Day to day

Someone wrote…

I recently moved to a small town from a larger city, and whereas even before I felt like I stood out for being a female-assigned-at-birth but gender ambiguous person in a fairly diverse city, I stick out like a sore thumb here. Strange looks and general unfriendliness seems to be the norm directed to those deemed even slightly “abnormal”. This probably mirrors so many of my fellow Genderqueer’ers realities, but I’m having a hard time adjusting. I don’t really have a specific question but felt the need to share my disappointment in this, and how some of you may deal with the day to day of other’s unkind judgements.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on August 21st, 2012 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 7 comments »

7 Responses to “Day to day”

  1. Dude

    As trite as it may sound, writing helps me a lot. If I write out what happened to me I can look at it more objectively, and if I write out my emotions it helps me understand myself and that I don’t have to change.


  2. Anonymous

    I live in a small town, and in pretty much the entire area (several towns over included), the people are like this, and worse. You grow up and realise one day it’s not about YOU, and you move on. I applaud people who can stand to live in big cities, but at the same time… until you’ve lived where us others have… you have no clue the hell we go through just to buy groceries, go to a local doctor, talk to neighbors, etc.

    Sorry if I don’t sound sympathetic… it’s just really annoying that all people do when confronted with something new and painful is complain about it and brag about how much better they had it “before.” There is no going back, so it’s best to just adjust and move on with your life. There will ALWAYS be someone who has it worse than you do. ALWAYS.

    You liked city life? Then go back to the city. It’s not the responsibility of us “country folk” to make your life easier because you didn’t do your homework.


    Anonymous replied:

    Hi, my intention with writing that wasn’t to brag in any sense. I don’t even see why you would think that…little bit defensive there.
    I also stated how previously even in a big city I still had encounters with other’s negative attitudes towards how I appear, though to a lesser extent as is to be expected in a smaller populated area. I also didn’t say I liked city life, I love the laid pack pace I have in this smaller town. Wouldn’t go back to the city at all. And lastly don’t worry, I don’t think it is anyone’s responsibility but my very own to stand up for myself, and carry on living my truth. I do that quite well actually, but I guess the day I posted this I was just curious about what other’s in similar situations do when faced with the same kinds of little obstacles. Wanted a bit of dialogue with some people like myself. Sorry if this bugged you? …
    Much love


    Anonymous replied:

    I also am highly aware of the fact that there are so very many people having it so much worse off then me, compared to my receiving weird looks/harsh comments etc..I consider myself very blessed for living in Canada. I don’t see why you think I wouldn’t be aware or mindful of that reality. Definitely some un-needed jumping to conclusions there..Let’s try and support each other rather then get defensive, and answer the questions being asked more instead of belittle one another through statements like that. Might make more people feel comfortable expressing their personal thoughts and feelings.


    Brae replied:

    Hey Kai,

    I have definitely had my fill of people who have moved from other cities to mine and done no end of griping about how good they had it, but that’s not what I got from your post at all. We all have different points of reference and familiarity and change is change, no matter who you are.

    The truth of the matter is that there is no one perfect answer in terms of how to handle the adjustment to a new place. I mean, I could tell you how I would handle it, but that might only work for me because of my general presence and disposition. It might bomb for you.

    Being consistently nice to everyone may work for you over time, or it may just make people even crueler as they try to grind a response out of you. I find that being civil and proactive, taking the high ground, works to a point – after which I just address it directly so people don’t take me for a doormat. Having a support system is obviously something to think about if you can find others in the area who appreciate you as you are.

    Some of it might just have to do with time, since you said your move was recent. And – as mentioned before – some of it may just persist and, unless it is something directly abusive requiring outside intervention, it may be something that you build up a thicker skin to over time.

    This makes me think of the movie The Station Agent featuring Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, and Bobby Cannavale. Sometimes it is a real process finding a sense of place and a social comfort bubble, but sometimes it happens in the strangest and most unexpected ways. I highly recommend it if you have not seen it.


  3. Brett Blatchley

    What I try to do in these situations is to “kill them with kindness…”

    Become someone known for being kind and considerate, and all but the hardest hearts will be melted. It may take some time, but genuinely return goodness for their ill-treatment of you.

    Be kind to *everyone*, ESPECIALLY those others would consider beneath them…

    ..In a small town, it won’t take long before people know you. You will become “that really nice person who’s a bit odd, but they’re “pleasantly peculiar.” Eventually, even some of the hardest-hearted folks will come around.

    Never be unkind in reply. Never! One unkind remark or act can cause a hundred kindnesses to be washed-away.

    This is HARD to do. But once I committed to this, I found it becomes easier, and kindness is infectious.

    This also helps, I think:

    Be gentle with yourself. Know that who you are is special, significant and every bit as valuable as anyone else, no more, no less. You are a legitimate person and becoming your most authentic self is a high and noble thing. This is a manifestation of genuine, beautiful and healthy humility, such that even if you struggle with your body and identity (as I do), people will perceive that you are comfortable in your own skin (as I am)

    For all this to work for me, I need to abandon myself to God (who has my back), and when I’m in doubt, I try to do the kind thing.


  4. Anonymous

    You’re saving the lives of kids in that town who would never otherwise have seen a visibly queer person. You’re showing so many people what is possible, and at least one or a few are going to be inspired to step outside of their chains.

    You draw more fire in a place like that, but you’re also making a bigger difference. Analogy: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. They can’t direct psychological force at you without you impacting them.

    Having a sense of purpose helped me survive adolescence in a semi-rural, semi-suburban, equally conservative US Southern town.


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