Hi folks. Just wanted to vent. Feeling a bit down.
This afternoon at work, I was checking the bingo claim of an elderly couple who are regular customers and always talk to me when they come in. They're friendly enough, but I do have to remind myself that they come from a different generation and certain things surprise or shock them that younger people maybe wouldn't bat an eye at. This couple know that I'm transgendered (I'm out to everyone at work, staff and customers alike), but still call me 'she' and by my birth name, and I've never really called them on it, as they seem more comfortable that way and I know it would make them feel awkward to mention it.
But today, I checked their claim over the microphone (for those who've never played bingo - checking a claim is just reading out a serial number on the bingo ticket so that the caller can confirm the win), and the lady said, very loudly, and accidentally half into the microphone so that most of the hall could hear, 'Oh! I thought it was a lad! But it's a lady, isn't it! It's a lady!' Which was strange, as... well... it was me - not a random person she didn't know. This sort of perturbed me, as it seemed she was deliberately bringing up the issue of gender, perhaps because she was particularly curious about it today, or just couldn't hold back any longer commenting on my androgyny. So I politely said, 'Actually, H___, it's ok, you can call me a lad - I am a lad now.' And she laughed and continued to repeat 'It's a lady, isn't it?' I calmly told her that no, I'm actually a man now, as I'm having a sex change. And she looked panicked and then started talking rapidly about mint fondants.
I should be used to this by now. It happens all the time. I think that just occasionally it gets a bit much. I think it upsets me the most when people are curious about it in a kind of frightened way, and so bring it up a bit crassly and blunderingly and then when I calmly explain it start to freak out, when it was THEM who brought it up in the first place. I try to look at it objectively, and understand people's curiosity and confusion. But then I think, well, it's possible to be nice and polite when interacting with someone, even if that person does make you curious or confused. Why should I accept any less?
At least, though, this is a more honest reaction than people who try to rationalise their prejudice. I had one acquaintance say he has a 'personal issue' with transsexuality and therefore disagrees with it. What? What is this? Firstly, you can't disagree with transsexuality. It's not a political affiliation or an argument. It's a state of being. Secondly, how can you possibly have a personal issue with transsexuality unless you're transsexual yourself, in an intimate relationship with a transsexual, or a transsexual killed your father and you're on a mission to avenge him?
Sorry. Just stressed. I'm calm now. Must go back to work