Saturday, 7 February 2009


I shouldn't have done it and I feel terribly guilty now but I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later and in particular now when I am feeling a bit (understatement) self-concious and not happy with how I look/feel/am/etc.

I may have mentioned that my usual approach for dealing with people looking at me is to just let them look. Most only glance and then don't bother to look again, others do seem to need a longer look but, on the whole, don't seem to be doing this in a malicious way so I try not to make them feel uncomfortable and I look away so they have a chance to see that I am perfectly harmless and 'normal'.

There are some people that do stare too long and sometimes I will look back to kinda make a point or I'll mumble something to myself after they have passed - usually something derogatory; I reason that anyway who has to be rude and stare that long is either not a very nice person or stupid.

Anyway, I was feeling a bit self-concious today and also was doing things which have lots of 'old' memories associated with them; going to Ikea and the Chinese super-market (yeah I know, I have a bizarre memory for things). I had a few incidences of whispering and pointing in Ikea, and I stared back quite pointedly at one young guy since he seemed to be staring way too long. He did look away and Idid think that if he looked back I was going to pout or blow him a kiss or something but thankfully the occasion never arose.

Also noticed a bit of staring in the Chinese supermarket but also there was a guy there who acted in a very polite and well-mannered way so I guess that balanced out - and I wasn't in there long so didn't really let anything bother me. Oh I should say as well that there was a girl in Ikea who I asked for help to find something and she was really nice and helpful and even told me how to go against the direction of the arrows on the floor (I think the bizarre Ikea shopping experience deserves it's own blog post, if I go again I'll come up with more words on the subject).

Anyway, got to the Trafford Centre and felt a little on edge as the place seemed to be full of kids - and not the nice cute kind, the annoying teenage variety that seem to wander around in groups and act all tough/cocky/stupid. Actually there were some groups of kids who seemed to be quite young, maybe some were not even teenagers yet. I may be an over-protective parent but I wouldn't let my son wander around the Trafford Centre on his own, unsupervised like that!

Anyway, didn't get that much attention but to spot a few people staring and did try desperately to ignore it until finally a group of girls whispered, pointed, and then doubled-back to have another look and, as I turned to walk away from the window I was looking at I ran straight into a full on stare from this young girl. And I snapped.

"You shouldn't stare, it's not nice"

Not exactly witty and not really how I wanted to handle the situation. Also I think, of the group of three, she seemed to be the youngest (maybe 12 if that) and least childish. I think I probably scared her a bit by even saying something to her.

And it was wrong to snap. I know being trans means you have to deal with an awful lot and sometimes it does get too much and there are plenty of times when you really just want to turn round and make a comment, or shout, scream, or do something! But, I still think, if at all possible, you need to just try and be a good example. Screaming, shouting, and making a fuss isn't going to make any difference or if it does then it might be negative rather than doing some good.

Trying to carry on as normal is, I believe, the only way to go. Unfortunately that is an incredibly hard thing to do, though really it's just another piece of hell to throw into the whole trans life and relatively no different to everything else.

And I guess that is the lesson from today, even someone like me who is, as my friends will atest, infruiatingly understanding and calm about everything and everyone, even I can snap because really there is so much, for want of a better word, shit that you have to deal with. It's also worth bearing in mind that there isn't an 'easy' or 'lucky' way to go through this, it's hell no matter what, the only difference is how well you can hide all that from everyone else.


Jess said...

An occasional snaps no bad thing, lets out stress and shows you're human :)

LucyTolliday said...

We all have that point where we snap. The first time it happened to me I was bemused the thousanth time who knows. As Jess says it shows you are human.