..and by that, I mean trans issues discussed in the workplace.
Let me start from the beginning. I was minding my own business, cleaning shelves in the front of the store when I thought I heard the words “sex change operation.” Whaaat? I know I think about trans stuff a lot, but was I hearing things?
I popped my head up and looked around. Nobody was in my immediate vicinity. I went back to cleaning, only to hear something about transgender and medicare. I poked my head up again and noticed that a couple coworkers were talking about the fact that the ban on medicare covering trans healthcare was dropped.
I was floored. I didn’t think most people paid much attention to trans issues, but I guess they do when it involves their money. I sneaked around and pretended to be cleaning a shelf that was a bit closer.
One of the company’s drivers was trying to convince the secretary that the ban being lifted was ridiculous. She kept telling him that she knew someone who was trans and they were really uncomfortable in their body, and he kept making ignorant arguments. Now to be clear, I understand why people who don’t accept transpeople don’t want to pay portion of their medicare tax (even if it ends up being a veeery small fraction of money) – It’s a difficult debate that has even more implications than just the scope of medicare. My problem wasn’t so much his point of view as his ignorance and the rude things he said.
I was surprised that they were having such a loud conversation about that kind of thing, since in my city there’s a don’t-talk-about-it-stigma. After they were done talking and he left, I looked over. She looked back at me and I quickly went back to cleaning. Sometimes a look can share everything and nothing all at once.
I was surprisingly not bummed out or pissed off. I felt a mix of feelings, sure, but I didn’t feel wholly bad. I guess I was kind of shocked that someone stood up for transpeople, even when someone was being so direct.
When I was on my way out of work, I had a note ready that said “Thanks for standing your ground. It means more to me than you could ever know.” A vague note, but I hoped she’d know what I meant. My plan was to drop it on he desk as I left. However, when I was leaving, there were two other co-workers sitting at her desk too. My heart was pounding.
Be brave, Transiteration, be brave. I casually said bye to everyone and put it nearest to her in one motion. A couple steps later, she asked “what’s this?” I mumbled “nothing much” as I walked away.
I dunno if she’ll bring it up, but I’ll keep you updated!