Humans is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
I was on Twitter this morning and saw this video come up in my timeline of a trans-woman infuriated with some employees in a Gamestop store. From what I can see, she was trying to return her game, clearly frustrated with it for whatever reason. But what didn't help was that she was met with a couple people misgendering her. I’m sure there were also contributing factors to her frustration before this; however, the attention should be completely focused on the discrimination she was getting. I understand there will and can be accidents where people will honestly misgender someone. It happens, especially if a cis-gendered person doesn’t genuinely know if someone is trans or not. A lot of times people can understand that someone is trans based on appearance alone, but it wasn’t like this woman was dressed masculine at all. Sure, she is tall, her voice is deep, she's muscular, and she's not petite, but you can see that she's trying to outwardly express her gender. You can see that she was dressed feminine and she had makeup on. You can see that she's trying to show that she's a woman despite the masculine features she was born with. Yet she was still being called "sir." She corrected these two people several times but they still continued.
Listen, I’m not one to talk. I'm not trying to preach to people and act like I'm so pure. I haven't been one that has been genuinely kind to others in the past. I used to be a very venomous person, but I’ve learned from my mistakes and I’m still trying to continue to learn. Seeing this woman, you can tell that she’s trans and in this society striving to more progressive, there’s already so much information out there on transgender education. For the longest time, they just want to be included. They want to be recognized. They want to be respected. They want to be treated like a human being. They don't have to hide anymore, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't take the time to just be decent to them. You don’t have to agree on people changing their sex. I get the fact that people don’t understand all the things including someone going above and beyond to change a huge part of their identity. However, it takes one moment to correct yourself and say, “Oh my god, I am so sorry, ma’am. I did not mean to call you sir and say guy. That's totally my fault. How can I make this right?”
Empathy is so important. We need to constantly remember and practice this every day.
Did the woman come off as intimidating? Sure. Aside from sex work, I’ve been in countless restaurants and stores where I’ve met several upon several intimidating customers. It's not exactly my cup of tea to be yelled at but let's face it—we've all made that mistake. Even if you've worked in customer service before, you've snapped on a crew member or sales associate before. I've met several angry customers being in the restaurant business that have come from all different walks of life. But how does it help an escalated situation by continuing to call a trans woman "sir"? To you it might seem outrageous to get offended, angry, and wounded by being called "sir" if you haven’t experienced transphobia in your life. Being mistaken for the wrong gender stings to someone already that emotionally and mentally vulnerable on top of the other stresses they go through. Just imagine this too: if you had to deal with people calling you the wrong name, the wrong pronoun, the wrong title, and get shit on every day with an arsenal of discriminating actions, words, and open thoughts about your community every single day of your entire or part of your life, wouldn’t you get pissed too? Wouldn’t you immediately correct someone if you felt as if were receiving discrimination and harassment on purpose? Oh yeah, that shit wouldn't fly for even a minute. If you're cis-gendered, just think about what it would be like for you. It would be an outrage and you would make it known too.
The problem is that trans people still don’t even register as actual people to society. Even with all the progress we made we still have issues like this. It’s hard to respect someone you don’t see as another human being even though you know they are. This woman just wanted to be respected, that’s it. No, I don’t condone or think she should have kicked over the merchandise or threatened to fight the employee, of course. However whenever you’ve been marginalized and discriminated against since the dawn of time, there’s so much you’re going to tolerate. I mean, this kind of discrimination has ended many lives. Could the trans woman have handled the situation better? Sure, of course. However so could the employees of Gamestop. I’ve worked in so many places where if I couldn’t handle an angry customer, I’d get the manager to handle it for me. When you’re a manager, you should understand that role involves being empathetic, understanding, and knowing how to properly and professionally handle issues at hand. If you're another customer too, you don't need to get yourself involved with someone like that by being trigger-happy with your phone to call the cops. It's not necessary. There’s a way to defuse a situation without going that far. There’s steps to take.
Anyway, this video went viral and naturally people just created this into a meme. Of course there were many people that were in support of the trans-woman—which made me totally happy. However, the transphobic comments I saw in response to this were disgraceful. People thought it was funny. People even went as low as to calling her a "creature." I mean, really? We're gonna act that scummy? I think we can do better. We need to be more empathetic and open-minded to the marginalized. It doesn’t make you weak to care about another person that’s different than you. It just means you’re above than acting like a careless and disconnected individual.