Disclaimer: This post is meant as a humourous observation, not a complaint.
A funny thing phenomenon began to happen at work when people finally wrapped their minds around my transition. To show how supportive and understanding they were, people sent me links to every single article on transsexuals and transsexuality they came across. It’s quite hilarious. I don’t know how many emails I got that were the subject line looked like: “FWD: insert news headline about transsexuality or a transsexual person here” and in which the contents read something like: “Hi Jacky, I came across this and I thought you’d be interested” followed by a link to something like Chaz Bono’s transition or Thomas Beatie’s pregnancy. Even more hilarious were the links to “Trans 101” type articles or articles on how to respect a trans co-worker.
But, since the spirit behind it all was well-intentioned, and since my colleagues were mostly supportive in spite of their difficulties in wrapping their brains around my genderqueer identity, I simply replied “Thank you” and left it at that. I didn’t point out that they were the ones who needed to read the “how to respect” and 101 articles. I just didn’t feel like getting into it. And it’s not that they were disrespectful, it’s that they were SO afraid to just come out and ask me questions in spite of all my reassurances that they could, so long as it didn’t concern my genitals.
The only time I reacted a bit differently, and it was just for fun, was when I met up with a co-worker for coffee. He handed over a magazine that his sister in law had given him to give to me because “she thought I’d be interested in this.” Right away, I spotted a headline for an article about an MTF reporter somewhere in the states and how she transitioned on the job. Yet, I looked at him quizzically and asked why she thought I’d be interested in a magazine about the business world. Anyone who knows me should indeed know better. He opened the magazine to the “appropriate page” with an incredulous look and that was that. He didn’t even get that I was screwing with him.
Oh well. I think I’ll start reciprocating and send all my hetero friends from work clippings from advice columns that specifically refer to heterosexual arrangements and say: “I thought this might interest you” and to all my cis friends from work (which would be all of them) clippings from magazines catering to their specific gender and say: “I thought this might interest you.”
Hey, it’s all in good fun. Cause sometimes, ya just gotta laugh.