There, I’d grown up as a tomboy named Alice, known as Al to my friends.School dances were painful, especially by the time I reached eighth grade and had grown aware of the fact that I was attracted to girls not boys – a fact that others, based on the names they called me, had cottoned to much earlier.A gay boy asked me to dance – we stepped to the floor and, over the din, I explained my newfound identity to him. I danced in a circle of lesbians, swaying to the beat.I had been one of them at the start of the summer, when I joined the youth group.
Here, on this slowly circling boat, I thought the dancing might go better.
I was no longer Alice, and I wasn’t trying to negotiate the feelings I had for women.
Bass thumped from the dance floor and pastel lights strobed out into the twilight.
I knew why I had fled to the back of the boat: I was tired of being on the margins of the dance floor. I had occupied the margins of every dance I’d ever been to, most of which were in rural Maine.
Now 17, I had just come out as transgender, cut my hair short, and changed my name to Alex.
But on the dance floor, I stuttered between groups.