Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Comeuppance

We got a new employee the other day.  She is transgender.  It's our first one and a first for most of the people who work here.  Hell, I think it's a first for the entire fucking region!  So, the buzz around the office has been, "Have you SEEN 'HER'!"

 I completely respect transgender people and I will defend them.  I don't need to fully understand the nature of what it's like to be transgender to respect and honor someone who is.  Because I'm out to some of my co-workers, some of them will come up to me and ask me about it assuming I know anything about it or actually understand it.  Most of the time people are just confusing sexual orientation with gender identity. But I'm not an expert and I tell them the truth, "I don't fully understand it but here is what I know from a clinical perspective...etc."   

But, I was really holding out for the inevitable to happen.  The gay/trans jokes.  It's bad enough working in a cultural environment that is sexist and homophobic but this?  It was just too much for most people to keep their stupid mouths shut.

So, one day, there we were, me and two of my co-workers, who I'm out to, where all doing some work together when a third co-worker came in to help.   But, for reasons only known to him, probably because the buzz is still fresh on everyone's mind, he just randomly tells a very rude gay/transgender joke.  One co-worker, she feigned not to get it.  The other co-worker, he just stared in shock. Me, I just turned and went back to what I was doing as the joke teller, seeing that no one laughed, tried to explain it, digging himself in deeper.  Shortly after which he seemed to appear embarrassed and left the room.  I didn't bother saying anything to him.  I was going to get my revenge later.

I friended him on Facebook. 

He avoids eye contact with me now.

3 comments :

  1. Thank you for writing about this experience. Here's what I want to say when asked about it by someone who doesn't get it: It's not your business to get or not get. She is an adult and obviously thinking and making decisions for herself. Your only responsibility is to respect her.

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  2. It takes most people a little time to get used to someone different. I certainly know that living in a small rural town made up of mostly religious conservatives. Why some have to act in such a rude & visceral way, I don't know. If they could only see how ignorant it makes them look.

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  3. To be perfectly honest, Trans kind of scare me. Granted, not enough that I wont fight for their rights as well, but I definitely need to understand them better.

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