Thursday, October 28, 2010

It was the day before I was due to travel north for my daughter's wedding, and I had a grant application to hand in to an office in the Lyceum admin building.
I cycled there, hasty and preoccupied.
There's a drop in centre and needle exchange at the Lyceum road end, and I passed some addicts on the way to it.
One of the group, a young woman said, just as I was passing her: "That looks just like a woman".
It's years since I've encountered that kind of abuse, and I wasn't prepared.
My defences were down. I was dumbfounded.
The crushing rudeness of these remarks; the refusal to accept me or treat me as a human being... It all came back to me, along with my inability to respond.
I cycled on before I knew what was happening; and she started singing a song like "Lust like a woman" to further mock me.
And somehow the opportunity to answer back was lost.
I was struck by the sadness of it: these unfortunates, at the bottom of the social heap, busily engaged in wrecking their own lives, should still feel free to try to bolster their self esteem by mocking me as a transsexual.
And that my internalised self-oppression, in spite of all I have achieved, should still be so strong as to knock me off balance and leave me unable to respond.

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