Monday, January 18, 2016

"Out of Love"

The day is over.  I'm sitting here at my computer, drinking a glass of Bogle vineyards cabernet, and organizing my thoughts.  As my roomie Linda is already asleep, I'm listening to 80s music on my headphones.

It's been a day.

As those of you who follow this blog know, I work at a chain book store.  I never name the chain, as 1) it really isn't anyone's business and 2) I don't want to violate any "online" policy they might have.  Better safe than sorry.  As I've stated several times in this blog and at my column on TG Forum, the management from the top down has been absolutely supportive of my transition.  Keep this in mind, as it's important.

It was a strange day already at the Book store.  Sundays are usually a nasty day.  The rich folks go to church, get all guilted up, then come to the store and take it all out on the "peons" who work there.  Also, we always have to straighten the store, as there will always be sloppy people, but on Sundays, the professional "store destroyers" come in and wreck the place.  All in all, it's never a fun day.  

But today... today was even weirder.  For example, someone wanted me to wrap a gift card.  That's just odd.

Anyway, it was around 3:30 PM.  I was alone on register at the time, as the other register person was on break.  A customer approached.  She was Asian, mid 20s, maybe 5’4” tall wearing a blue jacket.  I’d seen her in the store before this.   Bought a few items of a religious nature, and started discussing how God is great.  At that moment, no one was in line.  I told her I have my religion, but prefer not to discuss it.  She then told me how God can see into everyone’s hearts, and she could tell I had “a very good heart.”  She said that several times.  I thanked her.  I mentioned we had many people come to the store directly from church.  There was a little more small talk when I noticed a line started to build, and I prepared to call the next customer. 

She then reached into her rather large purse and pulled out a DVD.  She said “please accept this from me.  Don’t be offended.  I’m giving it to you out of love.”  I told her I couldn’t accept gifts.  She insisted; I refused again.  By this point, the line had grown quite a bit.  She insisted again, so I took the DVD, tossed it on the counter next to the register, and called for the next customer.  At this point, the other cashier returned from her break, and we worked on the line.

Maybe 10 minutes later, the line was finished, and I looked at the DVD.   It was called One of the Boys: the Sy Rogers story.  I looked at the back and saw on the blurb “sexual redemption ministry.”  I guessed that this person was one of the “reparative therapy” people I’d read about.  I smirked, and decided I’d look it up on my break. I was a bit irritated at that point.

With a BONUS interview!  Golly!

A bit later, I took my break, and during time googled “Sy Rogers.”  I discovered that he specializes in Transgender reparative therapy, which means, essentially, “pray the trans away.”  This practice is illegal in several states, as it often leads to the suicide of trans person involved.  At that point, I became extremely angry.  I informed management.  My break ended, and I returned to registers.

I remembered later that I'd seen this wonderful person before a few times, and that last time, she said she had a "Christmas gift" for me, which she would bring in next time she came to the store.  Well, that explains why she just so happened to have that particular DVD in her bag.

Back cover

Later in the shift, the manager on duty told me he had contacted the Store Head Manager, who is on vacation this week.  At the end of my shift, he informed me that he was writing an incident report to send to corporate.  I wrote one as well, and sent it to HR.

The Head Manager texted me expressing her regret that this happened, and said that if this customer returns before corporate gets back to management, that I should contact a manager and leave the register area. 

Dear reader, I don't know if I have the strength to do that.  

I have many friends who hold many different religious beliefs (including muslims, for which I'm sure the GOP will investigate me if Trump gets elected.)  I respect all of their beliefs.  I have my own, which are very personal to me.  As such, I rarely discuss them.  I just say I'm Christian, and leave it there.

One thing I feel EXTREMELY strongly about is how many on the right wing cloak their hatred in religion.  They call themselves good Christians and good people, then spew hatred at everyone who isn't EXACTLY like them.  

The woman today mentioned that "God sees into your heart."  People like her often say "God doesn't make mistakes."  Well, guess what, chick... God made me TRANS.  And she made me this way to test the faith of people like YOU and YOU have been found Wanting!  Yes, God "sees your heart" and sees HATE which you hide by excusing it with religion!

And I'd love to shout this in her sanctimonious, smiling face and watch her reaction.


I need this job.  

The book store has supported me 100% when MANY other employers would not have done so.  I seriously doubt that I'd be able to find other work, especially with a company which supports my transition so well.

So what will I do when she comes in again to see if I watched the DVD (which she will)?  

Will I Cry HAVOC and let slip the dogs of war?  Read her the riot act?

