Today, I bought something at a convenience store. Behind the counter were two gentlemen. The one at the cash register seemed friendly enough. The other gentleman was very quiet. The T-shirt he wore had the word “Marines” across the chest.
I like the Marine Corps for many reasons, but I suspect that I like them more than they like me, what with me being a transgender girl and all. Transgender girls and gays don’t rate high in stereotypical Marine sub-culture as I understand it. So, all things being equal, when I meet a Marine or a former Marine, I’m respectful yet wary.
“Nice purse,” the gentleman said.
Here we go, I thought. I explained that I’m a mix of male and female parts, that I’ve tried to live as a male and that didn’t work very well, and so now I …
“No, I mean, that’s a nice purse. I used to sell purses.”
Oh. He wasn’t being snarky. When he said “nice purse” what he really meant was “nice purse.”
We had a positive conversation about the care and repair of Liz brand purses, and I felt sheepish about how I’d misinterpreted his initial comment. This gentleman was much nicer than I’d presumed. It was a nice surprise.