Yay for IHOP, too!

I just sent the following to the corporate office of International House of Pancakes a.k.a. IHOP.

In case you, as the reader of this blog, aren’t familiar with Hispanic culture in the US: the first name of “Jesus” is a pretty common first name for males, and it’s pronounced “heysoos.”

* * *

I enjoy having client business lunches at IHOP for my software business. Today I had another such meeting.

I’m transgender (girl brain, mix of male and female face and body). Some think I look female and some think I look male, it’s sort of a toss-up. My driver’s license says “female” but I understand it’s confusing.

Our server today was Jesus. He was efficient and very polite and friendly, but he guessed (reasonably, but incorrectly) that I’m a guy. He called me Sir and meant it, clearly, in a nice way.

I nicely showed him my driver’s license with “F” as the gender, and explained that I’m part guy and part girl, but I’m basically a girl and if he calls me “Sir” it kind of freaks me out.

He dealt with this perfectly and remained as friendly as ever or was even so. And, he didn’t call me “Sir” again. I really appreciate this. I love being able to speak candidly and not having it be resented.

So, please tell Jesus “thank you.” His manager was also super-nice even though, I understand, I look unusual.

The cleanliness, food and value were (as always) wonderful.

I love IHOP. When I make a road trip, it often goes from IHOP to IHOP (not that that’s the purpose, but it’s nice to eat at a place I can trust). My last road trip was from Reno, NV to Little Rock, AR and I stopped by an IHOP in Las Vegas, another one in New Mexico and another one in Little Rock, AR.

Thank you for doing a great job.

Yay for the Arkansas State Police (Yes, Really)

I was driving along highway 40 in Arkansas, doing 80-something in a 70 mph zone. I was trying to catch a flight out of Little Rock airport. Had I not been pulled over for speeding, I would have made it. As it happened, I did get pulled over, I missed the flight, and had to stay overnight in a hotel in Little Rock, and fly out the next day.

Getting a speeding ticket isn’t ever fun for me, and in this case was even less so.

I am a 6 foot tall transgender girl, clearly not a genetically integrated girl and clearly not simply male either. My aesthetics have an effect that tends to fluster especially young males, and not in a good way. I take it as it comes but I don’t like it.

When I was being pulled over, I was wearing female clothing, female shoes, female make-up, female jewelry and my driver’s license says “F” as its gender.

Southern States in general, and Arkansas not being an exception, don’t have a reputation for being particularly transgender-friendly. I’d recently seen a video of how a Ranger in Southern California treated a transgender girl in a way that I can only classify as police brutality, and gee, California is supposed to be relatively transgender-friendly. So I wasn’t all that optimistic as to how my speeding ticket experience might play out. But, everything ended up just fine.

In fact, I have some very nice things to say about the officer who gave me that speeding ticket. I even wrote to the Arkansas State Police Public Affairs folks about it. Reason: I appreciate the officer’s approach and professionalism.

Not everyone deals with my situation well. I could go on an on about this.

By contrast, the officer who pulled me over for speeding either has received good training on what transgender girls are and how to deal with us or he was just naturally gracious and savvy.

I especially appreciated how he suggested that I bring a coat before stepping out of the car, because it’s cold. That was thoughtful and nice.

Being a transgender girl isn’t easy but being treated like essentially just one more citizen … I appreciate that.

Yay for the TSA in Little Rock, AR

I just posted the below on the TSA website:

I have some very nice things to say about the TSA in general and at Little Rock, AR especially.  What made it especially nice is how transgender-friendly and transgender-savvy *everyone* was.

I’m a 6′ tall transgender girl, clearly not a genetically integrated girl and clearly not simply male either.  My aesthetics have an effect that tends to fluster especially young males, and not in a good way.  I take it as it comes but I don’t like it.

I was about to fly to San Francisco for business, and I was wearing female clothing, female shoes, female make-up, female jewelry and my driver’s license says “F” as its gender.

Even so, half an hour before arriving at the airport, I had just left a hotel where the front-desk staff seemed to feel so awkward that I chose to leave early (breakfast was included with the room price but I chose to skip breakfast). The staff wasn’t mean, just struggling to deal with the concept.  By contrast, everyone I dealt with at the Little Rock TSA either has received good training on what transgender girls are and how to deal with us (like any other girl) or everyone was just naturally gracious and savvy.

I was wearing designer jeans and they set off the detector, and one of the TSA staff said “hold on there, lady” which I appreciated.  And, the staffer who was going to pat me down asked if I wanted to be patted down as male or female.  I appreciated that too. I told her “I’m female, so …..” and things proceeded accordingly.  It set a nice tone for the remainder of my day.

Some Super-Nice Feedback for Treasure Island, Las Vegas

Something I just posted on the hotel’s website:

I stayed at Treasure Island, Las Vegas for four nights, and I’d be happy to do so again. In every way I can list, the quality was wonderful — the check-in staff, the folks who helped with luggage, the Starbucks folks, the coffee shop servers, the housekeeping staff … but what made it especially nice is how transgender-friendly *everyone* was.

I’m a 6′ tall transgender girl, clearly not a genetically integrated girl and clearly not male either.  My aesthetics have an effect that tends to fluster especially young males, and not in a good way.  I take it as it comes but I don’t like it.

I just finished writing a review about another hotel where the front-desk staff seemed to feel so awkward that I chose to leave early.  They weren’t mean, just struggling to deal with the concept.  By contrast, everyone I dealt with at Treasure Island, Las Vegas either has received good training on what transgender girls are and how to deal with us (like any other girl) or everyone was just naturally gracious and savvy.

Either way, my stay there was super-nice and I liked it a lot.  It’s such a relief to simply be treated like the girl that I essentially am, without it being an issue.