Spotting My Queers
A Writing Prompt for Queerly Trans
So the weekly prompt was to share an experience of meeting a fellow Rainbow and what that meant for you. And here’s the thing, because I know people will tell you that when you are looking for something you tend to find it (confirmation bias, look it up!! never mind, I’ll help…)
Confirmation bias - Wikipedia
Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or…
So when my son wants to play the “slug bug” game, all of a sudden we see lots of VWs on the road, but when we aren’t looking for them, they disappear unless something else makes them stand out; interesting bumper sticker, or splashy color, or maybe its a convertible with the top down, something that wakes your brain up and makes you notice.
I’m Trying To Notice
Honestly, I’m looking for my LGBT brothers and sisters, because I see them at meetings and events but when I’m just out in the wild wild world, I got nothing. I mean, I feel like one of those SETI researchers, combing through all the “noise” to try to find a good “signal”, confirmation of “alien life” (okay, please don’t be offended, I’m not saying we’re aliens, LOL! Although I feel like one most days, TBH).
Are we alone in the universe? Are there advanced civilizations that we can detect and what would be the societal impact…
So, I know I’m seeing, but yet not seeing. I can’t be the only LGBT in town, maybe my part of town is too, IDK, not affirming? My city is known for being conservative, but I work for the city too, and even on the job, nothing. We have policies for supporting the community (residents and employees) but I see no one day to day who is outwardly LGBT and it's, “don’t ask, maybe tell” as far as the culture. So no one ever asks anyone anything.
Need To Know
Yes! I need to know! When I asked my HR person and the Diversity Director about it, they were very vague until I told them I was transitioning but I haven’t told my team yet. Now we’re all buddies and hopefully, I can help with my story to prepare a better process for others (no, I didn’t volunteer to be the “spokesperson” or anything, I just said I wanted to partner with the City to ask my questions and see what they are thinking. Because I don’t know if they have thought of everything…).
So I did find out indirectly that we have some LGBT community members at the City, because we push out stats on some of our offerings, and the Benefits group has a wellness program they report on and it is open to spouses and domestic partners (one day that should just be one group — spouses), and since we have both we must have some LGBT demographic there. But I’d still like to meet them. I think I will have to hang a target (err, I mean a shingle…) on my door so folks know there is at least one who wants to meet others?
Hidden Isn’t Better
What I also don’t see are the times when my rainbow family gets slighted. I’ve had it happen to me before, indirectly (not counting all the times I’m still called “Sir” by the well-meaning and half-asleep sales force — yes I’m not presenting, so let's just assume that “sir” and “ma’am” are the ways to greet everyone we want to help? Ever heard of gender-neutral greetings like “Friend” or “Y’all”?). And I’ll never forget the old lady who was offended at the doctor’s office because they included a page on preferred pronouns and gender identity which she didn’t need and didn’t think anyone else did either and was happy to tell the office staff that… Thanks for playing the game of “tolerance” and failing miserably…
I Want To Support
I would love to be able to “high-five” my brothers and sisters in the wild, wild world. I wear an ally bracelet, but maybe I need to get something more obvious so that others know I’m supporting. I love my rainbow family, and I do want to see color; it beats all the gray the place has in between all the ugly black and white normalizing that is always going on. Don’t get me wrong, I want a world where we can blend in and be, but by choice, not by necessity. But right now, I’d settle for an occasional fist bump and an, “I’m here too! I’m making my story, and I’m honored to know you are too…”