I’ve read many blogs about mistaken identity. Many types of butches, myself included, can usually bond over the simple fact that many of us have been called ‘Sir.’ Several write about their anger, understandably so. I too became a bit hot under the collar, especially if the clueless person blamed me for their mishap or turned rude when their error became obvious. And then came that late afternoon when I was called ‘Sir’ twice. . . while wearing tailored women’s clothing and shoes. . . and some make-up. I was all gussied up for sk and our evening at the theatre. Our friend, a Whopper (flaming gay man), and I spent a couple of hours wasting time and enjoying an early dinner prior to our arranged meeting time with sk for the play. In those short two hours and while he was right beside him with almost a foot difference in height, I got called ‘Sir’ then he giggled like a little school girl. Oddly enough, since moving to Canada I haven’t had to correct anyone.
Being mistaken for a male is not terribly upsetting to me. Even though I’m a lesbian, I don’t hate men, as some people think we do. After all, we lesbians do have fathers, sons, uncles, grandfathers, brothers, male cousins and even some ex-husbands out there who we love very much. No, the issue I have is when people assume I am younger than I actually am; I’m not talking a few years, I mean many years. And why do they always assume I’m a student? I can see you rolling your eyes now. People tell me, “Oh, I wish I had that problem” or my favorite, “You may not like it now, but a day will come when you will.” Sk is a therapist and if I’ve learned one thing from her it’s that feelings are never wrong so don’t discount my feelings. It may not seem like a problem to you but when it’s been happening for so many years, it becomes very annoying.
A couple of days ago when I walked into work, I saw this one woman who’s been coming there for the past five or six months. She is not a co-worker but there to attend to a resident and leaves within a half hour after my arrival. She does not seem to be the nicest person in the world. I can probably count on one hand how many times we’ve said good morning to one another but she is excellent with our resident, who has dementia (Alzheimer’s) and that is most important. For some reason that morning and totally out of the blue, she turns to me to ask me if I’m a ‘student co-op.’ WTF?! I don’t even know what the hell that is. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I’m probably just a few years younger than is and that fact must make her feel like shit plus she can see I look this good while her age is showing on her face and in her dry hair. Instead, I took the high road and responded appropriately. She then asked me if I was a new hire. I gave up. There is no hope for some clueless people.
Another time, several years ago while still in Chicago, I went to my annual check-up with my doctor who I’d been with for a at least four years up to that point. I was his second patient of the day and he was already over an hour late so I was not in the best of moods by the time he came through the door. He sits down, not looking at me but reading my chart, “How’s everything going, R. Any problems?” “Nope,” I respond. He then places my chart on the desk, turns on his little stool and looks at me, “How are your classes coming along?”
“School. Your classes.”
It’s clear he had no recollection of me. “Well, I finished my second degree over 10 years ago so I would say I did pretty well in my classes back then.”
I know, I know, there are people of all ages in colleges and universities, shout out to strollingturtle. I also know my height, 5 foot, does absolutely nothing to help my cause. But throw a little butch a bone, will ya?
You may think from the above that I’m complaining; not really, more of a humorous rant than anything. I enjoy many more positives from others than negatives. Why just today one of the nurses at work sliced off a few more pieces of cheese so I could make my sandwich for lunch. She left the pieces on the counter so when I walked into the kitchen there they were. One less thing I had to do in order to eat lunch. Thank you, JT. And yesterday I was headed to the parking lot machine to put in some change for a parking slip so I wouldn’t get a ticket while I ran into the library when this woman comes walking towards me. She wanted to give me her parking slip because it still had time on it and she was leaving. She didn’t want me to waste my money. How nice is that? It doesn’t matter that I was only planning to put a quarter in the machine, it was the thought that counts. . .literally in this case, ha! Sorry, that was not intentional. But just for the record, please don’t ask me if I’m a student, it can really make this butch angry and you don’t want me to put on my bitch pants.