She’s One Of The Good Ones

, , , , , , | Healthy | May 26, 2018

(I work in a hospital. I am a cis woman, but since I am tall and broad-shouldered with short hair, I do occasionally get misgendered by young children, and adults who aren’t wearing their glasses. This doesn’t bother me, particularly because about half the time people are specifically talking about how “tall and handsome” I am, and I will happily take that compliment. When I tell people about these incidents, they usually either apologize or reassure me that I’m very pretty and feminine. However, this elderly gentleman blows my mind with his response.)

Elderly Patient: *to a group of ladies dozing in their wheelchairs by the television* “See? These ladies aren’t nearly as lucky as me; I get a beautiful young woman to stroll around with me, and there aren’t any handsome young men to take them walking!”

Me: *jokingly* “Well, if you’re not wearing your glasses, I can pass for a man!”

Elderly Patient: *completely serious* “Oh, are you trying to tell me something?”

Me: “Oh, no, I just meant with my hair—”

Elderly Patient: “No, no, I think you’re trying to say something. Which do you prefer?”

Me: *very conscious of being in a somewhat conservative, faith-based workplace, where I don’t know most of the staff yet* “Oh, I mean—”

Elderly Patient: “Because let me tell you, it doesn’t matter to me if you prefer one, or the other, or both. None of that matters as much as being a good person.”

Me: “I completely agree—”

Elderly Patient: “You know, I’m 97, and I know I talk too much. I can see I’ve embarrassed you. No, don’t say I haven’t, because I have. But you know what? We’re all individuals in this life. It doesn’t matter which one you want to be. As long as you’re trying to be a good person and not hurt anyone, none of the rest of that matters.”

(For the ten minutes that it took us to walk back to his room, I received something between a lecture and a pep talk about my intrinsic value as a human being, regardless of my supposed trans or non-binary identity. I have heard some awful stories about how people treat the LGBTQ+ community, but this gentleman gave me hope for humanity.)

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