Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Checking Out in Seattle

I made my way down to my major-franchise hotel lobby in Seattle last week, looking to check out ahead of my 6:00 AM Uber ride to the airport.  I was a little bleary from a night of not sleeping as I never sleep well ahead of a travel day.  Thankfully, the hotel had a fresh hot pot of Starbucks Pike Place, and the joe was a positive jolt to the system.

I made my way to the front desk to hand over my room key and looking up at me from behind the desk, I saw this:

While this is obviously Phil Hartman as his great character Susan, I'm not that far off.  Horrible wig, worn askew.  Makeup everywhere.  Stereotype fake female voice.  It was as much of jolt as the coffee that was flowing through my system.

I didn't expect it and was taken aback.  This person's look was not one of trying to look like a gender in which they biologically were not.  This person's look was "I'm clearly going to look like a man horribly made up to be a woman..."

Furthermore, implicit in that look was "...and you're going to have to deal with it."

I've seen a lot of cross gender folks, and don't care about it or them.  In fact, such confusion on something as innate as one's gender has to be a horrible and conflicted way to live, and I've often felt a lot of compassion for their plight.  It has to be incredibly hard - way harder than I could hope to understand.  

Want to know how hard?  The suicide attempt rate for transgender folks is 41%.  That's not a typo and I'm not missing a decimal.  

I don't care what you do or who you love.  As long as nobody gets hurt, it's none of my damn business.  However, when interacting with the hospitality industry, I expect to be treated as a guest (especially when I'm paying over $400 a night for a hotel room).  I don't expect to have such an "in your face" confrontation of acceptance.  

Want to be a woman?  Great.  Feeling like a man today?  Bully.  Want to "shock" me by barely doing either?  Fine as well.

Just not on my dime, OK?

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