I've been accused of not taking my own safety seriously enough. That's possibly true. But as I had looked for places to stay, I gave consideration to the people who I'd be staying with if I took a room in their house. A professional man a few years younger than me? He might be awkward but he wouldn't be threatened. When that fell through, a married couple with a lifestyle not unlike mine -- accepted.
I found out the following morning when I met my host for the first time that her husband was away. The thoughts flashed in my head: If I wore my history on my sleeve, would I have not been invited in? Did she find me threatening to have in her house with her alone? If so, she didn't betray it, but it was still on my mind. I asked only a bed and a shower, and her home provided those well. But as I confessed my fears to my friends, came the admission from one that it wasn't something that would have crossed his mind.
This was a tax that was mine to pay, and one that offered no surprise to me. I can offer no complaint at doing so. I was there to enjoy a weekend with friends, and I did. The perspective I hadn't previously considered, though, was who else might be less able to deal with the imposition of the added cost of simply going through life due to the mere facts of their existence. It wasn't immediately obvious how, but the takeaway for me was that I needed to find and do my part in reducing those costs for them.