I’ve just returned from another wonderful visit to Las Vegas, NV, my favorite place to visit. Above is a picture of me, windblown and happy.
In my personal and professional life, I’m surrounded by wonderful people who are nice to me, and they were also nice to me before I came out as a t-girl. That is wonderful but it’s probably mainly due to them knowing me and when it turned out that, surprise, I’ve always been basically a girl, then hey, whatever, I’m still the same person, just happier and healthier. So, as wonderful as these people all are, they’re not good data points for being just generally t-girl friendly. Maybe they are, maybe they’re not, but my personal involvement skews the objectivity of my observations.
Even in Las Vegas, that’s starting to happen. Due to my frequent visits, many people recognize me and seem genuinely happy to see me. Maybe it’s due to me being bubbly and happy. Or maybe I’m trying to genuinely be nice to nice people, and I’m succeeding, and they remember me. That’s wonderful too, but that makes it hard to categorize such people for purpose of today’s analysis.
Just a quick reality check: I look like a mix of boy and girl parts. I AM a mix of boy and girl parts. Much as I try to emphasize the part of my looks that matches my sense of identity based on my female brain structure, I cannot undo the effects that testosterone had on my skeleton during puberty. I’m tall, my hands and feet are large, and I have a male-shaped facial structure. That’s not erased by having large boobs, pink sparkly nails, well-shaped eyebrows, and long, blonde hair. It just emphasizes that, yes, this particular person has elements of both genders. In other words, clearly, I’m a t-girl. Unless you have a white cane, then you can see that. So be it.
Nowadays, the only strangers who have been mean to me in a long time were surly asshole male teenagers mainly when they were with their buddies and on days when I admittedly looked particularly hot and friendly. I probably triggered their homophobia and that doesn’t make them a good fit for the purpose of today’s analysis, either.
I wasn’t “out” as a t-girl ten years ago, but had I been, I suspect many people in general culture might have been mean to me. And now, wow, it is the exact opposite. Granted, I’m cheerful and positive, and maybe people are responding to that. But that only goes so far. And wherever I go, strangers — especially other females — are really, really, wonderfully nice to me. And not just females, either.
Yesterday I was in a very humble junkyard in the most-humble part of Las Vegas, and there were a great many Hispanic guys around, normally the stereotypes for being not-so-open-minded. And several of them were SUPER-nice to me and nobody was mean. I’d bought more stuff than I could manage, so as the place was closing and the sun was setting, I was still far away from the cashier and exit gate.
I was struggling.I was trying to carry my tools, a transmission control computer, a jack, and many other small items — while also trying to coax a wheel-and-tire along. The latter was unbalanced to one side, so kicking it made it run in a spiral, not a straight line. I was exhausted and starting to feel very sorry for myself.
One Hispanic gentleman walked past and looked at me. I was wearing my long, flowing colorful skirt, high-heeled boots and so on, so I was clearly not a guy. Yet, he addressed me as “man” and asked if I needed help, and said some encouraging things. So, okay, clearly he didn’t get the memo that a t-girl is basically female, not male, but he was still being darn nice to the t-girl. And after I panted out that yes, please, I do need help, he helped — a lot. From there, all the way to the cashier’s cage, the gentleman wrangled the wheel-and-tire along for me, and I just needed to focus on the rest. It was a very, very nice thing for him to have done.
The cashier was another Hispanic gentleman. At a junkyard it’s a gray area as to what’s what, and what’s included vs. not, and so the cashier has much discretion. This particular cashier was so nice to me that he veered far on the sake of including things without charging me. He did it to the extent that, a few minutes later, as I was trying to leave, the security lady at the gate (nicely) explained to me that she could not reconcile the few items on my receipt to the large amount of parts I was claiming to be mine. Back she went to the cashier, and he insisted that all the not-charged-for parts were legitimately included. And when I compare how she acted towards me vs. the other customers, I’m sure that the security lady at the gate was also extra super-nice to me.
Next, I went to the Venetian for an informal dinner, and in the elevator was another lady who clearly went out of her way to be super-nice to me too.
I love that.
I don’t know if strangers are being nice to because they’re purely responding to how cheerful I am, and that overrides everything else. Certainly I wasn’t very cheerful in the first example, above.
Maybe they feel sorry for me because (thanks to Laverne Cox, Caitlyn Jenner and many others) more people in general culture are now aware of how much of an uphill battle t-girls tend to have in life.
I have mixed feelings about people’s reasons but for now I’m going to analyze less and enjoy more — enjoy the wonderful benevolence that surrounds me.
I wake up every morning with a delight in being alive, and part of the reason is how nice people are to me.