Watching Transsexual Summer, last night, on C4, made me wince. First, there was the shudder, as i felt so, so sorry for Drew, persuaded to get out there and apply for a job, finding herself face to face with a couple of women who, despite their initially sympathetic demeanour, harboured a fair bit of transphobia underneath.
A job interview at a bridal wear shop, where it was clear that Drew’s attitude and her expertise with make-up were real assets: then the slow crumbling. A discussion by the interviewers about whether they could “spot” Drew as trans: a totally rude comment by one about how it was the adam’s apple that was the giveaway.
The on the spot musing about whether the boutiques customers would be happy with Drew, given that they wanted to live the fairy tale when it came to their weddings – and the implied slur that there are no trans persons in fairy tales.
Oh, REALLY? Outside of Disney, Fairy tales are amongst the bleakest, bawdiest, darkest story types in the world: from Cinderella’s stepsisters having their eyes pecked out by birds, to Sleeping Beauty being raped (in some versions, by her father) while sleeping.
Somehow, i don’t think that is the sort of story that most of their brides want to dream about. Still. The point was well and truly made.
In the aftermath, many in the trans community are discussing whether the law is likely to be any help in such circs. And it would appear that the shop in question has taken down both its Facebook and Twitter presences for the time being. They are likely to regret having gone on TV.
But this is about Drew…and how, once upon a time, i was in much the same place. As, i think, many, many trans men and women are as well.
We are so used to people ssexualising what we do that we end up apologising for being us: accepting (and internalising) the projected fears of those around. I posted, a year or more back, my experience in John Lewis, where i was directed to a separate changing room.
No prejudice. No, ma’am. Just that it was “difficult” (code for: my presence was difficult), and some customers muight find it hard to accept.
Or issues around other changing rooms, where i have, in the past, wondered whether to point out how little a threat i am to kids on account of the massive amounts of feminising (and after the first few months, neutering) hormones coursing thru my veins.
Yes: that ever-present impulse to be the “good girl”. To take on other people’s fears and make them your own.
But no more. I am me: i’m a woman, as i have been most of my life. If anyone has evidence of me peering under curtains, interfering with other changing room wearers or anything of that ilk, let them bring it…and i would agree that they are right to do so.
But otherwise, they can get stuffed. Or as i couned in my “stages of transition” tweet last night:
Stage 1 – internalise and collaborate with cis prejudice
Stage 2 – realise you’re a person too and the bigots can go fuck themselves.
Have a nice day, folks. 🙂