Dealing With Transphobes In-Person
Last Thursday, February 13, I held a book-signing/release event for my memoir, How to NOT Know You’re Trans, at the Laureate Publick House in downtown Loveland, CO. It was well-attended, the Laureate team was, as usual, so accommodating and supportive. You can see a short video of one of my readings that night here.
The Good Event
The Laureate serves incredible beers, drinks, and amazing food. So, a number of patrons that night had come for dinner and/or drinks without realizing they’d get my book release as a bonus. Not only did these folks not mind the interruption, but many affirmed me afterward in their words and purchases. They genuinely wanted to know more about my journey and didn’t feel afraid to ask. A good time was had by all!
The Bad Social-Media Commentary
Before the event, I’d posted about it on Facebook, and Pamalyn, my wife, added my post to a local happenings/event page on FB. The comments there were overwhelmingly positive … except one from a person named Lisa Ellen:
How dissapointing [sic] ‘Loveland Events and Happenings’ to give any time and screan [sic] space to this sick-minded book. Let’s concentrate on NORMAL events and happenongs. [sic] We don’t want these posts thrown in our face.
Thankfully, a literal wave of folks rushed to my affirmation and defense, and the page administrators took down the gnarly comment.
What Goes Around Ugly, Comes Around to Bite Them in the Ass
Imagine, then, to my surprise when a few days later, as I accompanied Pam to a minor outpatient surgical procedure, who pulled back the curtain of the prep area but Lisa Ellen herself! She was the RN to place Pam’s IV picc line.
The look in her eyes showed she right away knew who we were. But she put on her best manners.
Pam quietly asked me if we should get someone else to do the IV. I shook my head, “She’s gotta learn about people in-the-flesh.”
Now I’m not saying that Pam and I threw a post in her face, but we did our best to introduce ourselves as wife and wife, and to lovingly embrace and kiss. Gettin’ all Chatty-Cathy, I showed Lisa Ellen my trans-girl verve. A good time was had by Pam and me.
Thankfully, Lisa Ellen was a better IV inserter than speller. Pam’s veins are ridiculously difficult to tap. Yet, Lisa Ellen nailed it painlessly on her first try!
After Pam’s procedure Lisa Ellen was again there, at which Pam offered, “Lisa, did you meet my wife, Bethany?” We all chatted again as Lisa explained post-procedure dos and don’ts, still showing her best manners.
On my way out to get our car for Pam’s wheelchair exit from the hospital, I made sure to thank Lisa Ellen for giving Pam the absolute best picc-line placement Pam had ever experienced.
To Learn or Not to Learn. Myeh.
I’m not so naïve to think we taught Lisa Ellen a lesson. Aside from her transphobic FB comment and her IV skills, I don’t know squat about her. She at least got to experience the charisma of a trans girl and her wife, and gather that, though her commentary came back to bite her in the ass, Pam and I weren’t gonna bite.
Or she may have thought herself a martyr for persevering with “sick-minded” ones like us.
Dignity: We Were There
Regardless, Pam and I got to be who we are. Dignity doesn’t need acknowledgement to be dignity. Our job isn’t to redeem the bullies any more than it is to wipe the assholes off the face of the earth. Pam and I were there—witnessing to a better way to live, love, and learn.
And, yes, we rocked it! ❤