Activism and Politics > Discrimination

Venting - Another disgusting restaurant experience....

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I don't usually vent/to complain like this, but something happened today, and i didnt realize how hurtful it was to me until 8 hours later after having a chance to really think about it -

Anyone familiar with the movie "You've Got Mail" ? - the part where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are still emailing each other anonymously - and she writes something to the effect of how whenever she is confronted by certain people or situations that are really unpleasant, and she does a brain lock and can't ever respond by saying exactly the most on-point thing at the moment to really stop the other person cold in their tracks - and then he says how nice it would be if they could trade characteristics - and she gets all of his abilities to deliver the perfect "zingers" when they are most needed (except then he digresses into how remorse can be an unpleasant side effect afterwards)...
Oh - some days how i wish i could think on my feet that fast ALL OF THE TIME - like today....

I met a friend for lunch and a business meeting along with one of his new assistants in training. They're both gay - he's a doctor of social sciences and decorated retired Marine Major with a LOT of interesting connections, the assistant is an architectural major amongst other things... In fact, I was the invited guest of the host this past Veteran's day at one of DC's annual Marine Corps birthday celebration dinners (which he hosts every year at one of the nicer restaurants in town)...

In any case - at this particular restaurant - primarily upscale South American cuisine - a very locally famous place and very nice (the kind of place where celebs and politicians will go, and people regularly drop a couple hundred dollars a meal - in downtown DC)... The lead server (and front end manager) is a girl by the name of Cristina - she is a favored server and locally famous for her excellent work - in fact requested by people such as President(s) and A-list celebs that just don't want anyone else if they ever go there - let's just say that my friend has enough pull to get a table in her section whenever he wants to go there and she is working -

We arrive for lunch about 1PM and the place is still really busy - there are two hispanic hostesses at the front desk - one is maybe 20, the other probably in her late 30's or early 40's - Our host excuses himself to the restroom, and the assistant and i are to be seated in Cristina's section - we have reservations...  Immediately both the hostesses managed to read me - and you all know what i'm talking about - when a person's demeanor just suddenly and completely changes - their posture stiffens, they won't make eye contact, the face gets stern (as if they're smelling a turd or something) and you can see the gears whirling behind the eyes - and to be honest - i've never looked or felt better as i did today... 

i have excellent taste in clothing and accessories and always get a lot of sincere and engaging compliments from other mature and beautiful women - i am very comfortable in my own skin at this point and it really comes across very strongly most of the time....

Nonetheless, i was feeling that uncomfortable heat rise in the back of my neck and face with these twin troll-ettes at the hostess station - - - we are then led to our table, coldly at best - where Cristina greets me in front of a packed dining room and staff with a warm hug and a kiss on each cheek, engaging compliments, and nothing but shining professional pleasantry...

A few minutes later after we all get seated, and i realize my morning coffee's catching up to the ol' bladder - and i need a trip to the ladies' room before we begin our luncheon - - so i go to the same desk (i cant find the ladies' room - it's been awhile since i was there last - ) and i sweetly/discreetly ask one of the same girls (with an icing problem) - she points down the hall and i thank her and go on in... I don't have a problem with this - I am very comfortable at this point - my license now has an "F" on it, as well as my legal female name (got all that done last year) - so i am truly where i belong now, more than ever...

i go in, pick a stall, and do my business - i come out of the stall as another elegantly dressed woman is heading for the mirror out of the stall next to mine -  and standing there, trying to look nonchalant, yet not at all succeeding, is one of the ice-trolls, keeping an obviously tight eye on me - and of course i walk right up to the sink and mirrors like everyone else, wash, and fix my belt, and briefly check my hair and makeup - nothing out of the ordinary for me at all - and i even turned to her just for good measure and just said something friendly like  "so, how's your day going?" - she responded the bare minimum necessary, and i turn to go out - i knew she was in there to "keep an eye on me", and it became blatantly glaring when she made sure to follow me out directly on my heels...

the entire rest of the time at lunch - for about the next hour - everywhere i looked, all visible members of the serving staff (except for Cristina - she is so focused on her tables that she is oblivious at the time to the antics of her younger counterparts) - are stealing glances - from everywhere - most of them are hispanic males between the ages of 20-30 - and they all have this SH-- eating smirk on their faces like they all actually know something about me as a person...

I just got sooooooo tired of it, and noticed them all without being visibly obvious myself, or really acknowledging any of it whatsoever in any way that one could tell it was starting to really piss me off internally...

I am still educating my gay friends (such as my host), about what sorts of things that we really go through along this path - they are now shocked to learn and see some of it for themselves - my host suggests i mention my issue to Cristina before we leave because she is above all of that staff and would take an intelligent awareness to heart. I did.

She was very warm, receptive, and apologetic ( i even assured her that was not her place to do so) - my main point being that this is a public retail environment - and a fairly upscale one at that. I told her that if people have issues because of whatever culture, or religion, or whatever issues you may have - i should'nt SEE it. No one should - no matter the circumstance... 
They need to leave that stuff at home or behind the kitchen doors - and this restaurant is within blocks of one of the largest gay/bi/trans communities in the city - you'd have thought they all saw a freaking Venusian (well, they did, but still...)

