It’s As Simple As That

, , , , , , , | Romantic | May 2, 2021

My husband is working a late shift. I go to the garden gate with him to see him off. A woman and a little girl are walking past in the street.


That woman avoids eye contact with us.

Woman: “Yes, that’s because they’re in love.”

Girl: “Awwww!”

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Being Decent Isn’t Hard If You Make The Effort

, , , , , | Friendly | April 7, 2021

This story takes place at a theatre where I’m a performer. Also featuring in this story is the costume designer/maker who’s female and dating [Performer #2], a man I don’t know very well. [Performer #1] is a male performer who I consider a good friend. There’s also [Director], another guy I don’t know very well, as I don’t normally work on his stuff.

I’ve recently come out as a trans man and the name I’ve chosen is quite long. I’m meeting a group of people who I’m working with on an amateur and very small production; they know my situation. I am warned by [Performer #2] that his girlfriend, [Costume Designer] will seem rude and get my pronouns and name wrong. Whilst I’ve met her briefly before, I was presenting as female and she knew me by my deadname. I was already nervous about it, as it is the first time meeting up since I came out, but his warning about her has made me even more anxious.

When we meet up everyone seems fine. [Costume Designer] is a bit standoffish but seems to make a conscious effort to get my name correct; she’s pausing before saying it. She doesn’t really talk a lot to anyone, to be honest. A little bit further into the meeting, I’m with [Performer #2] and the director, who’s just offered to change my character into a male, when we overhear something going on. [Costume Designer] and [Performer #1] have their backs to us and [Costume Designer] looks kind of tense.

Performer #1: “Do you know where [My Deadname] is?”

Costume Designer: “I k-know where—” *pause* “—[my name] is.”

Performer #1: *Scoffing* “That’s utter BS; you and I both know it. Her name is [My Deadname] — born a she, always a she.”

Costume Designer: “He… They, He. They’re a g-guy. N-not a g-girl. He was by the… the… the…”

She pauses and it is at this moment that I realise she has a stutter.

Performer #1: *Mocking tone* “Are you st-st-st-struggling to sp-sp-speak?” *Laughs* “Spit it out, woman.”

She responds by giving him the middle finger, which [Performer #2] sniggers at. [Performer #1] hears that and looks around. He goes pale when he sees us together.

Performer #1: “Oh! Hey, [My Dead]—”

Costume Designer: *Interrupting* “[M-my N-n-name].”

She struggles heavily with my long name.

Performer #1: *Once again mocking* “That’s n-n-n-not his n-n-n-n-name, either, dips***.”

Director: *Cold fury* “Get your stuff and come with me, [Performer #1].”

They leave, and [Costume Designer] walks over to us. She’s a mix of angry and upset.

Costume Designer: “S-Sorry—” *pauses* “—[My-My Name].” *Scowls* “[My N— N-Name].”

She scowls harder, and then says under her breath:

Costume Designer: “F***.”

Me: “What?”

Costume Designer: “Hard.”

Performer #2: *To me* “Yeah, sorry, man, but your name is hard for her to say, so she feels bad. When she gets angry or very emotional, or even tired, she gets worse. Plus, like, she has mild aphasia from an accident. Basically, speaking is not easy for her.”

Turns out, [Performer #2] was trying to warn me about her speech-related conditions; he just did so really badly. He had messaged everyone separately to inform them that she’s likely to mess up, and he hadn’t really considered the further implications that would happen with me. He said she’d seem rude because she doesn’t chat.

[Performer #1] never returned; the director asked him to leave. Fortunately, we were quite early into the practices, and [Performer #1] had a very small part, so we could easily get someone else to do it. I don’t talk to him anymore, but I became close friends with [Costume Designer] and [Performer #2].

This story is part of our Best Of April 2021 roundup! This is the last story in this roundup, but if you’d like to read more of our favorite stories, you can always check out March’s roundup next!

Read the next Best Of April 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of April 2021 roundup!

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He Thought He Had An Ace In The Hole

, , , , , , | Related | March 3, 2021

My brother has always been money-hungry. He buys expensive shoes and outfits and is constantly asking my parents for more allowance so he can buy them. My parents usually say no because they can’t spare that much money every month, as they’re saving for other things. As a result, he takes it upon himself to “advise” them on money they “could free up,” often by arguing my other siblings, my parents, and me down until we cave and say we don’t want something or change the budget.

My brother and I are weeding the cracks in the driveway. Just prior, he was arguing with my mom because she was saving money for “stupid things” instead of buying him Jordans.

Brother: “How come you never date any guys? [Friend] asked you out and you turned him down.”

