As he looked up the hill, his eyes settled on my bike. "How do you like riding that?", he asked, his eyes shifting to me. "Funny story," I replied.
I knew exactly what he was asking. My bike wasn't the sort most people were used it. A few months ago, I picked up a recumbent bike. To the uninitiated, a recumbent bike looks like a chair on a long wheeled frame, and so people assume it will be ungainly to operate. Indeed, it definitely requires adapting if you're only used to riding an upright bike, but I've taken to it rather well. The only issue I have is my need to build a new set of muscles to climb hills.
I laughed lightly before continuing to reply, "It was actually Savanni who convinced me to get it. I'm having surgery in 5 weeks, and ...". And then I stopped. I'd just met this person. Quickly, though, I finished the sentence. "I'm having a vagina installed. Needless to say, it'll be far easier to sit on a seat like this than on a normal bike. And that's what ey pointed out, so I got this one a few months ago."
For just a moment, I worried whether explaining this to someone who was a stranger but a few minutes ago was proper. His words and his expression indicated he understood, and I quickly relaxed as we finished our discussion.
While it's not reasonable to ask someone about their body, this felt different. I have no qualms explaining my impending surgery. I've been forthright even when the questioner had unreasonable expectations of my obligation to answer. It's important that people understand this is a normal, usual thing that folks may need to do to fully be themselves, to be able to own their own bodies. Talking about the path that led me here and what I expect ahead causes me no burden, and hopefully relieves that weight on others. And so, I will keep sharing.