Last Sunday Jello and I went to a local breakfast place for a nice Sunday breakfast. The last time we had been there was a couple years ago (long before Jello’s transition started). We got out of the car and were talking about the lamb meat at the place was always a little over cooked (it is a Greek/American place). The waitress was outside cleaning the outside tables and she noticed us, the first thought I had was that she had heard us talking about the restaurant and its tendency to overcook lamb.
We went into the place, she sat us at the table. Her whole demeanor was ice cold, she wouldn’t even look at us. She kept glaring at Jello, who had been the one talking when she heard. A few minutes later a much younger waitress came over and helped us for the rest of the meal (the other, older waitress, wouldn’t even look at us).
We got home a little bit later and Jello was talking about our treatment (especially how the waitress was eyeballing and giving subtle micro-aggressive acts towards him). We got into a small verbal “debate”. I felt the waitress was being a jerk because of the subject we were talking about when she saw us, Jello maintained that it was because of his trans status. I thought that was ridiculous, and it couldn’t have been that.
Jello told me about some of the interactions he witnessed behind my back, in the kitchen, regarding the older waitress and the younger one after we got into the restaurant. Things that obviously were transphobic including eye rolling, nodding and pointing to our table. I stopped and thought about it and realized he was right (which made me really angry at the waitress). I was briefly upset that Jello hadn’t told me when he saw it at the restaurant. He explained he just didn’t want to deal with it. He had been dealing with this kind of crap when everyone assumed (and partially so) that he was a lesbian (since it was before the transition).
Now that I am thinking about it I can see what Jello was talking about. I had assumed there was nothing about us that bothered the waitress specifically other then our initial interaction. I thought that maybe she was being bitchy and over-reactive to our words about the restaurant.
This is where I realize I still live mentally in my cis/het white male world (even though three of those four things are not really true). I hadn’t even considered that someone would dislike me because of my gender, orientation or partner. I have lived in a pretty privileged situation (not withstanding the extreme poverty I grew up in, which had made me not realize my other privileged statuses until I got older). My partners have all been white women that at first glance passed as cisgendered, heterosexual females of white coloring (actually none of them have been heterosexual or necessarily cisgendered, but it isn’t obvious when you are with an opposite gender partner).
At this moment I still am not worried about my physical safety (6’4” 280lbs means a group of men don’t usually scare me, as long as they don’t have a gun), but the safety of my husband worries me. It also worries me that he will be treated poorly. I don’t care if I get treated poorly, I LOVE confrontation, however Jello isn’t as confrontational and not even counting the gender status, he still has Grave’s Disease and even though he is in remission, stress can set it off.
I need to change two things.
- Take my cis/het blinders off and learn to notice the subtle issues going around. Take note of it, write about it but don’t forget it.
- Back off my first response for aggression and confrontation. This will actually be harder then the first one. I still love fighting with people, confrontation gets my adrenaline pumping. It isn’t good for my husband though, and honestly I know the overall effects on me are bad as well.
It is just annoying when I realize I have so much more to work on. I guess this is just another step on that road.