Island has one ferry that shuttles passengers and cars to and from the mainland; it only carries 15 cars; first come first serve. I ferried my car here on Thursday afternoon and soon realized that leaving was going to be tricky. Honestly, I feel a bit trapped. One ferry, with a capacity of 15 cars, is the only means off this island. Labor Day weekend is coming to an end. I’m stuck on this remote island. I’m in Maine.
The people here seem to speak a different dialect of English and gaze past the summer vacationer like unwanted foreign invaders. I don’t know this island’s history nor am I familiar with the surnames of the generations of year long residents. I don’t know the grandfather who was airlifted over to the mainland for surgery or the mother who just came home with her first baby. I don’t know where the Sunday’s tag sale is going to be held or which farmer is selling fresh eggs and cheese at the local market. To me, they are stories heard while standing inline at the local food market, vague snapshots of this Islander life, people I will never meet.
It’s so easy for me not to give people a chance. It’s easy for me to negatively interpret a stranger’s side glance or dismissive tone and take it too personally. Maybe that’s just how things are here. Maybe it’s not because I look different; I don’t have boat shorts, flipflops or a windbreaker jacket but maybe that’s not the reason. Maybe it’s because this is a small island and to the ferry terminal operator, the local market clerk, and the ice-cream shop owner, I am a stranger to them too. I’ts easy to think all the time that people are judging me because I’m transgender. I will need to consider that I may be over perceiving “trans fear” in my daily interactions here. Today, I am asking not to be judged for what I look like. Today, my goal is not to judge others on the same.