I dearly love my cisgender friends, but there are times they drive me to eat chocolate!
Recently I attended a fundraiser for the social justice committee at my church. It was a fun gathering, and I settled down near a woman who was playing piano jazz quite well.
I don’t often get a chance to listen to live jazz.
I felt someone tap me on my right shoulder. A friend of mine who is this lovely straight woman thrust a bumper sticker with the symbol above into my hand. “For your car,” she said. “To show resistance!”
For the uninitiated, I should explain that although this symbol has sometimes carried other meanings, such as meaning intersex individuals or genderqueer folks, it can indicate that someone is transgender.
Then she hurried on her way. I stood up and watched her. It quickly became apparent she was handing out bumper stickers to every LGBTQ person in sight.
From what I could tell, it looked as if cisgender lesbians and gay men got either the Equals symbol or the Rainbow Flag.
When this happened, my community was reeling from the horrific murders of local transgender women whose bodies had just been found. We were collecting money to help with funeral expenses. There was a lot of sobbing in support group meetings and a miasma of stark fear in the trans femme population.
That is the context within which this cisgender, feminine, straight woman, who was in zero danger of being attacked by homophobic or transphobic bigots, was trying to shame queer and trans people to into putting something on our cars that would make it easy for bigots to identify us in parking lots at night.
She was performing a public service for would-be perpetrators of hate crimes. Thoughtful of her.
I know her. She is a nice person, but someone with no clue about the dangerous reality LGBTQ folks live in.
Nibble large piece of dark chocolate.
Today after church another cisgender woman I know darn near dragged this obviously terrified young trans woman (she passed well, so I am telling you she was trans just to save time in this account) up to me and introduced us.
I spoke to the young lady for a few minutes. She was nice enough, sweet and diffident, but she was decades younger than I, and it quickly became apparent that other than both of us being trans, we had nothing at all in common.
The cisgender woman told us that we needed to exchange emails and phone numbers. Then, her work done, she rode off into the sunset.
I told the girl she didn’t have to do that if she would rather not. She relaxed like an overfilled balloon having the excess gas let out. Within seconds she took off.
I wondered how the woman who introduced us would react if I were so say, “I am taking you to meet Bill. You’re both straight, so you will immediately become best friends and want to exchange all your contact information and spend all your free time together.”
Open new box of chocolate.