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Ignorance on Display

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Last night I met a male friend for dinner whom I've known since first grade - quite a long while. I'd told him via email that I'm trans a couple of months ago and he was supportive, so he wasn't particularly surprised when I appeared in skinny jeans, athletic pumps, and with studs in my earlobes. He's a successful corporate attorney and is friendly, very articulate, and handsome with designer glasses, died hair, and clothing that while very casual were color- and style-perfect for the occasion. But as an attorney, and a man, he consistently talked over me, peppering me with questions and thoughts while I tried to hold up my side of the conversation. Things like:

"You're not going undergo genital mutilation, are you?" I was able to tell him that for me that's a bit over the horizon but also possible. I wasn't able to educate him on the fact that this surgery is in no way any kind of 'mutilation' with what that implies. I will be sending an email to him on that subject.

"You're not interested in men?" I tried to tell him that sexuality and gender are orthogonal and unrelated but here again all I could tell him is that I'm only interested in women; I'm a lesbian.

None of his comments or body language were delivered in any kind of negative way or overtone. He's told his parents who said that they wish me the best too, and his father (whom I haven't seen in over 40 years) said that he thought I'd make an attractive woman. I was just kind of taken aback at his assumptions and ignorance. As I said I'll send a follow up email to clear this up but imagine how hard it is to effectively us to people whom we've never met?


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Posted

Wow, "genital mutilation." What does one say? My GCS surgeon was on a panel I saw yesterday and my thought was "she's the person who made me (physically) right." Far cry from "mutilation" ☺

I'm not surprised on the sexual orientation part, even LG people seem to often have a problem knowing the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation.

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I agree, Chrissy. I was really taken aback. He said it without any disdain or attitude but clearly that's how he considered GCS. Hopefully the email I sent to him will clear that up.

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Posted

I think sometime people dont know what to say or how to react in this situation. 

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I agree, Kitrah, if I had just told him that I'm trans. But I had done it earlier, he'd provided his support via email, and earlier in the dinner told me that he'd told his parents who knew me well when I was a child and in high school. His father remarked that I'd make a pretty woman - which was a big surprise! I thus think that his "genital mutilation" comment came from what he really thought although it wasn't given with any disdain or negative baggage. 

He did respond to my email and apologized, saying that his ignorance was really on display. So, we're all good!

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well that nice for him to do that. sometime when people talk to me, they real dont understand gravity of what they talk. i do the same thing some time also because i only can see thing from my perseptive. i try sometime to see thing from other point of view. when i first start this transition i had intent to keep thing the way it is because it is how i was made. my view have change and this remain interesting for me. i rememer when i first start to come to tgguide. i didn't care what people call me shemale or tranny. i think sometime this come from fact that i was bullied for be this way. so now he knows more so there is no worry. :)

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