My friend Joyce is a good person – great sense of humor, compassion that extends into forever, good storyteller, and a no bullshit kind of woman. She’s a lesbian, mother of one adult child, and has a cat. And she’s disabled to the point of being mostly housebound especially in bad weather. She lives in rural Beaver County where she grew up. But her understanding of the world is momentous because she educates herself, listens to people who are authorities on topic when she is not, and is not afraid to admit when she doesn’t know something. She uses Facebook to remind everyone that her voice and the voices of others in similar straits are important and do matter.
She shared a story the other day – she writes about her forays out into the “world” as a sort of wry reflection on the Trump Administration rumors of monitoring social media for folks on Social Security to make sure we aren’t living it up too much on that whopping monthly check. Did I mention she’s hysterical?
When I read this, I asked her if I could publish it. This week, in particular, the week that J.K. Rowling allied herself with transphobic radical feminists (TERFs), it is absolutely critical to signal boost the voices of white cisgender lesbians who stand WITH the trans community, not with bigots. Joyce left her house for a brief outing and used some of her ‘spoons’ to confront someone using tranphobic language. She didn’t have to do that, she had other options. But I suspect being called on the carpet by an older white neighbor customer was something this jagoff won’t forget soon.
This past week, a Beaver County media outlet depicted the important work of LGBTQ advocates and allies on the ground in rural Beaver County. Our rural Q&A series has explored LGBTQ organizing in Indiana, Erie, and Lycoming counties – we hope to include Beaver County soon. I’m pleased to add Joyce’s voice to our ongoing efforts to show that there are lesbians who refuse to kowtow to transphobia and there are rural LGBTQ folks who will stand with the most marginalized members of our community even at great personal expense. ~ Sue
This is her unedited anecdote. I didn’t change a thing except spacing. If you appreciate this post, consider supporthing this blog so we can continue to do this work.
“Well I was able to get out of the house, 2nd time this month, yipee. I went to a local market.
While waiting in line for french fries from the hot bar, I was asked by a young employee if he could get anything for me. I said I am waiting for fries. He said I will check on them. He came back and said it will be 10 minutes. I said OK, thanks. I was told it would be 15 minutes, 15 minutes ago, but I will wait. He said oh, who told you that? I said one of the women.
Another young guy, one of his co-workers, was walking past him, heading to the kitchen. He said in a very smart ass voice, Well who knows, because today men are women and women are men, and he walked on back into the kitchen.
I said to the first guy, tell your co-worker to keep his transgender slurs to himself. He said I am so sorry. I said better yet, if you can, please go get him. He went and brought his co-worker out for me.
I said keep your transgender slurs to yourself. A workplace, where you can be heard by customers, is not the place for comments like yours. If I ever hear something like this again, I will report it to management. His face was as red as a beet and he fell all over himself trying to apologize. He went back to the kitchen.
When the fries finally arrived, his co-worker boxed them up for me. He said again, I am so sorry. I said they were not your comments, they were your co-worker’s comments, but tell him that this is what happens when you piss of an old Lesbian.
Never back down, when you see and hear bigotry. I am a disabled old lesbian, but I will put anyone in their place who comments negatively about the LGBTQ where I can see or hear it. I make many negative comments on FB. This is an open forum. My comments that someone does not like, can be deleted, and I am sure they are.
I worked for 38 years, 35 of it in human services, and never once did I make a negative comment, where I could be heard by our consumers or their family members, visiting staff members, etc. If I was able to keep my opinions to myself at work, then so can everyone else.”
Thank you, Joyce.
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