So I encountered something the other day and again today that I found left a massive sour taste in my mouth and disdain sitting like a pit in my stomach. Something that I didn’t think would bother me or even come up. But constantly reminds me I’m not safe, nor is my identity and neither is my comfort.
I’m a vaper. I’ve been smoke free since June of last year and have strictly been using electronic vapors since I quit. There was a vapor store that opened up a town over from us last year that we fell in love with because it was a free range style and not just a specific rip off brand store. We shopped there monthly for our components and items we needed and even our mods we use now. The owner is to what we thought, a nice lady. She’d always been friendly, helpful and so on up until a couple days ago.
I was visiting the store because I had just bought a new Aspire mod and tank and was in need of a battery for it. (I went home the Saturday with it thinking I had extra batteries already and discovered I didn’t) So while visiting and getting a battery and even some more juice I was speaking with a younger women there who was really great to chat with and her boyfriend was also there along with the owner. We were all chatting happily after I had purchased my items and was fiddling with them and the man referred to me as a male and the owner piped up and tried to correct him with female pronouns as to which I re-corrected her immediately. I was firm but polite and she dropped off on the conversation right then and there and failed to speak to me again until I was leaving.
Now mind you, this women met me before transition so she knows. But I’m literally passing 100% now. Everyone I have met as of the past 2 months has addressed me as a male. So her to do this was out of the blue and pretty much either confused the couple that was there(the girl works there) and or just outed me to them.
After that day I left feeling a bit miffed but thought not much else on it. Today I went to another battery store because I needed to purchase an additional battery for the mod. Sadly when I got home it wasn’t the correct one so I sent my husband up to the vape store again to buy the additional one for me since I didn’t want to encounter the owner after Tuesday’s incident.
He comes home with battery in hand and scowls at me and goes, she did it again. I ask him to reiterate and he said, “While I was checking out, she said,”Does she like the new mod?” and I corrected her, and said he and she gave me a look that she was mad I did that”
So upon hearing this I’ve decided we just won’t be returning to that store ever again. After being possibly outed and now blatantly misgendered on purpose, I have no recourse to think I should be welcomed back, not be giving my money to a transphobic store.
What I’m really peeved about is the fact that this is how she’s choosing to run her business. A business that has nothing to do with my gender or sexuality. It shouldn’t even be an issue! What’s more important? Making sales and money and happy customers or being an asshole? It’s fairly simple to me. I don’t understand why it’s so damn hard for everyone else. You want my money, than treat me like a human being and respect my personal space choices. If it makes you so uncomfortable me just being there handing you my hard earned money than tell me, but don’t sit there and use harmful tactics to express your dislike of me.
I will never understand why some people hold onto traditional genders like it’s their only anchor in life that keeps their lives straight and correct.
And some people might groan at me and go, “But Hex, it’s just a pronoun! Who cares?!”
I’ll tell you exactly who in the worst case scenario and I’m using this scenario because it has happened to people before and it will happen again.
Say I was at an event of some sort away from my husband or friends I’m with, say getting drinks. And someone who used to know me before my transition comes up and starts chatting to me. And maybe a few or more people are near us and over hear. And this old friend is transphobic and just completely sees right through me even though I look just like a cismale and starts just jabbering female terms towards me ect. And one of the people near me over hears us and for whatever reason, understands and it peaks their interest.
I depart ways with the rude friend and start to head back in this crowd and said stranger walks up and well.. you can guess what could happen next. Just think if cispeople are targeted so much for rape, guess what a “bucket list” wouldn’t be complete without?
So yes, I care. A lot of transpersons who portray themselves to the general public as stealth care and they do it for safety reasons. I sure as heck know I don’t want to be raped. And especially because some moron didn’t agree with me switching genders.
Swinging back to the original rant, say this owner outed me and something similar like this happened? It’s dangerous people. You are putting people in harms way when you start slinging the wrong pronouns around especially in a public place. So if you ever catch someone doing this crap, smack them with a newspaper. They deserve it and deserve a stern lecture on top of it.