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Marching Towards Equality

| Right | February 24, 2017

(I’m a barista at a coffee stand inside a high end grocery store. Our city is pretty liberal and diverse, so I am pretty comfortable being open with the fact that I’m a transgender guy (born “female,” but really a guy). I don’t pass well yet, being pre-surgery and all, so customers often refer to me as a “she,” but I generally try not to let it bother me. One day, a lady comes in and, as I make coffees for her and her teenage daughter, tells me about a women’s march she’s going to take part in in DC (we’re in Oregon). I’m always interested in this sort of thing, so I ask her a handful of questions, and lament that I won’t be able to go since it’s so far away.)

Lady: “Oh, well, there are actually going to be marches all over the country at the same time! A whole united movement, the biggest in recent history. There’s even going to be one right here in [City].”

Me: “Oh, awesome! If I have off work, I’m definitely going to join!”

Lady: “You should! We’re always looking for more women to join!”

Me: *growing slightly awkward* “Haha, well…”

Lady: *realizing I’ve gotten nervous* “And people who identify as women, of course!”

Me: “Er…”

Lady: “And… and men who support women’s rights!”

Me: *relaxing* “Awesome!”

(She smiles at me, takes her coffees, and thanks me. A few minutes later, I go on lunch, and I pull on a hoodie but keep my barista hat on as I go back down to the grocery part of the store to get a drink. I run into the same woman and she stops me.)

Lady: “Excuse me! I just wanted to apologize for earlier. Of all people, you’d think I’d know better than to assume.”

Me: “Oh! Well, thank you!” *holding out my hand* “I’m [My Name], by the way, and I use he-him pronouns.”

Lady: “It’s lovely to meet you, [My Name]. I’m [Lady], and I use feminine pronouns.”

Me: “I’ll do my best to remember that! Come back and tell me how the march went when it’s over, yeah? And thanks again!”

(Customers like that always make my day!)

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