buckle in…. this is a longer post.
Last week I received two very obvious acts of aggression towards being transgender. One was a macro aggression, where someone attacked me verbally (and was going towards physical) and the next day the most obvious type of micro aggression. The sad fact is, the micro aggressions bother me more.
Let’s start with last Monday. We had been stuck in the house for a couple of weeks and I wanted to get out for a few minutes. My husband was at work and while he was there I decided to go around the surrounding few blocks for a walk. I was feeling pretty good about how I looked, and while I was wearing a coat over my outfit, it felt definitely legit.
I can confirm that others thought I wasn’t looking too bad, mainly from a couple of assholes in a car that drove by me as they were getting ready to pull into 7-11. They were shouting something about my tits I think, but mostly it was just howling and “wait for us baby”.
I ignored it, but I will admit that in a bad way it made me feel good. Not the complete objectification of women that it showed, but rather that when they glanced at me they assumed I was a woman. The problem is, it didn’t end there.
They swung around and pulled over. This is actually a first for me. I have had incidents where I have gotten followed walking down the street by other walkers, and cornered in stores by guys, this is the first time a car pulled over though.
One guy was leaning out saying something. I still had headphones on so I couldn’t make out exactly what he was saying. I did immediately notice the driver though look at me a couple of times, and this is where I knew he clocked me. He leaned over to his buddy and punched him in the shoulder and hip a couple of times and they talked for a moment and then the whole demeanor changed. Both guys started yelling trans slurs (won’t repeat it here for trigger concerns for others). They also mentioned they were going to kick my … ass.
It was weird, I hesitated for a moment. My first instinct is to walk up to them and engage. I grew up with a rough biker background and in general my first reaction is to move into the fight. Lately though I realized how much I worried my husband I might get hurt, and the fact I have lost about 3/4 of my strength I used to have with the loss of testosterone.
The last thing I wanted to do was have to call my husband and say I was in jail, or honestly call from the hospital. I don’t know if I could take two guys now (I probably couldn’t) and I don’t want him to be freaked out. So for the first time in memory (I think in my life) I walked away from people threatening me. I just flipped them off as I walked away (I couldn’t stop that behavior, at least not yet).
When it was over and I was home I was upset, angry but it was ok in the end. The hubby came home, consoled me and I felt better.
The next day though was much worse, if a lot less dramatic. I dressed up, put makeup on, etc. just to go to the store. The hubby was working hard at his computer and I was on a break so I ran up to get some bread and pop.
Everything in the store was going great. I now tend to get looked at by guys (and some girls), especially my 38H breasts. It definitely feeds my need for affirmation that I look like a girl. I end up in a more passable format now then I used to (not that it matters, all women are women, not just the ones that pass).
The only time I get pretty much get clocked without any hesitation is when I talk. I haven’t worked with my voice yet, too many surgeries ongoing and honestly I don’t have the spoons. Nor am I sure I can get my voice where I want to go, so I am saving up emotionally for that herculean chore.
I got in line with “Tricia”. She was a checker who wouldn’t look at me directly. She is also one of the new checkers at our local Safeway who came over from another Safeway that closed a couple miles away.
The original crew at Safeway actually have all been super supportive of me. Long before I looked anything but a feminine acting guy when I started all the way up to now. I have had negative interactions with the new staff from the store that closed that got transferred. I am not sure what the difference is, but that is the most obvious difference for me.
We went through the transaction and everything seemed pretty cool. We were chatting, I tried to joke around with her a little, but I didn’t get a lot of response. That is fine, I make some people uncomfortable, and while that shouldn’t be my problem I try to minimize it.
That is when she gave me the reciept and looked straight at me and said “Thank you Sir, have a good day sir.” At least I think she said it twice, but I can’t be 100% sure because after her looking directly at me and saying sir the first time, everything sort of slowed down.
I hesitated and I wasn’t sure what to do. There was a line behind me, she was watching me with almost a smirk and I all of a sudden didn’t want to cause a scene, I just wanted to run away. I hesitated for slightly too long and then felt I couldn’t say anything without being the “crazy trans girl”.
I stepped away, bought lotto tickets at the customer service (you have to buy them at a separate aisle) and all I could think to myself is to not cry. I think the woman at the customer service desk knew I was upset, she was kind to me, complimented me on my outfit and makeup (she has always been pretty cool).
As I walked away I looked back at Tricia and she was watching me with a smile. I was so fucking angry at that point, but I had waited too long and to go back up there and lose my shit wouldn’t have been the right timing.
I got back in my car, drove home and told my husband about it. He was pretty angry and supportive of me. I didn’t know how to really talk about it though, or how to think about it. I have gotten my ass beaten by five people and never once cried because of it, but I had to pinch myself not to cry because some low life checker named Karen called me sir.
It turns out that the macro aggressions don’t bother me as much as the micro. It could also be that for whatever reason when women say or do shitty things to me it bothers me more. That could be my whole adult life I took what women said more seriously, or maybe it was just the anxiety of not being accepted by cisgender women.
Last week sucked, and I have meant to write about this since but that pushed out any creative outlet for almost a week (I was having problems with the stress about upcoming surgeries anyways).
I am just glad I have a loving husband, who has the added experience of having been a woman for 40+ years before he transitioned. When I had questions about the guys in the car, he had some answers and when I talked about the micro aggressions he was able to identify with it since he went through the same before he became 100% passable.
I just thought I would share that.
4 thoughts on “Macro and Micro in Action”
I’m sorry those things happened to you. Your feelings were valid and although I may not fully understand how you felt , I know how uncomfortable micro agressions can be. In my case, mostly it’s connected to being a brown Indonesian woman who’s dating a white man. In my own country, I’m still the target. Ha. But having supportive partner and friends does help. Stay safe, you two! 🙂
You are so sweet, thank you. I didn’t realize there was a lot of pushback for you dating little brother. Please stay safe, you are such a cool person and only deserve to be happy.
Aww..Thank you. Yeah.. It’s because of the stereotypes around Indonesian brown women who are dating white men..like some people see us as gold diggers, or lazy, or stupid, or that we wanna “fix” our offspring’s skin color..we want them to have fairer skin tone, thus we need sperm from white men LOL.
There was one time when Sean and I were walking in this area after we had a lovely dinner, we’re holding hands, and I can hear a bunch of strangers behind us talking loud in Indonesia..something like..”I think she’s an arrogant slut, she thinks she’s too good for Indonesian men that’s why she loves sucking white cock”. There’s no other brown woman with a white man around us so I was sure they were talking about me and they wanted me to hear it. But I just kept walking and ignoring them..I didn’t even tell Sean about it right away (told him months later haha) because I just wanted to enjoy our date night..
I am so sorry about that. That is fucking horrible. I don’t understand that, but I have seen it happen with our friend Weylin whose father was black and mother was white. Weirdly enough we all saw it but he didn’t until he was older.
It was the same thing though, people would make comments about his girlfriends (they were always white). The weird part is when I saw him get some flack from other blacks about a white girlfriend too. The worst part is when a cop would stop him and his GF walking down the street to ask the GF if she was ok.
The whole idea that there is a difference based on melanin and where you live just galls me. You however are a rock and a badass. You don’t deserve that!