Like any other human being in this world, we sleep, we wake up, we breathe, we make a living, we have fun, we fall in love, we cry when get hurt, we bleed, we also simply EXIST. The only difference is that, for most transgender women, everyday seems to be a battle. A battle that makes us question ourselves “are we wrong for being like this?” , “Is it bad to live life this way?”, “Is my existence a mistake?”.
You just had your morning coffee, showered, got all made up, feeling so good about yourself, ready to make a living. It’s a nice day, you’re off to work and on your way, you get to pass by a group of men calling you names and asking for some indecent favors. Moments like this just tear us up inside.
Don’t you just wish you had a gun and have them shot in the head? But no, we end up ignoring them. Your day’s ruined, earphones on and just continued walking as if the heckling didn’t happen. It’s quite saddening that most people who do this don’t even realize the emotional trauma it brings to us. The words thrown at us are like bullets and knives leaving us with holes all over our BLEEDING EGO.
Use of public toilets
Most people in the country don’t understand the complexity of gender identity. When a transgender woman goes to women’s bathroom, some women frankly ask her “why would you be here?”. Or worse , they’d ask her to get out as if the place was something they own. Some women have to understand that transgender women are women too. Transgender women, regardless if pre-op, post-op or non-op, should use the bathroom that MATCHES WHO THEY ARE. In addition, questioning a transgender woman if she had undergone surgery is none of anyone’s business and should never be a prerequisite in using the ladies’ room.
Somehow, it’s refreshing to see that there are establishments that now have unisex bathrooms which give access to anybody who needs to answer the call of nature. Yet, it’s heartbreaking that there are some, considering that the LGBTQ community is socially recognized and celebrated here, still think that there’s only black and white in using public toilets.
“Thank you, Sir”
Most transgender women love to shop, to go out and have fun, to meet friends for coffee or dinner. When they pay the bill for the food or the service they got, they’re thanked by being told “thank you, sir”. I couldn’t blame these people who are just simply doing their jobs for not knowing how it feels for a transgender woman to be called a “sir”. It just hurts inside, to think that you’ve undergone a lot of surgeries (for post-op transgender women), endured all the physical and psychological changes your body went through from taking hormones, clothed yourself with a very nice dress and a classy pair of pumps, and all made up yet to them, YOU. ARE. STILL. A. SIR.
Among the many problems we deal with everyday, this may seem to be the least painful. Whenever I encounter such, I would just normally smile back and say “It’s ma’am”.
I believe that these people who bring us these challenges, deliberately or not, need 3 things. AWARENESS, EDUCATION and SENSITIVITY. The only way for them to change is to make them fully aware how these things affect us, substantially educate them with the understanding that this is who we are and this is how it goes for us, and constantly remind them it wouldn’t hurt to be human in dealing with a transgender person – NEVER!
It’s already 2017. I hope that the society’s undesirable attitude towards being transgender changes eventually. It would be nice to wake up one day and see that the nasty catcalling has stopped, that we are addressed as “ma’am” or “miss”, and that we are freely able to access the women’s restroom when we need to pee.