Me: “I didn’t like him that way. Besides, he and I weren’t right for each other.”

Brother: “Do you like any guys at all?”

Me: “I mean… not really? I don’t really get crushes and such.”

Brother: “Are you a lesbian? You are, aren’t you?”

Me: “No—”

Brother: “You are! I’m telling Mom!”

At this, I start to get scared. My family and I are Catholic, and while I support the LGBTQ+ community, my family isn’t quite so supportive of that. I could get in some very awkward situations if he told my mom that. 

Me: “No, I’m not a lesbian! Knock it off!”

He continues to pressure me to “tell him the truth” and starts to get up to tell my mom.

Me: “[Brother], I’m not lesbian; I’m ace! Stop! I don’t like anyone that way!”

I’m aroace, but I didn’t know the term aromantic at the time.

Brother: “So you’re just immature, then. Why don’t you like d**k? You just haven’t met the right guy yet.”

Keep in mind that this kid is over two years younger than me; he has no business calling me immature.

Me: “Yeah, yeah, just don’t tell Mom. I want to tell her on my own terms.”

Brother: “You need to tell her soon. She’s saving money for your wedding!”

Me: “O…kay? I’ll tell her when I’m ready. Just promise not to tell her?”

Brother: “Fine, whatever. You should tell her tomorrow, though.”

Foolishly, I thought that was the end of it. But the next day, my mom took me up to a fast food place and got us a snack. While we were eating, she asked me if I was okay, because, “Your brother said you were… a plant?” Turns out he had, in arguing that she should spend the savings she’d set aside for my future wedding, completely outed me to my mom, and she outed me to my dad. I then had to endure conversations of “Maybe you should be a nun,” “Stop making terms up,” “You’ll grow into it; you’re just a late bloomer,” and, “In order to get married you need to have sex in your marriage.”

And that’s the story of how my brother outed me for shoes! And he didn’t even get them, because my parents don’t believe I’m ace and still set aside funds for my wedding every month.

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An Unexpected Transition

, , , , , | Related | February 26, 2021

My grandpa is a very tall, straight-back, and straight-laced veteran with a no-nonsense attitude who diligently attends church every Sunday. He occasionally mentions his aunt and her friend; when Grandpa isn’t around, Granny clarifies that they’re lesbians in a long-term committed relationship and that Grandpa just isn’t comfortable talking about them like that.

Now, he is in his late eighties and has somehow gotten sterner. My mum, older sister, and I have gone over to see my grandparents. My older sister is dating a trans man. We are all having a chat in the living room and the subject of her boyfriend comes up. I can’t quite remember how it gets to this point, but it does.

Mum: “Oh, he’s a trans man.”

Grandpa: “A what? What’s that?”

There’s a bit of an awkward pause and my sister glares daggers at my mum.

Sister: “He’s a transgender man. It means he was born a female, realised he was born into the wrong body, and is transitioning into man. He’s on hormone therapy and will soon have one of his surgeries, and I’ll be there to help him through it.”

Granny: “Oh… She’s—”

Grandpa: *Sharply* “He.”

Granny: “No, [Grandpa], she was born—”

Grandpa: “I heard. But he is a he. He is [Sister]’s boyfriend. He is a trans man. He is having hormones to be a man. He is thus a man and the appropriate pronoun is he.” *To my sister* “Unless he prefers different pronouns?”

Sister: “N-no, his pronouns are he/him.”

Grandpa: “There we go. He. Not she.”

Granny: “She’s clearly confused!”

Grandpa:No! He is not. I imagine he was much less confused when he was growing up not feeling like he belonged in his own body! You’re confused; he’s not! I hate that word! They called my aunt ‘confused’ and they set fire to her home and threw bricks through her windows because they were ‘confused’ by who she loved! They were happy, consenting adults. That’s all that mattered! This man is happy as a man, and it’s nobody else’s place to tell him he’s wrong or confused! It doesn’t affect anyone else!”

My grandpa died of cancer a few years back, but his tirade is a very fond memory I have of him as it allowed me to see a side I hadn’t known was there. My granny did improve her knowledge and opinions on transgender issues, though.

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for February 2021!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for February 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for February 2021!

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Kicking Butt Knows No Gender

, , , , | Learning | February 19, 2021

I am genderfluid, but I was assigned female at birth. I am on the wrestling team, and we have to wear jackets on the days of meets. 

Girl: “Oh, it’s so cute that your boyfriend gave that to you!”

Me: “Oh, um, no, actually. This is mine.”

Girl: “No! it has to be your boyfriend’s!”

Me: “[Girl]… Um… I’m gay.”

Girl: “So? What does that have to do with this?”

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