So I’m out and about in the world, having spent an inordinate amount of time to get my new bangs just right, my dangling earrings swaying in the breeze, a hint of lipgloss and an ambiguously femme shirt on… maybe not presenting all-out female but certainly strongly hinting in that direction. And I’ve got that little extra sway in my step and arch to my eyebrow because it’s a nice day and I’m a happy girl.
Then I step into the drugstore to grab a Coke or something. I walk up to the counter, looking at all the colorful geegaws, waiting my turn, then I set my bounty down and reach for my wallet. The clerk locks eyes with me, and in a voice as cold as a winter night in Fairbanks says, “Can I help you, sir?”
I wilt. Behind the polite words of that simple phrase is judgement, and contempt, and constrained rage. I mutter and duck my head, pay for my purchases, and scurry out into a day whose magic has been rudely dispersed. (more…)