I live in a small rednecky-seeming town in northern Nevada, and you might think that me openly being a t-girl here would be about as unpopular as burning the American flag or a Hillary bumper sticker.
I assumed that’d be the case, that, and as part of coming out, I was already making arrangements to move to Las Vegas. And then a funny thing happened after I came out — nothing.
The people in my life locally, including some very hardcore, tattooed, hairy-chested, no-nonsense, type A personality males who just about radiate testosterone … ended up being ultra-super nice to me. Instead of shunning me or being mean to me, they started treating me like I was their little sister. There’s no sexual spark with any of them, it’s just plain, wonderful, asexual benevolence. As far as I can tell, anyway.
The hardware store, the auto parts stores, the computer fix-it store, the auto repair shop, the locksmith, the fire station, the police station … all male-dominated cultures and they all seem to be extra-super-nice to me, whether they knew me before I came out as t-girl or not — and most did.
I recently bought an old Jeep, for one of my projects, and it has four flat tires. So, I need the tires removed, no more than two wheels at a time, because I have two jacks and two wheels holding up the jeep now. The wheels are rusted so I just need the old tires removed and thrown away. Then I’ll de-rust the steel wheels, paint them and bring them back to have tires fitted. I’ve already bought some used tires for that too.
There is, of course, a charge for removing the tires and there’s also a tire disposal fee. That’s fine with me. So, one fine day, looking resplendently female, having recently had my hair done, and wearing a pretty pink top and purple dress, I showed up at the auto repair place whom I’ve done business with for years, before and after I came out openly as the girl I am. I know everyone there, at the upper levels of the business. That includes the service manager who helped me that day.
A customer was just wrapping up a transaction.”Will you be leaving the car here, then?” the service manager asked. “Yes, but I need a ride back to work,” said the lady, grumpily, frowning. The service manager nodded, as in “I’ll take you” but then he looked at me, smiled and asked how he could help me. After I explained, he said “let me quickly take care of this right now so you don’t have to make a second trip to come back and get them.” Not that this would have been much of an inconvenience, since it’s a tiny town, but wow, how nice. Meanwhile the grumpy customer waited, looking even more grumpy now.
Long ago, when I was in pretend-to-be-a-guy mode I’d haul the stuff out of my car and bring it in. No more of that. I just stood around feeling pretty while he put on some gloves and got the wheels and tires out of my car for me. He removed each tire from its wheel and then took the wheels back to my car. I was already rummaging for my credit card, and I asked him how much it’d cost, though I had a pretty good idea it’d cost around twelve dollars. “Nah, don’t worry about it,” he smiled. No charge.
Wow. Life is good. Yay for small-town America … this one, anyway.