Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Judgements and gender presumptions

It is quite a weird place to be in when you feel like you are in the 'in between' zone where you are not transitioning as yet (due to the long wait for GIC appointments and don't want to self medicate), where not everyone has yet been told, living a secret life however much of the secret life overspills into the real world. Especially when it comes to down to the 'name'. Just proves how judgemental people are when it comes to a name. If everyone had unisex names then automatic presumptions about your gender would be irrelevant and unimportant. Unfortunately in general life this is not the case and certainly for Lucy this last week has been full of judgemental people jumping to the wrong conclusion.

Last week her car broke down. Granted she was not dressed en femme however she gets free AA cover as part of her bank account. She duly rang the specified number and once the bank account details and name had been confirmed, it was obvious from the operators voice that she thought Lucy was using someone elses details to get the AA cover and her tone was very unsympathetic to Lucy's plight after this. However when the AA man turned up he did not make any comments at all.

This week Lucy went to Boots (she spends a fortune in there on the Wilkinson Sword Intuition blades) and paid using her own card and Boots points card. The cashier called after her as she went to leave to give her a voucher to keep in her wallet. This made Lucy smile.... wallet? What is that! I haven't yet explained that it seems these days that many girls don't use the word purse and use wallet instead. I'm old school so for me it will always be a purse. 

And then she had a very unfortunate experience in Lloyds Bank. Usually she uses the paying in machines to pay money into her account but on this occasion she deposited it over the counter. To do this you have to present your debit card and input your pin number. The Teller then proceeded to lecture Lucy on how she must not use someone elses debit card and certainly should not know their pin number! How presumptious and rude! Of course Lucy knows the pin number as it is HER card! Unfortunately Lucy was too self conscious to make any comments back to this rude chap. She could easily have defended herself as she carries a copy of the change of name deed poll document with her at all times and could have shoved it under his nose. Indeed if I had been there I would have made sure that it was the Teller that was feeling self conscious and awkward and not Lucy. I know they have to be wary of identity fraud however if he had asked a few simple questions the situation would have become apparent. If the Teller had asked for any proof of ID Lucy could have quietly produced the deed poll. Seems Lloyds Bank need to do some more specific training regarding this sort of situation. As it was Lucy ended up tweeting about it to Lloyds and they responded very quickly, gave a very apologetic response and wanted her to Direct Message them with more details. Still does not excuse the situation.

This week we also got the Electoral Roll form through and we needed to change the entry that already existed from 'his' to Lucy's name (one of the areas that we had forgotten to change and I'm sure in time others will become apparent). I rang through to the local council helpline and had a very friendly and helpful lady on the phone. I did not give too much detail other than that one of the people listed had changed their name by deed poll. She went away and came back with a Q & A she had been provided with and told me where to go and what to enter on the government website. That is all changed now and Lucy got the confirmation email. If only everything was that simple.

We also had a family dinner at the weekend with all our children and their partners. Lucy's eldest son again made a detrimental comment about Caitlyn Jenner which Lucy heard but I didn't. Even if I had, after the Christmas debacle I would have refrained from making a comment anyway. In time he will be educated when he is told about Lucy and has to face the issue in his direct family. Hopefully his comments and opinions will change but if not, at least he will have first hand knowledge when making comments and will not be based on an uneducated/uninformed opinion.

I think all this has unsettled Lucy a bit this week. Yesterday she wished that she could fast forward her life like the film 'Click' with Adam Sadler and fast forward to a time in the future where everyone has been told, where she has transitioned fully and is properly living her life with the right body as she should have been all her life. It is thoughts and comments like this that make me so desperately sad for her. This is such a long road that we are on.

My boss who I told about Lucy has been quite amusing. She has been good at not giving anything away when there is the unevitable bit of office banter. We have a new director who is not very popular (she is making us all redundant but that is another story!) however everyone thinks she looks like a man, 'tranny'. She isn't, however it is the tight and inapproprate clothes and super high heels that she wears along with her hair which makes her fit a bit of a sterotype especially as she cannot really walk in her shoes and walks how all the people at work would expect a man in heels to walk like..... yes a man in heels would do the swagger, wide legged walk as she does however none of my lovely trans friends walk like this.... because they are women. So as you can imagine there is lots of banter about this lady......

My boss also updates me privately about sort of related stories in her life. It is funny that now she tells me these things. Turns out the husbands of two friends of hers are 'tranny' and dress in womens clothes for sexual thrill and go to swingers clubs. They don't want to be women but just enjoy the fun of dressing up. When she was telling me I did reminder her gently that I had already explained that the spectrum of trans was huge and nothing could be pigeon-holed and that Lucy and I did not identify with these people (just in case she though we went swinging!). She said that she was aware of this but I did feel that I needed to clarify.

As you have probably gathered we have a habit of identifying with music and certain tunes to parts of our lives or how we feel at certain times. A song came on the radio a few weeks ago and I turned to Lucy and said that this song reminds me of us.... she gave me the big smile that she does and said that she was just about to say the same thing. This is just what we feel as we stand united together.... always.... Standing with an Army

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