It’s Not Okay

I looked good on Saturday.  


And I think it’s okay to say we look good when we do.  For some reason it’s more… ah, acceptable to point out our flaws and shortcomings (especially for a girl like us) but I think if we feel good, if we think we look good, then we should say so.


And I looked good on Saturday.


I had one of my favorite dresses on, paired with one of the cutest pairs of heels I have, and my makeup was fire.  I knew I looked good when my wife said so, and that really made my day.  I was on cloud nine.  


I was meeting up with the MN T-Girls for dinner that evening and I set aside the day for a makeover, shopping, and some quiet time at a coffee shop to read my new book.  It was partial retail therapy, partial self-care.  It was needed.  I had planned a day where I would be very visible to the rest of the world and I knew I’d be interacting with a lot of people from baristas to cashiers to people just going about their day.  As a t-girl I am aware of the possibility that someone will stare (POSSIBLY because I am sitting at a Starbucks in a killer dress and stilettos), that someone will laugh and point, or will harass me.  It, unfortunately, comes with the territory…. and it’s not okay.


One thing I don’t really anticipate is getting hit on.  I do get hit on online through Flickr comments, tweets, and emails (this is not bragging, I wish it would stop), but getting hit on in the real world is, well, it’s uncomfortable and not something I ever feel ready for.

And it’s NOT affirming.  Not to me.  I don’t feel validated, I don’t feel cuter, I don’t feel more feminine, nothing like that.  

But some men of the world don’t care what we feel or think when they hit on us.  They might think we will be flattered or charmed or whatever, but I think most girls just want to be left alone.


And yes, I know, NOT ALL MEN.  


I had arrived at the restaurant about 30 minutes before the reservation time and I checked in with the hostess.  As she stepped away to make sure our table was ready, a man from the bar made his way over to me.  He put his hand on my shoulder (please don’t ever do this) to get my attention.  Instinctively I turned around and before I could react he said I looked beautiful.  Stunned by his boldness (again, don’t touch girls), I turned away after quickly saying thank you, hoping he’d get the message that I didn’t want to speak with him.  He pushed the “conversation” and commented on my heels and other small talk.  I was getting annoyed, like really annoyed.  My lack of interest in continuing the conversation was pretty apparent and he was either not taking the hint or choosing to ignore my body language. 


Thankfully the hostess returned and I approached her, but not before the man sidestepped his way in front of me (again, don’t do this) and asked if he could do anything for me.  I told him that I was just here for my reservations and the hostess spirited me to my table.  


Once there was a little distance between the hostess and I and the man, she asked if he was bothering me.  I said he was and then added “but it’s okay”.  And then I corrected myself and added “no, it’s not okay”.  I meant it was okay in the sense that it was over, but what he did, touching me, stepping in front of me, ignoring my body language, was not. We got to chatting about men like him, and she shared with me the things that have been said to her and like me, she added “but it’s okay”.  I had the feeling that she was used to men behaving in this way and she was, sadly, used to it.  As if it came with the territory.  After a moment she also said “well, it’s not okay” and we just stood there for a moment in our thoughts thinking about our experiences. 


We flashed each other a brave little smile and she told me to enjoy my dinner.  I thanked her for rescuing me and we both went about our evening.

I’d like to add that her, and the entire staff, could not have been more welcoming and pleasant to our group.


The world can be your mirror and sometimes we see other people doing things that we might have done in the past, or might do everyday.  Sometimes this reflection, their behavior causes us to pause and re-examine what we do, or did.  As someone who is bi-gender I experience the world in two very different, distinct ways.  That evening I saw what some men do, and how uncomfortable it made me, and how uncomfortable it made the hostess.  It was a reminder that I must always be a gentleman when I am a boy.  I like to think that I am.  I don’t do the things that he did, nor do I recall ever doing so in my life. 


It’s easy to ignore an email email or scroll past a Twitter comment that is too flirty or sexual for my liking.  But having it happen in real life is harder to deal with.  I don’t want that kind of attention. 


Stay safe, girls.


Love, Hannah

10 thoughts on “It’s Not Okay

  1. That man’s conduct was seriously not ok. Women, whether guests or employees, should be able to go about their business without uninvited intrusions, let alone touching. Management should let this person know that his conduct is making people uncomfortable and unless he behaves appropriately, he will be asked to leave and not return.

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  2. I, too, have had my share of disgusted looks. Luckily, I have never had that extreme of an issue. Some guys just do not take No for an answer – they think you are just being coy or something. Glad to hear you got out of it with no real damage.

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  3. You acted well under the circimstances. That guy’s behaviour is totally wrong and hiding it behind compliments is pretty creepy. It was the threats and fears of this sort of thing that delayed my going out as a TGirl for years. Sue x

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  4. I really don’t know how I’d feel, as that interaction has never happened to me. On one hand, I would be flattered by the attention, but I don’t know if I would appreciate the directness from men like him. Like you, unwanted touching is a definite no-no for me. So I do agree that “it’s not okay”. Glad the hostess was concerned for you, and that your group had a wonderful time together.

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  5. How does someone join the mn t-girls club? I am a transwomen from sd and a former member of clcc. Just looking for a fun new group. And from reading your time-line your group what I might be looking for. Hope not to forward just looking to meet similar

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  6. I was leaving a casino at 1:15 AM earlier this year–and I was looking pretty good that night–and a man hit on me. He didn’t touch me, and walked away when I turned him down.

    Women deal with this ALL the time. They are also socialized to defer to men, and to say it’s OK when it isn’t OK.

    That guy was a pig and some guys are pigs–and women have to deal with pigs all the time. He stepped way over the line.

    Like former Presidents. Like former NY Governors. #MeToo exists for a reason.

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  7. First off – he was a creep for how he acted. But, for me anyway, not for the fact that he did act. I believe “Trans women and women”, and I want the world to have that same belief. For me, it is as you say, it comes with the territory. Typically men are interested in women, and may find someone of interest.

    Again, he was a creep for _how_ he acted. But, had he been a gentleman, paid me an honest compliment (and no touching, or invading my personal space), and accepted that I was not interested when I first turned away, then I would have taken that as an affirmation. The same would be true if a lady approached me in the same manner.

    And, we can take a tip from other single ladies – wear a wedding ring. At least it slows down some of them. It’s about the only sign we can carry in the real world that says “not interested”. Otherwise, we are just women out and about, and things happen. Again, not for the creeps out there, but for the gentlemen, and ladies we may met.

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  8. I am not trying to justify this dunderhead odious behavior, but in a society that seem to expect the man to make the ‘first move’ just how to you start a conversation without appearing to be a pest/prat/clown/creep ?

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  9. Anon is correct. Women rarely start a conversation with someone they find attractive. If left up to the women there would be no Sparking and Courting at all. Unattached and lonely means facing rejection, and another night alone..

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