Yesterday I was at a major chain coffee shop located in a grocery store. There was a striking human being that served me as the cashier and barista. I write human being as I’m not exactly sure how to refer to them without potentially providing an insult, so it is no way meant as a slur.
The individual appeared genetically as a male (or, could be intersex), and if they were on a trans journey, it was only at the very beginning (no hormones, no surgery). Their body and face are decidedly masculine. This individual had the most amazing makeup! I mean, girlfriend, you need to take lessons from this person because, WOW. It was striking. It was amazing. As an avid photographer one of my first thoughts was, “I would love 60 to 90 minutes in the studio with you,” and my next thought was, “I wonder if they could teach me to put on makeup for my livecasts,” and my third thought was, “wow that must take a lot of time.”
People that know me know that I am 100% comfortable in my sexuality. I freely admit I’ve been hit on my two men in my life, and both times I was flattered. I made it politely clear that I was hopelessly heterosexual, but I was flattered. It has never been an issue, and I believe that for people where it is a serious issue, criminology and science indicates a lot of people who do take issue have repressed feelings (not all, but the science is pretty darn solid). I go back to the point of the individual and human being as my typical thank you for great service, and I got great service is something on the lines of, “thank you sir/ma’am, and have a great rest of your day!”
Ahhh, but do I say sir, or ma’am, or cis, or gender fluid, or individual. Has this been a slight in the past to sir or ma’am – as I was raised to do? So instead I modified my thank you to, “thank you, thank you and have a great rest of your day,” with a broad smile.
Now to part two of this story. From a genealogy standpoint, I’m an Italian-Jew and Hungarian. Italians and Jews have a lot in common. We both love deli meats, we both have hair growing everywhere, we both are into big families with some degree of dysfunction, we are both religious, we both love food and will insist you continue to eat even after you cannot eat anymore, and we are both loud. I admit it; I’m loud. Now to the punch line.
The other thing about myself (sorry this is a lot about me today) is my radar for threats and danger around me is pretty weak. Not so weak as I’ve gotten myself in serious trouble, but weak enough that I’m aware, when my radar goes off, be very alert. As I say these words, my radar goes, “dude, yellow alert!”
I see two people; both are of my generation; they are not together. One is an Asian woman, she is looking at me disapprovingly, and I watch to see she is avoiding any eye contact with me or the barista. The other is a man sitting at a table; he is glaring at me. I am suddenly in a spot of wait, is what I think is going on going on? I’m not drunk or rowdy loud, but someone would hear my thanks and well wishes. Was I not supposed to show some common courtesy to this individual who makes my coffee quickly and with a smile?
I could feel the eyes of this man burning into my back, which is what set my radar off. I turn and look, and I’m glared at. We’re talking if looks could kill, people would be a pile of Drogon created ash on the floor. I would be found clutching the charred remains of my white Starbucks cup.
Why is this an issue? What does it matter? If a person is happy not living with gender assignment how does that hurt – anyone? If I show respect to someone who has the bravery to paint outside the lines for good service, why should that be an issue? I don’t think I was that loud as I needed the coffee as a pick me up at that moment. Why is this such an issue? What exactly am I missing? If the argument is, “this just isn’t right,” it just isn’t right in what way? In a way that it makes someone feel – uncomfortable? Does it matter to me what this person does in the privacy of a bedroom with one or more consenting adults? I could care less! Bring out the gimp suit, the power tools, a peanut butter and Vaseline sandwiches, and let your freak flag fly while you swing from the shower curtain rod. If that’s you’re thing – you go. You want to wear makeup that would make Taylor Swift say, “teach me all you know,” and it makes you happy – then do it. If you have a problem with that, keep it to your feckin’ self.
Anyway, think about it.