I'm extremely active in gathering information on how the LGBT fight for equality is going. As such I spend a lot of my time sifting through article after article of bleakness and disappointment. (A private school in Tennessee banned homosexuality (somehow)...awesome.) It can be surprising sometimes how different the real world is, especially in New York (as compared to the less progressive states where many of these stories take place).
I can't help but feel different now that I've come out in a far more overt manner, as though the judgmental eyes of every passerby are on me the second I turn my back. It can be nerve-wracking sometimes shopping in the women's section of a department store, or ferreting through things that aren't stereotypically male, especially when I'm out shopping by myself.
It was nice at Kohls today when neither the meandering employee, nor the cashier seemed to have an issue with the fact that I was buying women's clothes. (Though to be fair, argyle socks and a collared shirt hardly scream femininity.) The cashier even went so far as to give me washing tips so that my newly purchased pink shirt wouldn't shrink.
And these were two middle aged women, not exactly the demographic for allies. Perhaps they were naive enough not to be clued into what was going on, but I like to think they saw me for who I am, a friendly customer, and not who or what I love.