A good friend of mine, a transgender comedienne named Emily, was part of the first round of stand-up comedy in the Long Island Laugh Off at the Brokerage in Bellmore. At the end of the competition she was selected as one of the four finalists to move on to the 2nd round. To celebrate and to feed Emily’s rumbling tummy, we went to a local diner.
As you could imagine, Emily was the only transgender woman and I was the only crossdresser in the diner. Neither of us minded. We were promptly seated and Emily set out to find some late-night breakfast on the menu worthy of devouring. Stand-up comedy can be very hungry work, you know. I only sipped water since I ate at the club as part of their “Two Item” minimum.
No sooner than we started discussing Emily’s set and how to improve on perfection, a server named Pamela came up and started chatting with us. She remarked how pretty we were then corrected herself to tell us we were handsome women. We assured Pamela that the use of “pretty” was perfectly acceptable in this case. I told her that Emily did well in the comedy competition. Pamela called out to another server named Deb and the two of them gushed about how nice we looked, how nice we were, and how rotten other patrons can be. We were very appreciative of Pamela and Deb’s compliments and stories.
The reason why I’m telling you this story is because it serves to illustrate that members of our community can walk into a regular diner and not be gawked at or whispered about. None of the other patrons paid us any mind. Those who did make eye contact – the host and an older couple of ladies – were given my full gaze and a beaming smile. I mean, one of my friends DID just get selected to appear again in the competition!
Emily ate her breakfast. I sipped my water through a straw. We enjoyed each other’s company and that of the staff. Emily paid the check and we departed. It all sounds like a fairly normal evening, didn’t it? If you carry yourself with confidence, positivity and grace, you are more apt to invite conversation and appreciation from others.
Give it a try.
You may be surprised.