Spare some change?

Someone wrote…

Walking through the Tenderloin with my partner, a panhandler asked “Spare some change — boys, girls?” without any hesitation. It made us smile and laugh. No malice or confusion in his voice, he was simply hedging his bet.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on March 5th, 2010 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 5 comments »

5 Responses to “Spare some change?”

  1. Josiah

    Great! I love this :)



  2. Cat

    I wish more people were like that. Perhaps this is why I tend to get along with street folks. They’re pretty open and honest and void of bullshit.


  3. Anonymous

    uh not the street people I encounter on my walk. But this is a really beautiful exchange. I can’t wait until the whole world can be as casual about gender as that guy was.


  4. B-Rae

    This is lovely. :)


  5. Jay

    I agree with Cat – I’ve found street people on the whole, when not intoxicated or severely mentally ill, to be very open and non-judgemental.

    The thing is, they more than perhaps any other group of people they know the value of respect. When you stop and pass the time of day with one of them, when you’re polite to them and treat them like human beings (without talking down to them as though they’re children), they almost always respond in kind. How could it be otherwise, when all day everyday people either ignore them completely or look at them with disgust? We think we have it hard as genderqueers, as gays, lesbians, transpeople or whatever – but at the end of the day I doubt any of us are as truly alone as these people can be.

    I have a friend called Jimmy, a homeless heroin addict who sits on a corner I pass by often. I don’t give him money. I just offer him a cigarette when I have one and shoot the shit with him for a minute or two. It makes me feel so good to put a smile on his haggard, grey young face, just for a moment. I urge all of you to do the same; next time don’t turn your head and keep walking, just STOP for a second and look them in the eye. Make a comment about the weather, tell a joke, anything. I guarantee you’ll make their day and that’ll make yours.


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