Update on the Trip Home

1. It seems as usual that all my greatest fears never come to pass.  I can report that TSA staff (and for that matter Delta Airlines) in Minneapolis and Portland, Me., treated me with respect just like any other passenger (as they should).  I was often addressed as “ma’am”.  When a young man held a door for me and my mother and said “ladies”, we both said thank you.  (I will grow into a liberated woman.  Meanwhile, it does help to be recognized in society as the gender you present.)

2.  Lately I’ve noticed strangers striking up random conversations and I wonder if it’s because they are curious, looking for an excuse to talk to somebody who is transgender.  A woman stopped me in Sam’s Club a few days ago to ask me what I thought of the chicken salad in my basket.  I really don’t think chicken salad was on her mind.  I gave her a big smile, a thumb’s up, and told her I bought it often.

On the flight from Milwaukee to Minneapolis (I took the scenic tour), I sat next to an older couple headed home to New Orleans.  That kind of conversation could have gone a couple of bad ways in a hurry.  We got to talking as any other women chance meeting, talking about trips, home, family.

Did we become fast friends? Not hardly.  But in both cases I planted a seed of doubt.  Three different people who the next time hear some inflammatory remark about gender-variant people may remember the day they actually talked to a transwoman without an apocalyptic cataclysm.  If they recall that I am a real person with joys and concerns who only wants to find her way in the world as a responsible and loving person with a fondness for chicken salad, I have made a crack in the shell.  I’ve planted a seed of doubt in the garden of assumptions and stereotypes.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Roxie
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 17:05:56

    Sounds like you had a great trip. I am so happy you were supported with kindness, respect and friendly conversations. Hope things went well with your parents. You need to send me your e-mail address and a picture via e-mail. I am heading for Virginia on Thursday. Looking forward to the trip. Will back in Oregon on the 10th. Talk to you soon.

    Reply

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