Activism and Politics > Hate

Dealing with hate talk

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I had my first encounter with someone saying disparaging things about me. I'm feeling in shock and haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I've read and heard stories about all the things other people deal with, and have known I would have to deal with this and more someday, but I thought I'd be stronger, it's shaken my confidence.
Some background, I'm 50 years old, been out full time for 3 months now, 6 months part time before that, during that time I've never felt like people were staring or anything. I was in a form fitting biking outfit, which is my least passible as I have no hips or butt or figure. After a few hours of riding I stopped at my favorite coffee house, and had a nice snack. As I was leaving I passed a man then overheard his words, my first instinct was he couldn't have been talking about me, I wanted to turn around and see what he was talking about, but that would have meant a acknowledging  it could have been me, so I just continued out the door. It took me a while to process that had to be me no one else was nearby, he must have looked at my butt as I'd passed and realized something. I feel that if I'd made eye contact before passing him, or he hadn't been checking out my butt this wouldn't have happened.
My wife says I live in a bubble, that people always go out of their way to be nice to me, and I simply don't have to deal with mean people, sometimes I think she's right, I certainly feel ill prepared to deal with hate.

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If there's no physical assault, I just walk away; but it really ruins my day.   It ruined it worse before I shut down the T, because I would then just wallow in the rage, offense, and fear for hours and hours.

I wouldn't discount your wife's comment though; most people cut me way more slack than they really even should, much more than they do for others... and I've only just started to notice it.   after 50 years..


I can totally relate to your bubble. I am in a very similar situation in my life. I keep waiting for that shoe to drop. I keep thinking that any acknowledgement would only give that person power. I imagine a ciswoman would keep on walking (in most cases.) If I really had to say something I guess I would face them and say,"what's your problem?"
Then I would get out of there. For me this is still theory. Sorry I'm not much help.

Beth Andrea:
People who make little comments as you walk away are, imho, hoping you will confront them because they don't have what it takes to DO something to make you notice. They (and their words) are not worth your time, anymore than a little child saying you're fat, or in my case, "Mom! That woman is a man!"

I just smiled at the mom, btw.

Much of our struggle to transition is learning to ignore most comments, looks, etc. It's hard, because we've spent our lives being hyper-aware of how others perceive us, and the desire to "pass" as our designated gender is so ingrained...

For myself, when I realized I was "acting" when I presented as male and simply "being myself" when presenting female, my concern for how others perceived me went out the window.

I am presenting authentically, and if I don't meet with someone else's idea of how a woman should look like, sound like, or whatever...that's their problem.

Fwiw, my ex also said I live in a bubble, but as much as I choose to ignore other people's disapproval, she chose to notice every little slight, every glance, every eyebrow as criticism of my existence. She was just hurting that "her man" could be anything other than a man.

It's hard, but just keep on walking, and try to process it later, as you did.  There will always be some lout that needs to prove his superiority by letting you know that "You don't fool ME!".  Of course, we're not trying to fool anyone, just live our lives in peace.

Alas, not every parent has trained their children that if they can't say something nice, they shouldn't say anything at all.  As a result we get people who pretty much just utter whatever dim thoughts flicker through their heads, without regard for anyone else.  Heck, there are even highly visible folks encouraging this as a way to combat the horrors of good manners, what they mislabel as 'political correctness.'

A big focus in my therapy and group sessions seems to be how to process this garbage thrown at us.  The important thing is to not escalate by responding, or the lout may get confrontational.  Relaxed posture, hands open, smile, even if fake, or you might trigger that damn "fight or flight" reflex in the lout's lizard hindbrain.  It ain't easy.


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