My Sunday night ritual is pretty integral to my level of sanity throughout the coming week.  Around 9 or so, I meet up with some people at Arbor Brewing Company, where we have a few pints.  Our friend and co-worker Ayron has the smoking section Sunday nights, and plays us good music and does shots with us.

Then we either disperse and go home or head to the 8 Ball Saloon to play a few games of pool.  It’s really dependent on how drunk and tired I’m feeling.  Last night we decided to move on to the 8 Ball for some pool and a last PBR or two before going home and preparing to face real life again.

Usually at the 8 Ball, your ID gets checked thoroughly at the door.  They sometimes stare at it for some time, bending it a little to see the watermarks or whatever it is that has been built into our driver’s licenses to prove that they’re real.  Sometimes they just stare.  It’s unclear to me how staring at the card longer makes it any clearer that it’s real, but I don’t blame the 8 Ball bouncers for being sticklers about checking people’s IDs.  The penalties for serving underage people are pretty stiff, and it’s definitely a place that is trolled by cops frequently.

I think it goes without saying that when a bouncer came up to me after I’d used the restroom and taken my next shot on the pool table and asked for my ID again, I was surprised.  I was already one beer in — the damage was done.  The bouncer at the door had definitely stared at my driver’s license for an unusually long period of time.

“Is there a reason that you were using the men’s bathroom?”

Huh?  I’ve never been IDed for using the bathroom.

“I um, actually, I’m transgender,” I managed to say.

The bouncer made some kind of awkward noise and wandered away, but I noticed that I was being looked at funny by the big guys by the door.  Not funny in a physically threatening way, but I was definitely uncomfortable.  Like if I made a wrong move I’d be in trouble.

I mean, I know the 8 Ball couldn’t care less about me as a person, but that’s just pretty disrespectful.  I probably won’t be heading out to there to play pool for a little while.  I’m mostly just surprised, and a little bit disoriented.  I’ve been living full-time as male for the past four years or so and I have never been challenged by an employee of the establishment I was in.  What a weird experience.