So, had a lovely night out with one of my oldest friends last night. As relaxed as it gets, in the way you only really get to do with folk who actually know you. Warts and all.
And then a random entered my night. No disrespect to her but a drunken “You’re the best transvestite I’ve ever seen” was not as affirming as she intended it to be. Nor was it as offensive as it could have been, had I allowed it to be .
She was not actually trying to offend me at all. It was, to her, a compliment. And I chose to take it as one. And then I chose to take the opportunity for education. Because that’s more useful than pointless indignation. And this is a constant in my life.
She hadn’t even guessed initially. Which is progress for me. And she wasn’t out to hurt me. So that called for some good grace. And overall, our exchange turned out pretty positive.
I enjoy straightforward questions. I enjoy explaining the difference between transvestite and transgender. And I really enjoy being more devastatingly normal than they ever expected. Because that’s where the barriers are broken.
Tomorrow, when she tells her friends about it, I won’t be a negative experience. Because she has a better idea about what I am. Which is not what she is. But we found our common ground.
These are always the exchanges I enjoy. I’m hugely confident in approaching them. Because teaching people how small a deal my being transgender is, moves things forward. And one day, it won’t even matter.