I buy my first pair of Dr. Marten’s before I come out. Before I know I’m a lesbian.
I buy them at a teen-oriented store in the mall that I’m too old to be shopping at.
Brown boots. Seven eyelet lace-ups. With the yellow stitching at the bottom, circling like the moons of Jupiter.
In many ways, my coming out is fluid. A smooth continuation of who I am. An ocean wave that sweeps over me and keeps going.
After I come out, the boots seem to have purpose. I stand taller in them. I stomp harder in them, the AirWair rubber soles bouncing off the pavement like basketballs.
I wear them on dates.
I wear them to piss my mother off.
I wear them when I’m angry.
I wear them when I’m not.
I wear them as a calling card. Rae Theodore, Lesbian, they say with each step.
Friends of mine are planning on attending the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration. It’s not a protest against Trump or the election results but a march to shed light on women’s issues, including sexual assault and workplace discrimination. You can read more about it here.
I ask W if she wants to go.
“You want to change the world with me?” she asks.
“Yes,” I say.
I look at the route of the march. Two miles from the Lincoln Memorial to the White House.
I need to break in my boots before January.
* * *
Do you have something you wear that makes you feel powerful?