I got a friend, his name is Kai. He lives on Island where he makes a living of guiding tourists.
The difficult art of keeping your social skills when meeting a trans guy
A couple of weeks ago I was at a gay bar in Reykjavik called bar 46. The culture at this bar could make an interesting text itself, but this text is going to be about the bar behind the bar. Inside 46 you’ll see a door that says «men only». I though we got rid of these kind of signs after the fall of apartheid, but apparently categorizing and dividing humans is OK, as long as the division is about gender. They have also chosen to reduce the prices of the beer inside the area where only men can access. I think 46 misunderstood which of the genders that are systematically suppressed.
The «Only men»-bar have lately realized that trans men also are men, and decided to allow trans men into their club. This club was where I ended up with a friend on a late Saturday a couple of weeks ago. The first thing that happens when we get in was that what seems like the owner or the bar, or at least a person having a central role there, came running up to us, telling us how welcome we should feel here. This happened to be a club that is including towards «transvestites». I don’t doubt the intentions of this guy, but I do doubt his knowledge on trans issues. I am happy that the club is including to people identifying themselves as transvestites. I would, however, appreciate if a so-called including club did not label their guests with categories they don’t identify with. I identify as a man, and although I don’t fully know how my friend identifies I’ve never heard him call himself a transvestite. Second, the bar owner seems to have no reflection of the fact that when he insists spending ten minutes telling us how welcome the club is, he is outing us to the rest of the club. Maybe we did not want the whole club to know that we are not cisgendered. Third, there is nothing that makes me feel less included than people trying to convince me of how included I should feel.
Later, in the same club and now with one of the gender-specific prized beers, a guy became curious about this trans-stuff. Another guy passed us while we were talking about trans issues, and he became really surprised when he heard we were trans. He then came up to me and started touching my upper body to feel how it is shaped. When he could feel that I was binding he just made some sounds that I understood ment that he now knew I was transgendered. I pushed him away and left the pub, I’ve had enough of the «transvestite»-including environment.
Some people just seems to lose all their social intelligence when a person turns out to be trans. Although I’m trans, I still have intimate zones that strangers can’t cross, believe it or not. DO NOT TOUCH MY BODY JUST BECAUSE YOU QUESTION MY GENDER. I’ll make it simple for you: my body – mine. Anyway, you can not find my gender from touching my body, my gender is determined by the way I identify. And I identify as a guy.
At least we got cheaper beer.