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Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Transgender Socially Awkward Situation Defuser Card

I made this yesterday:

Order your own copy at https://tinyurl.com/y86c4bld

I have mentioned, both on this blog and in podcasts, that certain situations can be awkward for transgender people who are living as their true selves but who have not yet been able to update their government-issued identification.

I happen to know this from personal experience, such as when I tried to register as press for the NRA convention last year and a young lady asked me for a photo ID. When I said to her "That may be a problem, because [and then I whispered] I am transgender" she looked mortified, as if she had somehow deeply offended me. I confess I wasn't thrilled to have to say it either, because I was worried it might turn this whole entire scene where a supervisor needed to be brought in, and people would be talking loudly about how THERE'S A TRANSGENDER LADY HERE AND HER ID IS OF A MAN and I really didn't want the embarrassment of everyone looking at me and judging me.

I've gotten more confident about it since, but I still want to be in control of when and how I tell people I'm trans. I have had, more than once, to go to a front desk in order to be let into my room because my key has stopped working, only to have to explain that yes, I checked in under a different name because there's a law that says I have to show my ID to check in, and no, I haven't been able to change my name yet, and no, it's none of your business why I haven't done that yet.

Hence, this card. I didn't make it to solve problems, as the people who would have a problem with me being transgender wouldn't have their minds changed by a card. No, this is to make my life easier because I can now quietly, privately inform people without making a scene and embarrassing either of us.

I've run the wording past a friend who works in the hospitality industry and she's approved it. According to her, trans people at front desks happen all the time and the staff is used to it. And if you do happen to get that one person who has a problem with you being you, well, you can show the manager the card you showed the desk clerk as proof that you were upfront with who you were, and you tried things the polite way, and perhaps the employee shouldn't be interacting with guests if they react in such a way.

But I don't anticipate many problems like that. I expect most of the awkwardness will be felt by the trans person, and this card not only helps defuse it but also eliminates the need to talk (handy if someone has social anxiety).

Or put another way:  I made this card for my own use. If you think it would be useful in your life, please order some for yourselves. Nothing would please me more than to know I helped people out of an awkward, uncomfortable situation.

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