I really hope that I have the strength to walk away, and let management handle it.  After all, my job depends on it.  I had the strength to live after Lisa died.  I had the strength to be True to myself.  Do I have the strength to not strike back?  Was it not Shakespeare who once wrote "Wrong us, shall we not revenge?"

Stay tuned.  This isn't over- not by a long shot.

Be well.

Neener neener poopy head!



  1. Sophie -

    We know the chain, and you have been more than fair about describing how they have treated you. They as an organization should be glad to have a person of your integrity working for them. You would not be surrendering your integrity or hurting your company to say "excuse me, I have to see my manager for a sec" (who you can claim is waiving you over) in the middle of what's going on - and then let the manager handle this religious customer.

    If I were the manager, I'd come over and ask - why do you feel that you need to single out this employee for this kind of "gift"? Once she mentioned that you are TG (whatever words she'd use), I'd note that it is an intersex condition, something your company does not consider for purposes of your employment, and is none of the customer's business. Then I'd say that it is rude of her to proselytize for her faith inside the store, and politely ask her to stop.....

    So don't be afraid to assert your rights politely. I believe that your management will support you.....


  2. Stay strong, girl. You handled it well, as you will the next time she drops by. She's ignorant and brainwashed. You need the job. Just play along.

    By the way, I've been to the vineyard. One of the better California Cab's.

    Calie x

  3. Next time you see this woman I htink you should give her a present. How about a copy of Jenny Boylan's "She's Not There" or Helen Boyd's "My Husband Betty" or Janet Mock's "Redefining Realness"? That woman needs to open her eyes and heart to what is happening around her, instead of relying on ancient out of date social mores and bible passages.

    I think you have shown a lot of restraint already. This misguided soul may indeed need a verbal lashing at the least. But it would probably be lost on her. She has been brainwashed to believe what men, with human agendas, have written in ancient texts. I'd say try to throw love back in her face. (And a few choice texts.)

    I really admire and envy your company's attitudes and policies towards their working people. It shows caring, intelligence and understanding of the human condition that only now other corporations are adopting. Perhaps the companies I am hired by have progressive policies too, but as a "temporary hire" I can't rely on them to back me. At times I'd like to complain at work, but I have no one to turn to except myself.

    I'm a spiritual person, but not a fan of organized religion. I grew up in the Christian tradition of going to church on Sunday and much of my morality I developed from those teachings. I believe that trans people and being trans is a gift. What this "religious" woman doesn't understand is that God wants us to share our gifts. All of them.

    To quote the Bard: "To thine own self be true."


    1. Nessa -

      Great choices.... Maybe we can get Jenny, Helen, and Janet to supply a few books for cases like this?


  4. Love and hugs to you! Just wanted to say hang in there. As a fellow employee of the same chain I daily wonder at the behavior of many customers. Sundays are always brutal, as are holidays. Today was brutal, but not close to the level of brutality you experienced. I am so glad to hear of the support of local management and corporate. Book people are good people!

  5. This may sound odd, but.......
    Try to empathize with this woman, clearly she was nervous about what she was doing, and had to work up the courage to do something that she realized could upset you. She may well have noticed you and her heart went out to you and she wanted to help, but simply doesn't understand us or how harmful the type of help that was offered can be. She tried to help "in love" can you respond in love?

    In Romans 12:20 Paul quotes Proverbs
    "If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    If he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
    In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head"

    Or to paraphrase, if some one is nasty to you, be nice to them, it'll really screw with their mind!

    1. Wow Paula. I was really thinking the same thing. "Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage not weakness." It is possible this woman really thinks she is helping. But either way say "thanks but its not for me" and just move forward.

  6. You go, girl. And I certainly agree that your line is the correct one. If you believe in God, you better believe that God made me trans. And I'm not complaining about it, and wouldn't want to change it.

  7. What you will do my friend, is smile, wave her forward, and do your job like the professional that you are. :-)

  8. Sophie -

    Contacting a manager is the best thing, as you shouldn't have to put up with this lady. Someone else, a cisgender person preferably, could say what you can not - that it is none of her business regarding your gender and presentation. They can say that THEY are offended by the lady promoting her religion to a woman who can not politely say "no thank you - please do not make me feel uncomfortable with my body" because of the workplace setting.

    If I were your boss, I'd give this woman a piece of MY mind, saying that she is harassing you, and that she can take her business elsewhere. As a boss, I have both the welfare of my firm AND of my employees to be concerned with.