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an awkward moment

Solange is a security guard at my local mall and whenever she sees me having a coffee or a small bite she will sit down next to me and we chat. For the record we are close to the same age.

There is an unusual brother and sister tandem that regularly frequents this same mall and he is either in process of transition or dresses full time. He is probably well into his sixties, is burly and not at all passable. Solange pointed him out to me once as if I hadn’t noticed before which of course I had.

This week we were chatting briefly and they were sitting not far from us. The sister (who seems to know Solange quite well) suddenly came over and started talking with Solange. At one point she asked me straight up if I was a transsexual promoting Solange to wince and ask her why she had said that because she does not know that I am transgender.

I told this inquisitive lady that I was a woman because she was odd and I wanted her to leave and she did go away happy but I missed a chance to do outreach with Solange because we have a couple of years of history where she thinks I am female. I admit that I was caught off guard and the woman’s bluntness plus Solange’s reaction were not conducive to me doing some back pedaling.

Comments

  1. Since you see Solange occasionally and have a friendly rapport with her it sounds like she would well understand your shock at the sister's lack of tact and common decency. I'd say your reaction is common for all of us in any situation like that, transgender or not. In fact, that common feeling might be a way to establish a bridge of feelings with Solange which might make her that much more open to hearing about you.

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  2. I agree with Emma. Solange's reaction and immediate defensive stance was wonderful, no matter what she knows at this point. It seems understandable that you were feeling awkward and did not want to let your friend down.
    If you think she will eventually find out your trans status then you might want to consider how to let her in on the secret and thank her at the same time. The chance to do outreach hasn't been lost; it has been postponed.

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  3. I thank you both for your input and yes it has indeed been postponed rather than lost. I felt caught like a deer in the headlights and reacted instinctively. There will be a better time down the road no doubt. ?..

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