Look, I’m not against the plight of trans-folk in society today. My own brother is transgender and I’m one of a very few family members that supported his transition. I’m not sharing that to give me some sort of authority on the matter, nor get a pass similar to the infamous “I know a black person, so I can say the n-word”, but rather as an odd way to express (ahead of time) that “I’m not an asshole”. That said, perhaps you can offer some personal insight into my questions/statements below?
“That what Ali had done to me was an act of transphobia and I felt very uncomfortable being in the venue.”
Transphobia is defined as the “intense dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people.” While Ali’s “joke” was stupid and not at all appropriate (for any situation, even if he thought you were a man dressed in drag), it is definitively not an act of transphobia. I can’t understand how it would make you feel uncomfortable in the manner ascribed to someone acting transphobic.
Certainly, it’d be uncomfortable to have someone assume that you were male when you do not identify as such, but only because of the fact that all parties involved now have to deal with this knowledge if they didn’t already know. You might even feel ashamed, to a certain extent, but that’s baggage that everyone has to check in when claiming transhood.
It’s asinine to go after someone for assuming something that you fully admit: you look like a man. How is that fair to anyone who doesn’t know you? The correct course of action in this case is to educate, otherwise how would anyone outside your social circle know?
“If he isn’t being removed from the venue, I guess I’m going to have to leave for the weekend. I’m not going to stay at a venue I feel unsafe in,”
How does one person making an incorrect assumption based upon your outward appearance make you feel “unsafe”? Did he somehow express a desire to attack you, physically or sexually? Did others around you, those unaware of your transhood until this point, express this desire also? If no, then how could you possibly feel unsafe in this situation?
I’m a huge supporter of trans rights and public education, but this is simply ridiculous. The guy made a stupid joke based on his assumption that you were a man (one which you cannot fault others for making), and you went over the top in your reaction. It’s ridiculous.