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View Diary: Being authentic, on a Friday night (84 comments)

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  •  I am really looking forward to hearing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rserven

    what rservern thinks ...  for my own self, I try to be very public about having affirming attitudes about LBGT persons, and let people work out for themselves how to respond to that.

    The wide universe is the ocean I travel And the earth is my Blue Boat Home

    by sberel on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 09:43:11 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  hmmm, not really answered... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sberel, rserven

      In this case, the person, viewed quickly, would likely have been thought to be male (very large size, big boned face, etc.).  
      The name (like the eponymous "Pat") was androgynous.
      But the person carried him or herself in what I thought was a feminine manner.
      It would have been AWFUL to imply that I thought s/he (I use that rather than "him or her" and I get tired of writing "the person") was a transwoman if she was a non-transgender woman.

      If she were not trans and were asked whether she were, she'd quite likely be offended, of course.

      Not just offended, but hurt - which I would NOT want to do.

      I would think that if s/he was a gay man, that would have come out eventually.
      There was only one bathroom so I could not discretely see if they used the M or W bathroom!

      •  this was a reply to rserven, the following (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sberel, rserven

        reply was to sberel.
        Thanks to both for your comments.

      •  JMO. (1+ / 0-)
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        rserven

        You asked an almost impossible question, which rserven answered the way she knew how, which was to share with you the RL challenges that trans people face.  I think that is a good thing to sit with and think about for awhile, actually, I find it useful anyway.

        Consolidating the responses, I am thinking there is a difference between being non-phobe and being affirming.  If you are affirming you look for ways to bring issues to the surface in conversations, you make sure people know where you stand.  

        It's like a woman I know who takes her Outsmart Magazine to the doctor's office ... she opens it up in the waiting room and tells everyone how excited she is to be catching up with the latest gay news, because her kids are gay.  This particular woman is very, very vocal.  I don't know that one must go that far, but when people know where you stand, it my experience that people will open up to you ("I am gay" ... "my brother is gay"... whatever).

        At any rate, I do not envy your position of working with someone with indeterminate gender ... I actually never heard of a case like that in RL.  It seems to me that many (most) transwomen put the markers on (dresses, earrings, etc).  I am wondering if this person was perhaps genderqueer or third gender by listening to your description.

        Thanks for asking, a very interesting conversation.

        The wide universe is the ocean I travel And the earth is my Blue Boat Home

        by sberel on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:23:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  what is RL? Real Life? 3rd Gender? Also... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sberel

          It was years ago when this happened.  The person did not have clear markers, never wore a skirt etc.  Was very large (half a head taller than me who is of average height).  At the time I'd already known and been friends with many gay men, and lots of straight women.  S/he seemed to act much more like a straight woman from my experience than a straight man.  Much more so than SNL's "Pat" whom I recall as seeming a bit butch if you thought of her as a gay woman...

          I sometimes encounter people whose gender I can't guess, including one staff person in a store I frequent.  But never someone I spent so much time with...

          By 3rd gender do you mean intersex?
          Thanks for your reply.

          •  Intersex is not third gender. (2+ / 0-)
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            sberel, Marja E

            By 3rd gender do you mean intersex?

            Most intersex people identify as either men or women.

            Some people do not believe in dichotomous gender.  They may reject the necessity of having to choose.  Intentionally.  

          •  RL = real life (1+ / 0-)
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            rserven

            third gender is what rserven said.

            I just have never met a transwoman who didn't wear women's clothes, at least some of the time, personally speaking, or wear long hair or makeup.  

            I do know a transgender person, who goes by a guy name at the moment, but who has a feminine appearance.  It may be he is transitioning but if he is he hasn't seen fit to share it with me. (I use "he" because he goes by a guy name).  And it would be his business anyway, whatever gender he presents and when, then my appropriate response is to treat him as the gender he's presenting as.  I hope that makes sense, and helps a little.

            The wide universe is the ocean I travel And the earth is my Blue Boat Home

            by sberel on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:34:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  still don't know what 3rd gender means... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sberel

              The person I describe wore work clothes that could be for men or women.
              Long hair, no makeup that I recall (but I am not very makeup aware unless it is shovelled on).  
              Guess I will have to live with the ambiguity...
              Thanks for the comments, sberel and rserven.

              I will mention that I did used to know one person who was in the process of transitioning, and was very open and verbal about it, sometimes I got even more explicit or detailed info than I wanted.  But it was very interesting and I tried to be as supportive and complimentary as possible of whom they wanted to be.  Just as I like people to be of me.

    •  In this case, I thought it would be so (2+ / 0-)
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      sberel, rserven

      obvious as to be the same as directly asking whether s/he was a transwoman.

      I believe and hope it was obvious to all that I (straight male) not a homophobe.
      And if it had somehow come up, of course I would have said that I could not care less about whatever a co-worker's SGLBT status was.  Since it never did, I still wonder once in a while, years later...

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