This is a classic scenario of someone trying not to offend but makes comment after comment that makes you (and the person) feel as if you are crash test dummies.
I had a personal banker who I genuinely believe was coming from a good place and was trying not to be offensive but ended up having foot-in-mouth syndrome throughout my discussion with her.
I was in the bank to change over my name on my bank account and to have everything changed over to ‘Mr’ too. At first it seemed straightforward but soon, I felt it became apparent that she wasn’t used to encountering people who have different genders.
Without meaning to sound too rude I think a same sex joint bank account was something she was used to in terms of having an ‘exotic’ demand placed upon her. Still I don’t feel angry per se, but I feel a little strange. Well I did, then I felt annoyed then I just feel a weird neutral sort of feeling.
She asked me if I had received counselling, as well as asking how my family were about it and again commented that “I think counselling is important”. She also asked if my friends still speak to me and then my favourite moment “I haven’t had one like you in a while.”
I could almost smell the expiry date of when she last had diversity training. It wasn’t as sour as milk gone bad so that was a slight relief. Still there are people like this and to be fair to her people like me aren’t who she encounters regularly and she didn’t know what to do.
I got a new bank card in two days which for me was a result, she changed my gender too on my bank records so that too was what I wanted. I did make her blush at one point though but I felt I had to have some kicks of my own. Also I didn’t feel upset by her as I know that there are people out there who don’t understand.
Many people do comfortably live in the gender they are born with. Or they comply with it.
Then there are people who challenge that and choose to live in the identities that is right for them. I don’t expect people to understand, and I know there will be times that I have to challenge but a lot of understanding where people are concerned does seem to stem from what is their reality and how can they relate to something.
Present anyone with something unfamiliar and they are sometimes in a position of not knowing how to behave or what is right or wrong for a situation. I am by no means excusing the behaviour but I think it’s important that I keep a sense of perspective. I don’t understand a lot of things about life and people.
For example, there are those who will deliberately do things to others that they know will hurt and upset them. As there are people who try and justify their shitty behaviour all the time but never work on it.
These traits baffle me. As how I see it is if you know something is wrong or will cause problems or drama then why do it? Especially if it’s for kicks. I haven’t got a lot of time or patience for people who continually cause the same shit for themselves and others over and over again and never seek to rectify that.
Still such is life.
I don’t expect people to understand me automatically either. But at the same time I don’t feel that I have to try and ‘prove’ myself to be something that makes them more comfortable either.
I have worked hard on becoming the person I want to be and for that I think it’s important that everything we do is worked on. Happiness isn’t just something that automatically happens, we have to find ways in ourselves to be positive and to create happiness around us. I say this as I am someone who has had clinical depression for many years.
I have learned that there are ways in which we can do things that make a more positive base not just for ourselves but for people that are around us as well. It does take hard work, but I feel it is worth it.
I would much rather feel a life that is warm and full of love than feeling that life is hopeless and that I wake up every morning wishing I was dead.
I can have very bleak thoughts if I let myself slip into it or if I don’t deal with something effectively. Like everyone I have my triggers and I know what will and won’t set me off but again I seek to manage that.
I’m by no means perfect, but I like to stick to certain principles I hold.
Boundaries are important to me, keeping them and respecting them.