The Inevitable Interrogation

Out of curiosity, I’d be interested to hear what other transpeople have done, or intend to do, when faced with an interrogation immediately upon coming out.  Itchy comment-fingers at the ready, please.

This was one of the frustration points for me of late, and while it’s not the first time it’s happened (nor do I expect it to be the last), it still bothers me every time.  Now I’m less annoyed, and I’ve been forced to admit that posting while angry is not the best idea for me, I’m coming back to the subject with an inqusitive and open mind.

So far, in my coming out adventures, I’ve had an overwhelming majority of Perfect Little Positives in response.  And the Awful Shitty Not At All Positives have been categorised as follows… just so I can adjust my acid-spit-o-meter accordingly when I encounter them again.  Of course.

  • The Silent Ones.  These are the ones who have mysteriously managed to miss every single piece of trans information that comes their way.  Which, by now, is far less of a mystery.  Slightly disconcerting ones, but generally harmless.  I like to hope that they just need more time.
  • The Incredibly, Amazingly, Painfully Busy Ones.  These are the ones who Knew And Acknowledged, usually less enthusiastically than The Aforementioned Kind Ones.  You know, their responses being “oh” or “I see” or a similarly lukewarm sentiment.  And then, out of nowhere, their workloads have all exploded, and suddenly they fade into nothingness on The Social Radar.  Not to be confused with The Actually Genuinely Painfully Busy Ones (and don’t worry, I can tell the difference).  I might be cruel or unfair in my attitude here, but good bleeping riddance.
  • The (Over-) Enthusiasts.  These are the ones who can potentially cause problems.  They’re a bit like a vermin infestation – persistent, bloody irritating and impossible to annihilate.  They try to disguise ignorance and nosiness as innocent curiosity, and underestimate my ability to tell the two apart.  And here comes the Point Making.

So, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, it’s the latter that are my problem at the moment.  These are the once who, before asking your preferred name or pronouns, have asked you several intimate questions about exactly how, when, where and why you’ll be inviting scalpels and their handlers into your nether regions.  (The assumption that you will be doing so at some point has already been made, please note.)

While I’m painfully self-conscious about many things, my transition is not one of them, so I actually don’t mind discussing such details… under different circumstances, anyway.  I’m not very good at telling people to shove it, especially if I actually don’t mind the question itself, but I feel like I should develop a strategy.

You know, a witty one-liner that simultaneously embarrasses them, calls them out on what would normally be a giant social faux-pas (but apparently not if you’re dealing with a transperson, a point on which I won’t even start; thoughts, anyone…?), puts them off ever doing it again to you or anyone else, and still encourages the Genuinely Supportive Ones to ask the same kinds of questions at a later date if they really are interested, because you know me, I love to educate…

So rather than ranting on and on about the ignorance and audacity of these people to ask such questions and expectingto be answered, seemingly without any consideration to the simple – and admittedly rather obvious – fact that it is fucking rude, I’m looking for rightful-place-putting suggestions.

Anyone?

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About JC

I'm a no-longer-nameless trans asexual autistic, chemistry undergraduate at a London university, pronoun enthusiast, amateur photographer and budding proofreader. Son of Optimus. Join me and be amazed. Or just join me. The sense of awe and wonder is optional.
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12 Responses to The Inevitable Interrogation

  1. charismaticsaredangerous says:

    for some situations, i’ve found it works to respond to questions with “those are only ok questions to ask if i can ask them of you, too.” which has worked to hilarious effect a number of times. it flips the tables and kind of undercuts the assumed relevance of things: “no i’m not changing my name…are you changing yours?”. “no i’m not concerned about ‘presenting’ or ‘passing’ as anything…are you?” this can have an interesting effect of with medically related things, because, yeah, people don’t really realize the audacity of asking about medical procedures that they (a) have no clinical or personal experience with and (b) would never think to field questions about from another person. a good dose of table-flipping can go a long way sometimes, imho.

  2. doubleinvert says:

    So far, I haven’t been subjected to all that much in terms of interrogation. When asked, I have indicated that my plans are to have SRS at some point, but that I’m not intending on getting facial feminization surgery, vocal chord surgery, or a trachea shave.

    For other questions, if they’re innocuous enough, I’ll just answer. Otherwise, I might tell the questioner that I’ll answer that question if and only if they answer a similar question first. I don’t mind sharing my story, and I’m curious as hell about the stories of others.

    • J.C. Prime says:

      Ditto – normally I don’t mind answering, but when people ask and clearly expect to be answered (and would judge you for not being comfortable doing so), then I’m inclined to bristle… I’ve always been curious too, and I wouldn’t want to discourage the genuinely interested from asking questions, but I think setting boundaries is a good way to go!

      Thanks for sharing 🙂

      -JC

  3. Eli says:

    J.C.

    I have been wallowing for a few days, watching more t.v. than I should, and have just now come back to WP after almost a week off. I am going to post a big two week post op spread today, and will be back to give you a more in depth response.

    For now, let me just say: fuck that shit.

    -E

  4. If you keep your thoughts out of other people’s business (what they think, say and do) you will feel much more comfortable. All you have to concentrate on then is your business (what you think, say and do). It doesn’t matter what people say or how they react. That’s their stuff. What matters is what’s between you and God or your greater self. Coming out is scary only because you choose to let other people’s reactions measure you. Be a full measure of yourself and be proud. You are worth it.

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