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Tales from the Retail

Today at work I was helping an old man, who seemed slightly senile, pick out parts for a fence he wanted to put together. Suddenly he stopped mid-sentence and asked, “Are you a boy or a girl?!” I just smiled and waited. “You’re a girl!” he exclaimed. “What are you wearing that for?” Then he poked at one of the retainers I was wearing in my lip and wanted to know, “What are those?!” “They’re my piercings,” I replied. “Eh?” “Body jewelry for my piercings.” “Feel free to hit me if I get too curious,” he said, and muttered about how he knew he was getting old because he didn’t understand these things anymore. I assured him it would happen to me one day too. He tottered off with his cart. 

Later, a woman addressed me as “son” and asked where the geraniums were. I decided to lower my voice a little, and told her they were on the clearance rack. Mercifully, she did not say anything like, “Oh you’re a lady! I’m sorry!” like another older man had in the morning. He had been talking to his wife and I made the mistake of asking him if he wanted the cart I was holding on to. Usually I have a fairly androgynous voice, or at least on the phone everyone thinks I’m my 15-yr-old brother, but when in customer service mode it tends to go up into an unmistakably feminine range. *Sigh* 

On the plus side, I have made arrangements to go to NYC for the Pride Parade next weekend! It will require driving 6 hours the night before and then taking the train at 6.45 in the morning, so it had better be worth it. The last Pride event I went to was completely on accident because I was staying in a hotel in Madrid that happened to be on the street it progressed along. Sadly, I was younger and had not entirely developed my queer identity. I looked longingly at the window as we ate dinner (it was a trip organized by my school) and one of the teacher-chaperones saw me and told me I should go watch if I wanted to. I still have a very vivid memory of a gay bear in full leather regalia humping his stuffed teddy bear on a float passing by. Later I sat on the steps of the hotel and a most-likely-male person in red fuck-me heels, a red thong, a red feather boa, and nothing else paraded by blowing a whistle loudly at interviews. I am sure though, that the U.S. will measure up to Spain in the quality of participants. 

Abgelegt unter Madrid pride 2006 androgyny high voice lip piercings misgendering nyc pride 2012 old people saying odd things retail work transgender trans* ftm