Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"Whatever You Are"

It was 11:45 AM on Tuesday November 25, 2014.  I was at work at the bookstore.  The store was busy, and I was alone on the cash register as the other cashier was on break.
The customer was old, maybe in her seventies or eighties.  She was maybe five feet tall, counting her Q-tip hair cut.  She was round as a bowling ball; wearing a shapeless black sweater.  She bought a single book, one of the inaccurate history books written by Bill O'Reilly.  her face looked like she'd been weaned on a lemon.
I rang up her purchase like I was supposed to be, being polite and chipper, as I'm supposed to be.  She was grumpy and curt with her answers.  
I finished the transaction.  She snatched the bag and started walking away.

Me: "Thank you and have a happy Thanksgiving"
Customer: "Thanks... Whatever you are."

My jaw didn't have time to drop as the next customer stepped up to my register quickly, and I had to provide them with the best possible service.  In fact it was a good twenty minutes before I had helped all the customers in the ever replenishing line and I had time to reflect.

Everyone knows that Transition is hard.  Everyone gets their share of remarks and comments (remind me to tell you the story of my trip to Popeyes the other day.)  And we who are full time have to have very thick skin, or we fail.  Transition is not for the faint of heart.

And my Armor IS thick.


That one got to me a little.  So I posted it on Facialbook, and received an avalanche of wonderfully, viciously funny replies.  I'm not posting these replies without the writers' permission.  But they raised my spirits. 

One person pointed out what I already concluded- that I should expect no less from someone buying a republican book.  But many people buy republican books and while many of those give me looks, most do not comment.  Most. (Usually, the comment would be to call me "sir.")

This woman was just mean.  Sour.  And I pity her.  She has to live in her hate.  I however am living my life.

That said, she has given me the title for the book I'm writing:  "Whatever You Are."

So I guess I owe her thanks.  Or at least publicity.  


  1. Sophie:

    It does not become you, as the woman that you are, to stoop to sniping at all of one political party based on the ignorant comment made by one old Hobbit-like individual (not to speak poorly of Hobbits, mind you) of undetermined political persuasion. You are a far better person than that, my friend.

    May no one remember her when she's gone.

    Now, most importantly, may you and your friends/extended family have a Happy and joyous Thanksgiving.

    All who read your blog and other writings are thankful that we have you, Sophie, as a trailblazer and standard bearer.


    1. Sniping Rhonda? In past posts I've unleashed artillery barrages at the GOP.

      TY for your kind words! :)

  2. Sophie -

    I'd rather think she is ignorant instead of mean - if she couldn't tell which gender you were, ideally she would have simply said "Happy Holidays" and leave it at that. But the "whatever you are" may sting worse than "sir" (which I've occasionally have gotten when en-femme), but it could mean she didn't know and didn't know what to say.

    Of course, the fact that she was buying an O'Reilly rehash and corruption of historical information says a lot about the woman - she needs information predigested for her, as she isn't capable of much critical thought.

    So, Sophie, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving, and hope the future brings you more smiles than encounters with people like "whatever she is".....


  3. Please take this with kindness...

    A wise woman once told me that when I was read, to go home, have my cry, then to pull up by big girl pants, go into the bathroom where I was to take that hard look into the mirror and figure out where it was that ~I~ failed... because bottom line if you are presenting as a female... and it didn't come off as planned/hoped for/desired/ etc. etc.etc... the fault for that rests with you and not with the one who read you for their seeing what they saw! in fact, despite all the noise to the contrary, they are doing you a service if they do comment on it... Doesn't mean it doesn't hurt... it does.. terribly so, but at least they are being honest, giving you the feed back that you need to do more... which is hands down better than the PC folks who think it just as she did, but to humor you they go along with it leaving you standing there thinking everything is just hunky dory when it's anything but...
    I know the "Community" will jump on this with both feet but reality is, no amount of "demanding" and cries of "transphobia" will change a damned thing about humans sexing each other... it is hard wired into us and is something we do straight from the womb and that we do INVOLUNTARILY in a fraction of a second....

    So, if you see this as an opportunity... and you act upon it... then as time goes by readings will become fewer and fewer... or you can stay the course, rail at her for her rudeness ... and keep on get read as a guy in a dress for the rest of your life... the choice is yours...

  4. Sophie,

    Another awesome post. I really enjoy reading of your adventures. I'm sure it allows you a release for the things you have to put up with day to day and for us it provides a look at how cruel some can be. As for that lady, her choice of book might explain her attitude. I've noticed people who lean to that side of the fence of humanity seem to be a bit hostile to their fellow human beings.

    Hope you are having a Happy Thanksgiving


  5. I was appalled by your experience, Sophie. Sad but true---the bigoted reside on both sides of the political spectrum. Your description of her made me feel better, however. :)

    I belong to a group that has absolutely nothing to do with trans. Most, but not all, of the members are very conservative although politics has nothing to do with this group. We recently had an obviously transgender person join the group and she has been welcomed with open arms by virtually everyone. Perhaps it is the part of the country I reside in. Trans folks are everywhere in the big cities of California.

    Miss Know It All does have a point. The person who attended the meeting I mentioned had done very little to blend into society as the woman she is. She doesn't know I am trans and I felt it would be rude to bring the subject up. I don't know what stage of transition she is in, but suffice it to say that if she were in other parts of the country, she would be getting comments from the unaccepting bigots. It takes work and her case she could stand to work on her hair, mannerisms, voice, and style.

    The customer, who obviously could care less how she looks, probably comes across as female because of her voice, height, and mannerisms. A MtF can do nothing about her height but the voice, particularly vocal inflection and mannerisms, can be worked on. Combine that with taking care of her body and getting a sense of style will help the new member of our group to be accepted by everyone as time goes on.

    As for you, Sophie, be strong and proud of who you are. You did the right thing by just ignoring her comment.

    Calie xx