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To the girl at the Hollywood/Vine Metro station in LA, out having fun today


Emily VanDerWerff

May 06 2018

3 min read


First: I love your shoes. Perfect going out shoes.

Second: I'm sorry if I stared. I didn't mean to. I know that you are probably self-conscious about that, since you don't pass. And I know that there are a lot of men who make things creepy for us, and since I still present male (when not at home), if I had said, "I like your shoes," like I wanted to, it might have seemed creepy.

I didn't know how to say, "I like your shoes, but also, under my very male shoes, my toenails are painted," because I had this ludicrous idea you would ask for proof, and then I would have to take off my shoes and socks and show you, and I doubt the Metro workers would have appreciated that.

Also: I was headed toward downtown, and you were headed toward North Hollywood, so even if you had responded positively, and not thought I was a creep, we would have been on different trains in five minutes anyway.

But I liked your shoes a lot, and I liked that you were out and living your life, even though it must have been really, really hard to do so. I really wanted to be your friend in that moment. I still sort of do.

I don't know what I'm doing, see, and even though I feel like this is going pretty well, with my supportive wife and supportive friends and supportive cat, I also badly want to just sit down with another girl, out in the real world, over coffee or a drink or whatever, and just, like, talk about who we are, how we got here, all of that stuff. I dearly want some other girls to be friends with, if only to compare notes.

But you sensed me looking at you and moved further away (very sensible, and again, I'm sorry), and I knew when to leave well enough alone, and I got on my train, and you got on yours.

I just want you to know that if I had told you your shoes were cute, I would have meant it from the bottom of my heart. I could have followed that up by asking where you got them, and maybe you would have seen me for who I was, as I saw you for who you are, which is beautiful and brave and carefree and in possession of cute shoes.

My life takes me to that station all of the time. I hope I see you again, and I hope I have the courage to say something next time.

Your would-be friend,



I am a transwoman or whatever. This is mostly a journal to myself, but you can read it if you want, because I feel like radical honesty is sometimes the best policy, and if I ever come out more widely, I can just, like, point my family to these mad ramblings. I'm obviously not named Emily Sandalwood, because lol, whose last name is Sandalwood? Anyway, you can respond to this, and I will look at your reply and nod sagely and probably never write back, or you can follow me on Twitter, where I am extremely funny.

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