Friday, March 6, 2009

Ride It Like Rosa

The deed is done!

I had class in the morning so I packed my props into a bag and prepared to head out. However, my sign was bigger than my body (not much of a feat) so I had to carry it separately. As I left my apartment I got one of those delightful cat calls we all know and love, except this time I was prepared. I held the sign over my ass in response to him so the conversation more or less went as follows:
"Hey baby, mmm those are some tasty legs"
It was pretty liberating.
But it only got better.

My giant poster board was soon accompanied by a pregnant belly, a poofy floral dress, red lipstick, and a platinum blonde wig (the contrast with my eyebrows was in fact as frightening you'd expect). I was about to waddle down the steps to the 6 train, but something across the street caught my eye. It was City Hall. I smoothed my wig, held up my sign, and I crossed that street. I know I wasn't protesting a law, but I simply couldn't resist.

Now I was ready for my ultimate mission. I was taking that 6 train all the way up and all the way down. 
Everyone was staring at me from the moment I walked on the subway. There were reactions- a corporate man rolled his eyes, a girl giggled, but for the most part it was a quick glance and then they were over it. So I figured I needed to up my game. 

At the next stop I loudly removed my heels and replaced them with slippers. A man in the corner started laughing and I couldn't help but laugh with him as I was being pretty outrageous- even for me. At the following stop I pulled out a duster and started dusting the seats. That hooked the tourists. They asked if they could take some pictures so I happily obliged and offered them the statement I had typed out to explain my purpose in this MTA excursion.

Now that one person was reading the statement everyone was curious. So before I knew it I was passing it out to the majority of the cart. It was thrilling to see people reading something I wrote and taking an interest in something I'm so passionate about.
I could go into more detail, but I'll just brief you as it's Friday night and you're probably getting ready to go out for drinks. 

-The majority of people who asked me for a statement were gay men (of course thats merely an assumption, if we ever knew for sure our lives would be a lot easier...)
-The age of women who asked for a statement ranged from about 28-55. 
-Most men wearing business suits rolled their eyes and some changed cars
-The only people who rejected my statement when offered were girls on the Upper East Side
-A group of teenagers in Harlem asked me if I was from the Tyra show
-Some people actually thought I was pregnant and were really nice to me. They were just as mean to me when they found out I wasn't. 

But just as I exited the subway after at least 2 hours of riding, I heard a man behind me chuckle and in his thick accent utter, "only in America."

And I think it was that, more than anything else, which made it all worth it.

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