Genderalising The Cause

, , , , | Right | June 28, 2017

(I work at a store where customers purchase their items and wait for them to be brought out. It is a hectic day with several staff being absent suffering with gastroenteritis, so we are a bit behind. The store is pretty packed in comparison to usual and the average wait time for collection is 20 minutes. A woman has used the self checkout and walked straight to the counter. My coworker checks her receipt.)

Coworker: “Oh, you’ve just paid. Sorry, but there is a 20 minute wait.”

Customer: “No. I will be collecting my hair dryer now.”

Coworker: “But you’ve just paid. Your order is 83, we’re just on 66.”

Customer: “I’m not waiting. Get my hair dryer NOW!”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do. You will have to wait, just like everyone else.”

Customer: “How dare you! This is discrimination. Just because I’m a trans woman doesn’t mean I have to be subjected to this kind of harassment.”

Coworker: “What?”

Customer: “Forcing me to wait behind all these cisgendered people, like a SECOND CLASS CITIZEN! Where is your manager? You deserve to be fired!”

Me: “What is the problem?”

(An elderly woman comes into the store at this point.)

Customer: “WHERE’S MY HAIR DRYER! WHY DOES A TRANS WOMAN HAVE TO BE TREATED LIKE THIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY!”

Me: “Madam, do you think anyone in our warehouse knows that you are transgender?”

Customer: “What?!”

Me: “Or the self checkout machine you used to order?”

Customer: *silent*

Me: “Or any of us for that matter before you started mouthing off?”

Customer: “I am a trans woman, and this is discrimination!”

Me: “No, the only person who is making gender an issue in this store is you, and if you do not calm down I will have you wait outside and my coworker here will bring your purchase out to you.”

(The woman opens her mouth to speak when the elderly woman comes up and slaps her on the back of the head. The woman turns around and jumps.)

Customer: “Granny!”

Elderly Woman: “Again? You miserable, ungrateful child. We aren’t paying for your change just so you can be a c***!”

Not An Ally

, , , , , | Related | June 23, 2017

Between the ages of 13-15 I began to realize I was attracted to women as well as men (I am female) but had no one to talk about it in my family, which is extremely religious with southern roots, and not very accepting.

I would always hear the adults badmouthing anyone “different” and saying they should “get what they deserved.” It scared me into being what they all thought a little girl should be and pretty much just keeping quiet, I honestly never spoke to my mom much unless I had some medical issue I couldn’t solve on my own because she was the worst and always told me that a little girl should be “seen and not heard.” My “being good” earned me the love and affection of the adults in the family and they all fawned over me and babied me as long as I was well behaved and fit the image they had grown accustomed to.

As a child I had a close relationship with my first cousins, my dad’s sister’s kids, and when I was about 15, I broke down and told my aunt’s oldest daughter over the phone that I was attracted to women. She was stunned into silence but seemed accepting. I felt relieved. I thought I finally had someone to talk to.

A few mornings later, my mom storms into my room, rips my cell phone off the charger and rips the computer modem out off the wall, then leaves. I think maybe I left some chore undone and quickly get out of bed, scrambling to find out what it is, while my mom watches me silently.

Soon she calls me into the living room and produces my missing cell phone, then demands I dial the number to a girl I like, whose name I previously mentioned to my cousin. She speaks to the girl’s mother and makes me listen as her parents began screaming at her. She gets the mother’s attention and tells her “If your daughter ever calls my daughter again, I’ll call the cops and send my daughter to a girls’ home.”

I have no idea what a girls’ home is but I am already freaked out and don’t want to find out. Turns out my cousin relayed our conversation to my aunt who called my mom and the rest of our family, making sure to cover all family in THREE STATES. Everyone went ballistic, my mom threatened me, my dad threatened the other girl, and the phone was ringing off the hook with calls from nosy family members.

Fast forward to last year. My same aunt’s middle daughter is discovered to be a closeted lesbian with a girlfriend and a slew of pictures of the two of them all over social media, some involving little to no clothing. Before anyone can say a word, my aunt loses it and goes on this tirade about how everyone should mind their own business and is suddenly the worlds biggest supporter of LGBTQ+ rights. Of course no one says anything because “Everyone knows how [Aunt] is when it comes to her kids.” So everything gets swept under the rug.

Dude, f*** this family.

Going To College And Having A Gay Old Time

, , , , | Hopeless | June 20, 2017

Customer: “Can you help me, please?”

Me: “Of course. What do you need?”

Customer: “My son is gay and he needs more acceptable attire for an interview at his university. He is wearing what HE wants to go in, and well…”

(She motions to a very embarrassed boy a few metres away from us. He is quite well presented and I can’t see a problem.)

Me: “It looks fine to me. Very respectable.”

(The mother looks at me like I’ve spat at her.)

Customer: “HE LOOKS GAY!”

Me: “I don’t see it. Maybe it’s because you know he’s gay already?”

Customer: “You’re no help at all!”

Me: “Look, I can go around with him and see if there’s anything else he likes, and work around that. But seriously, I can’t see why a university would have a problem with him.”

Customer: *exasperated* “Fine, fine. Just do whatever you can. My son needs to look straight. Universities don’t accept [slurs].”

(She leaves the store altogether. I walk up to the son.)

Me: “Do you have a problem with what you’re wearing?”

Son: “Not really…”

(I finished ten minutes later and offered to get him something to eat. We actually spent most of the day talking about life and school. He seemed a lot more comfortable without his mother there. We exchanged numbers in case he needed help, and I promised to introduce him to my brother, who’s also gay, in case there’s anything he’s not comfortable talking about with me. He got accepted at university, much to his mother’s astonishment.)

So THAT’S Why Mona Lisa Was Smiling

, , , , , | Learning | June 19, 2017

(Our teacher gives us twenty minutes at the end of a lesson on Friday to ask the most random questions and then debate one of them. We write them down and put them into a tombola for her to pick out of. The last few weeks every topic has been asking whether a prominent historical figure was gay, so this week she has pleading and praying that there isn’t another one.)

Teacher: *picking a topic* “Oh, for pity’s sake!”

(She turns around and writes the question on the whiteboard.)

Question: “Was Leonardo da Vinci gay?”

(She sat down and took some ibuprofen before letting us debate. Unbeknownst to her, we have all been putting those questions in the hat this month!)

Take A Pause And Consider Equality

, , , , , | Friendly | June 14, 2017

(I have a rainbow flag pin with equal signs for marriage equality. As I’m walking home from school with a friend she notices my button.)

Friend: “Why do you have a pause button on your backpack?”

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