Author Topic: A potential curious conundrum...is he a trans man?  (Read 331 times)

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Offline Ms Grace

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A potential curious conundrum...is he a trans man?
« on: February 17, 2017, 01:08:51 pm »
A shuffle of bureaucrats in the government department that my organisation deals with for project funding means that we now have a new mandarin to deal with. I haven't met him yet, but will in a few weeks. I've heard from two different people now "he's very tiny", "he's like a child"...and having read of the similar difficulties raised by many trans men on this forum it does make me wonder if this guy is trans.

It's his own business of course and good on him if he is...but given the way these two people talk about him because of his size is somewhat condescending I'd feel particularly bad for him if he was trans. It would be bad enough for any man to be "mocked" for being small but it seems particularly cruel if they are also trans.

As a taller than average woman I know what it feels like to stand out due to size - although the dynamics of society prejudice means being tall is rarely mocked, even for women. I'd rather be shorter and I'm guessing many trans men would rather be taller. I have a trans man friend in real life and he is about five feet tall, if that...he's very hairy so people probably don't refer to him as a child but bizarrely he still gets misgendered in dimly lit situations, presumably because of his voice and height. Sigh, height prejudice! (Bizarrely, the mandarin has the same first name as my friend!!)

So anyway, good on this new mandarin if he is trans. I may not even be able to tell if he is when I meet him. But if I can, and he is, I know I'm going to find it hard to bite my tongue if people keep referring to him as a tiny child behind his back. As it is, I almost floated "perhaps he's a trans man" to the second person telling me how tiny he was but didn't because even if he is it isn't my place to out him via a hypothetical.

I'm pretty sure these people would feel bad if they realised they were mocking a trans guy for his height but even so it still isn't my place to say anything...is it?
Grace
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Offline FTMax

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Re: A potential curious conundrum...is he a trans man?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 01:19:55 pm »
They should probably feel bad about mocking anyone for their height. I don't know what a mandarin does (I presume he is only allowed to wear orange ;D ) but I've canned people for comments that were less rude. I would say something to them about how rude they're being in general. You don't have to bring up anything about him potentially being trans, just a "How would you like it if we all talked behind your back about (some embarrassing personal characteristic they have)?"
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Online patrick1967

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Re: A potential curious conundrum...is he a trans man?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 01:22:57 pm »
Grace, you can easily handle this without the trans question even coming into play. The response i would give is "So what if he is not 6'2" and built like a bodybuilder. The only question should be if he is good at his job. How about we focus on that?" No outing, even in the hypothetical, it could make it worse if he is or bring doubt that could be devistating to his ability to do his job

Offline Ms Grace

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Re: A potential curious conundrum...is he a trans man?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2017, 01:59:26 pm »
When the first person raised it I was a bit "...OK...?" and put it down to that person.

Later on I considered he might be trans.

When the second person raised it I realised it was not an attitude peculiar to the first and that this might be a "thing". I almost raised the trans hypothetical but bit my tongue. Instead I said, as a super tall woman, far be it for me to judge people for their height.

The only question should be if he is good at his job...

Indeed. And hopefully he is, my sanity will depend on it!

I don't know what a mandarin does (I presume he is only allowed to wear orange ;D )

Ha. Maybe it is more a British term. Just means high level bureaucrat. Maybe originally they did wear orange once...but I think the term has Chinese roots. Better start googling I guess!
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Offline Kylo

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Re: A potential curious conundrum...is he a trans man?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 02:38:33 pm »
If you're angry at them making fun of him don't suggest the trans thing to them. If they'll make fun and call someone a child for height chances are they'll do it even more so for being trans, too. You might be giving them an idea for insults that will follow him around permanently whether he is or isn't... even if they never meant it as an insult, workplaces have a way of turning comments into nicknames sometimes, don't they.

We're only 1% or so of the population... that's a lot of non-trans short guys out there so, I wouldn't automatically assume he's one of us.
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Offline Ms Grace

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Re: A potential curious conundrum...is he a trans man?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2017, 02:47:21 pm »
I can't say for sure for one of those people since they are only an associate from another organisation, but I suspect if the other, a colleague, thought this person was, or could be, a transman they'd actually be quite supportive. Weird thing is, our workplace is an LGBTI Safe-Place... but apparently not a small statured man safe place.

I should note that the comments about this person haven't necessarily been derogatory but would presumably be hurtful regardless unless the guy has a super thick skin.

At any rate I have no intention of saying anything that could out him. Will be interested to meet him though.
Grace
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Offline Asa Spades

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Re: A potential curious conundrum...is he a trans man?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2017, 03:49:08 pm »
Nothing to really add to the above except, if a person is short, tall, average, whatever, doesn't have a whole lot to do with a person's age. Now, making fun of someone's height? Who's the real child in this situation? Because it sounds exactly like what you might hear on a school playground. The risk of hurting a person for something as inconsequential as their height is kind of a silly thing if you think about it (which obviously you have) Perhaps they just need Ms Grace to help them stop and think about it for a moment =)






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