Image: Caroline’s Cakes
I find it easy to talk to non-binary, third-gender and ambiguously gendered people.
Unfortunately, a lot of people get very uncomfortable when someone is not clearly male or female. This category can include genderqueer people, transsexual men and women, masculine women and feminine men, and many others. Members of the general population are likely to get flustered (or much worse) if they can’t easily pin a person into a pink or blue box.
When I meet people whose gender is ambiguous to me, or whose gender expression falls outside the binary, I am able to treat them with respect–the same respect I’d show anyone else. I neither gawk nor look away. I simply treat them with courtesy. I don’t feel a burning desire to know each person’s identity, assigned sex, or current body shape.
For a year or so during my transition, my appearance was very ambiguous to other people. Some called me ma’am, some called me sir, some stared, some refused to look at me. These experiences opened my eyes to the way ambiguously-gendered people are treated. I don’t feel uncomfortable around gender diverse people, because I’ve been there.
I don’t need to know anything about a person to be kind to them. If I do need to know something about them for whatever reason, I simply ask.
What are some good things about being trans*? Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit anonymously.
In this series, I highlight individuals’ positive experiences. You probably won’t relate to every entry, but maybe some will resonate with you.