After waking up this morning, Dominic and I decided to forgo our usually scheduled Sunday work shift and enjoy our day outside instead. The day was simply too beautiful to pass up. We arrived at the park, and as is to be expected on a beautiful day, it was packed. Lots of people were hanging out and enjoying their warm Sunday afternoon. After a moment or two, Dominic started to mention his discomfort and desire to take off his shirt and binder, and also voiced his dismay at the public discomfort that would inevitably result.
On a side note: Public nudity is actually 100% legal in Oregon as long as it is not for the purpose of arousal. Unfortunately, it is still extremely taboo.
Seeing as I really don’t feel that he should suffer shame for going topless, I offered to be topless with him in solidarity, and we decided to take our shirts off and enjoy the beautiful weather together. The remainder of our time at the park was simultaneously freeing and physically enjoyable. Strangely enough, while we remained in the park, no one seemed to even mind…or if they did, they kept their opinions to themselves. Considering our luck and feeling rather invigorated, we decided to make our mile-and-a-half walk home topless as well.
As soon as we left the park, we were greeted with comments and laughter from a group of teenagers. A boy in the group exclaimed “oh WOW!” followed by the embarrassed laughter of the other group members. Shortly thereafter, we were both whistled at and honked at. Most people that we passed on our way home, if alone, just kind of ignored us and continued on while those inside homes, in groups, or in cars felt protected enough to react more overtly.
On our walk home, we were whistled at three times (each time in that classic cartoon wolf-whistle fashion), we were honked at twice, commented on twice by what appeared to be teenage boys, and jeered twice by presumably cis women from car windows (“It would be different, if it looked good, but it doesn’t!” and “What the HELL!!!”)— both times, these women were actually yelling at us. Lastly and most surprisingly, a woman actually pulled her car over and snapped a picture of us from the window of her SUV before pulling away.
We both kind of shared a laugh after we got back home. The truth is, public comments concerning my actions and my body are nothing new to me, nor are they new to Dominic. We are criticized constantly. What does shock me is that the violent disapproval and complete lack of respect did not come from men, but instead from women. I am more resolved than ever now to make use of my proper rights. This summer is bound to be beautiful. I will be purchasing a lot of SPF and wearing my shirt a lot less.
I just have so much love for you two.