I recently had a less-than-fun experience with one of my coworkers/managers while at work. Yes, I am out as a trans man at work, but that doesn't mean I expect to be treated differently than anyone else. Actually, I expect what I have always expected, which is kindness and respect. When I found out a manager at my job was talking about me transitioning in a very negative way, such as using the wrong pronouns on purpose after being corrected multiple times by other people, saying he didn't care that I identified as a boy, and that I was still a girl, I reacted as most people would.
The amount of anger and frustration I felt was beyond my control. I felt worthless, invalidated, not taken seriously, and unequal. I immediately texted my general manager and told him to no longer schedule me to work with this person, that I was disappointed in the lack of professionalism in his managers, and that it better not ever happen again. While my general manager and assistant manager handled the situation with grace and made sure I was okay and comfortable, I regretted my hostility towards them and other coworkers of mine.
After much reflection, I realized that I don't want to be an LGBTQ+ member that is angry at the world and blames those around them for the way the world is. Being angry and unhappy doesn't make any progress in this society. The universe responds to love and positivity. Most of the time, you get what you give.
While addressing anger and hate with anger and hate can feel relieving, it doesn't feel nearly as liberating as responding with love and kindness. I regret being as angry about the situation as I was. Yes, I do deserve better, especially in a work environment, but I also know that there are a lot of people on this planet that aren't as educated as they should be in a lot of topics. Ignorance is a lot of the reason why most people don't agree with a lot of social issues.
I think this is part of why I'm here and why I exist. I'm here to educate people and to help them understand other people better and to help them realize that just because they're different, doesn't mean they deserve different treatment. I'm just as much of a man as my coworker is. We just have different bodies - for now.
However, this situation left me with a difficult choice. Should I stay and power through the discomfort, or leave and take other job opportunities? After a long discussion, I made some very good points that I want readers to keep in mind whenever they feel like speaking down on a trans person they don't understand.
From now on, whenever I see him, all I'll be thinking about is if I'm talking the right way, if I'm standing masculine enough, if my voice is deep enough, if my chest is showing, or if I'm man enough. And while he doesn't get to decide who I am, if I'm a boy or not, or if I'm his equal or not, those thoughts will still run through my head and drive my anxieties and insecurities to their lowest points. So please, next time you want to say anything transphobic or homophobic, consider this post.
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