Monday, 29 March 2010

He

I now live in a completely different town and have a job where no-one I work with knew me before my transition. No history, no old memories of how I looked and the only name I have used is "Fiona". It's fantastic. The right name, the right pronouns, no baggage.

So it's been a while since I've had to deal with a blatant error in terms of my gender so it was a bit of a shock when, on a night out last week, someone referred to me as "he" in the context of me waving a camera around: "he's trying to take pictures of us" or words to that affect. The person concerned immediately apologised and I, of course repeatedly said "oh, it's fine, don't worry".

But the truth is that it wasn't fine at all. In fact it bothered me for a few days and really quite upset me. Eventually I decided that the thing that bothered me the most was that I hadn't been more firm in correcting the mistake and actually made it clear that I *AM* female - in fact I've got the paperwork to prove it! [ Slightly flippant but true]

It bothers me that, when introduced, as me, that this person, and some of her friends I guess, have made the smug assumption that they can tell I'm not quite 'normal' and that in some way gives them a right to file me under the incorrect gender. I suppose in some ways I can't condemn people for jumping to conclusions and pigeon-holing me, I certainly did it to the person who made this mistake.

I think to make matters worse some friends of this person turned up later and there was some ill-disguised pointing and whispering going on which was just frankly rude and totally unnecessary, at least I have the decency to discuss someone's faults afterwards and so they are unaware (yes, still mean but at least more polite).

Really, I guess it's just the shock of, for the first time in a long while, being faced with people who aren't like the usual type I encounter: those that are intelligent, understanding or compassionate enough to 'get' it or at least be polite. Sadly not everyone is like that it would seem.

1 comment:

GirlWhoShould (Lucy) said...

You are entitled to feel annoyed and upset. In my opinion you did well and with dignity.
Lucy x