Using Every Muscle Except Her Brain

, , , , , | Working | January 6, 2020

(I have been working at my new job for about a month. I am heading to the kitchen when I notice our elderly receptionist trying to replace the toner in a printer. I see she is struggling so I offer to help.)

Receptionist: “Oh, thank you. I always have trouble with these big ones.”

Me: “No worries.”

Receptionist: “You’re quite a strong woman, aren’t you?”

Me: “Well, I grew up with five brothers. It helps to build muscle mass.”

(She gently squeezes my arm.)

Receptionist: “Yes, nice and buff, like a man.”

(She smiles.)

Receptionist: “Are you one of those transsexuals?” 

Me: “Um, no.”

Receptionist: “Hmm, I think you are. You’re too strong to be a woman. My grandson dresses up like that Gaga woman, and he can barely lift my cat.”

(She smiled again and left.)

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Colorful Pronouns

, , , , , | Right | December 30, 2019

(I am a transgender man and wear a pin with my pronouns on it at work as a way to encourage their use without necessarily having to out myself. Today, I am ringing a woman out who repeatedly refers to me as “she.” After the third time, I gently correct her.)

Me: “Actually, ma’am, it’s ‘he.’”

Customer: “Huh?”

Me: *taps pin* “It’s ‘he,’ not ‘she.’”

Customer: “Oh! I thought that said, ‘she/him.’”

Me: *blinks and glances down at the pin, which very clearly reads “he/him”* “Er, no. It doesn’t.”

Customer: “Well! You can’t blame me for being confused! It’s pink!

(The pin is indeed pink.)

Me: “Well, I have a yellow one at home. I’ll have to wear that next time. Have a wonderful day, ma’am.”

Customer: *leaving* “It’s pink!

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Padding Up Your Knowledge

, , , , , | Working | December 19, 2019

(I’m a twenty-five-year-old trans woman. I work as a cashier, and I pass really well, apparently. On this day, I’m behind the customer service counter telling my supervisor a funny work story before beginning my shift as the online shopper — people order online and I shop in the store for them to pick up. An older woman approaches the desk. My supervisor and a coworker with us are both men.)

Customer: “Young lady! Excuse me, young lady!”

(Upon realising she’s talking to me, I turn around to face her.)

Me: “Yes, how can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I need some assistance in finding pads for my granddaughter who, erm, you know. What would you suggest?”

Me: *internally* “Oh, God…” *externally, upon taking her to that section* “Well, these are very good. I haven’t had any complaints. This brand is also very fine, as well.”

(Long story short, I upsell the brand I see some of my female-born coworkers use the most often, since we only sell three brands. The entire time I’m saying things like “excellent absorbency,” and the like, and she’s nodding and soaking it all in — pun intended. She hasn’t the slightest idea I know nothing of what I am saying.)

Customer: “Oh, thank you, thank you, young lady! I think this is perfect!”

(I later tell my female supervisor, who laughs very hard.)

Supervisor: “Girl, that’s amazing. And you weren’t wrong, those are pretty good. Seriously, you should be in marketing.”

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Wait Until She Finds Out She’s A Homosapien

, , , , , | Right | December 14, 2019

(I’m doing door-to-door opinion polls, part of which involves collecting various kinds of demographic data.)

Me: “So, would you describe yourself in any of these ways?” *points at a showcard with sexual orientations*

Respondent: *giggling* “Heterosexual.”

Me: *recording the answer* “Okay.”

Respondent: “Nooo, I’m kidding! I’m straight! Wait… ‘Straight’ isn’t on the showcard.”

Me: *deep breath* “Miss, ‘heterosexual’ means ‘straight.’”

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, , , , , , , , | Friendly | November 28, 2019

(I am AFAB — assigned female at birth — and go by she/they pronouns. I am spending the day with a genderfluid AFAB friend. We’re on a popular shopping street in Brisbane and are waiting for the lights to change before crossing to the bus station. On the other side of the street, a man is standing on a literal soapbox, quoting Bible verses about sin and how everyone around him will be condemned to Hell.)

Friend: “Gimme your hand.”

(We cross the street hand in hand, and the man grows louder as he sees us pass by.)

Friend: “Hang on.”

(They stopped on the sidewalk and kissed me on the cheek, right in front of the man. Someone actually audibly gasped, and another person tried to hand them a Jesus pamphlet. We walked the rest of the way to the bus hand in hand.)

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