I was sitting in Panera, minding my own business.
Two women (probably in their 60s) sat at the table next to me. I wasn’t paying much attention to them. I was updating my Facebook status, when I heard one of them say transgenders, then it seemed like I couldn’t not hear them.
One of them said she didn’t want transgenders next to her daughter. Then one or the other of them started referencing scripture.
This transgender stuff, one said. What about US that have to LIVE with that? What about us that have to look at that? I’m not sure what exactly she thought she was having to look at. Did she mean the genitals of transgender folks? Why in the world would this woman be looking at the genitals of any stranger? She may not realize this, but if she is going through the world trying to look at the genitals of strangers, she is behaving inappropriately.
I don’t want to SEE that! one said. Then why, I wonder, is she craning her neck to see what’s going on in a restroom stall she’s not occupying? I don’t know where she’s been peeing, but every restroom I’ve been in since elementary school has had three walls and a door. Outside of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, I’ve never once in my (sometimes wild) life accidentally seen a stranger’s genitals. Where is this woman hanging out that genitals are just being waved in her face? And can we assume she doesn’t mind seeing the genitals of cisgender folks?
Then the women started talking about choice, something along the lines of Now that they’ve made this choice, and I just couldn’t listen anymore. I was going to lose my shit, but I didn’t know what to say to these women or how to talk to them in a way they might understand. (And please note, this all happened in California, not North Carolina.)
So I hit play on whatever Insane Clown Posse song was up on Youtube (I’d been doing research, folks…I may be many things, but I am not a
Juggalo Juggalette.) I quickly decided that wasn’t really what I wanted to hear and typed in The Coup. (To learn more about The Coup, read the post I wrote about their song “Ride the Fence” here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/12/15/ride-the-fence/.) When the video for “5 Million Ways to Kill a C.E.O.” (which I’d never seen) came up, I shoved in my earbuds and gave it a listen. Oh, the blessed sanity of class struggle.
I share the video with you today, in the event you have to block out unpalatable noise while minding your own business.
After the woman left and I was researching for this post, I found a Trans 101 page on the Sylvia Rivera Law Project website (http://srlp.org/resources/trans-101/). I wish I’d had a printed copy to hand to those women. I wonder if it would have made any difference.