Today i want to high light ”respect”…something that is very important to me, which i assume applies to everyone us…we’d all like to be treated with respect. However i’ve noticed that i’m receiving less respect compared to 6 years ago. Well allot has changed in 6 years, with one big change being that i came out as a woman at 19 years old (i am transgender).
I’m starting to wonder if the lack of respect i’m receiving has anything to do with me now being in a feminine body…you see before coming out I’ve never had strangers sexually touch me without my consent, like grabbing my butt or rubbing up my thighs. i can re-call 5 instances (over the span of 6 years) in which I’ve been touched in a sexual manner, without my consent. The worst of them being a guy who grabbed at my crotch and breast and if it’s not touching it’s some guy literally following me around (also happened on multiple occasions) or obviously invading my personal space to the point where anyone would feel discomfort.
This along with the many cat calls, or insults such as ”whore” and ”slut” while out in public. Where i live in my neighbourhood my trans status is known to people through gossip and today a young boy who might have been 11-12 years old, said he heard from someone that i’m ”really just a boy” and tried to have me verify my gender…i politely told him not to ask such an intrusive question and he then proceeded to call me (a 25 year old woman) a ”whore” and ran off laughing with his little friends.
Shocked and surprised i wondered where the respect i once received had gone to…am i deserving of less respect? Before coming out as a woman, people wouldn’t dare disrespecting me in anyway like they do now. Before my coming out people have often told me that no one would want to disrespect me because i was perceived as a ”young black male” and they thought i’d definitely beat them up if they tried…perhaps that racist stereotype helped in some weird messed up way. Now generally speaking, i often get told that i look like my mom in more ways than one (personality, in the face, in how i sound when i speak)…my mom is kind and patient, i also take after her when it comes to that…but everyone can get angry after a while.
Allot has changed before coming out…i was also not used to not being taken seriously in day to day interactions, being talked to in a condescending manner or being disregarded in conversations. The look of surprise when they realize they’ve underestimated me and i actually know what i’m talking about or that i’m actually capable of doing XY or Z is common place unfortunately.
All of these disrespectful experiences combined (the sexually inappropriate and otherwise rude and disrespectful behaviour, the not being taken serious) make me feel small at times. It has me wondering if i now deserve less respect?