I was nice, warm, intelligent, and diplomatic - i explained that these people don't know me - anything about me, or my life - and that i shouldnt have to look around and see that i am the unwanted center of humorous attention by almost their entire service staff - that freaking bullcrap needs to be where i can't see it ----  fine - if you want to go back in the kitchen, or your station, and have all the freaking yuks that you want - that's cool - i could give a good shovel of sh-- less...
i know how it is in restaurants - it's freaking brutal and unforgiving....
but it's also never an appropriate place to publicly show that much open rudeness and disregard, especially in an upscale foodservice environment..

Nonetheless - it is totally unprofessional and inappropriate to do what they did - and the more i think about it, the angrier i get - especially with my very own personally self-appointed bathroom monitor -

FOR GOD'S SAKE - I'M HERE TO HAVE LUNCH AND A MEETING - I COULD GIVE A SH-- LESS WHO OR WHAT IS IN THE FREAKIN' LADIES ROOM WITH ME -  i'm just in there to do my business like everyone else, so that i can get back to my friends at the table....



this just hadn't set in earlier - and once it began to - god how i wish i had had ten gazillion nasty things to say to that little ignorant bi---, even before i ever left the bathroom - i should have looked right dead in her eyes and asked if they had an EMPLOYEE bathroom, and if so, then what was she doing in there instead of being at her station - god i am pissed off - hurt - raging - i feel completely insulted and humiliated and just want to rage at all these ignorant a--hole fuc--ers....

Anyway - just wanted to get that off my chest before it explodes. Maybe now i can get a little rest tonight (fat chance)...

Most Sincerely,


Wow. Sorry you had to experience all that non sense. I wouldn't let it bother you anymore than it already has. You know, as well as I know, there will ALWAYS be people like that in "our world". Sometimes we'll get second looks, sometimes we won't. I know what you mean when you say you noticed it without even really paying attention, just FEELING the eyes on you. Being it was an upscale place, it probably wouldn't of been the best idea to make a scene, in respects to your company.

I had a similiar experience last summer in TGI Fridays down in SoCal. I was there with my ex, we were eating and talking. And I just felt someone staring. I looked up and saw an older lady and her white trash husband just glaring at me. I told my ex, she turned around and smiled at them. And loudly I said "Damn do I have a big <not allowed> booger in my nose or something?!!". They looked away pretty quick, and never looked up again. It doesn't happen that often with me, but when it does it kills my ego for the day.

There was another time with this same girl, we had a waitress come over and say "Can I get you ladies something to drink"...and it wasn't an honest mistake, you could tell she put a little umph in the ladies part. My ex said "Yeah, I'll have a coke, and HE will have a mountain dew". When she gave us the bill, it was "You GUYS have a good night". Funny how that's really only happened to me maybe 5 times the past 10 years or so, but even so it still hurts a little.

But you know what? I don't give a <not allowed>, and neither should you. There are still people from my hometown who still to this DAY talk about me, spread old rumors etc. And guess what? I haven't fricken lived there since 95-96. I've been back there to visit MAYBE 5 times since I moved away. The way I see it is, there lives are really THAT boring to still be talking about me. I'm glad I still consume their minds, keeps me popular  8)

At any rate. Tomorrows a new day. We will live with ignorant people for the rest of our lives, we can't let them bring us down.

Sorry to hear about your experience and in such a nice place too.  I'd offer a boycott but I could never afford to eat there anyway.  ;)

It is disgusting and those in retail should know better.   Unfortunately that is not the case.  When I was in commission sales I used fare well because I would take on those that the other sales staff did not want to go near.  Which was fine because after being treated well many of them bought some nice stuff, putting a good amount of $$ in my pocket.  The one that I was shocked to hear about came from a blind customer.  She and her mother came in and I was told that the daughter (the blind one) was looking for a radio.  First off, I spoke to the daughter (without raising my voice, why do others do that?) about everything and only the mother when she had a question or comment.  I also took a lot of time to hand her the radios and tell her what she was feeling.  The mother told me that I was the first person to do that and other places would not even bring the radios off of the shelf for her.

As for restaurants, I had one really bad experience at a Macoroni Grill.  No tip was left at all by anyone at the table because it was obvious that the entire wait staff was watching and talking about me.  Pointing and staring did not really help them "hide" it.  I was also furious but just walked out calmly, why let them see that they got to me?


Doll, you behaved like a princess.  Elegance, grace, and a cool composure. You did everything perfectly and by the book. You rose above their petty bigotry, made an appropriate explanation to someone that mattered, and left it at that.  You did not get a visible rise out of anyone there. You did not succomb to their childish behaviour.  What a beautiful example you have placed before them.

Gawd, I admire you!



I don't know if it will make you feel any better, but lots of women -- even those born with female parts -- get a lot of flack in many restrooms. You are not alone dear.
Restrooms are all about appearances, and if you appear butch, as myself and most of my women friends, then in some locations, you are going to get stares or comments.

I remember one woman I knew, in the last state I lived, that was an olympic weightlifter (literally). She was big and beautiful, and "high" femme. So, in many situations, she -- a natal female -- got pegged as a male crossdresser, because some women could not comprehend that a woman that large and muscular could really be female -- like them.

To her credit, she always kept her composure, like yourself. The fact that you did not react with anger to their intrusiveness probably left them somewhat nonplussed. In the latino culture, there are definite boundries for all things considered male/female, and you may have blurred those lines for them, or at least their perceptions. Or, as an old roommate was fond of saying, "I guess I was their first."

Mayhap you go there again, you may find that as they get to observe your behavior, and find you unobtrusive, even mundane, that they actually may start to treat you like any other woman, cause you will be like any other woman.

Better to vent here, than in public -- good work.


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