Self-Awareness: when friends bring up trans

Went drinking with friends who don’t know my medical history. Early on, they were telling me who a trans person is and the importance of respecting their chosen name and pronouns. I was impressed.

A little later on, they were telling me that a male lesbian was a thing, that this was a trans guy who loved women. I proposed lesbians were women, and a women-only loving trans guy was a straight trans guy (without meaning to erase culturally queer women loving trans men, but in this context, I was simplifying things.) They sat with that, seeming to really ponder the question.

I used to worry when trans was brought up around me, I’d waffle between “is this a subtle way to tell me they know about me” and “will they start to wonder about me if I seem to know too much?” Nowadays I don’t worry about either, but I remain fascinated when cis people bring up the topic, especially if not in reference to a recent media sensation. The wider cultural landscape really has changed since I was younger. These cishet friends don’t know as much as they think but they were well intended in their approach in attempting to advocate for inclusion and respect. The topic came up because one of them had a high school friend recently transition and she’s doing her darn best to get up to speed on pronouns and what not. It was very heart warming, and restored some of my faith in humanity.

I’m so glad I’ve shifted my relationship to self-awareness. Instead of trans coming up in conversation leaving me in a sour mood and/or anxious, now I take comfort in such occurrences. Sweet.

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