May 05, 2009

Making Small Talk With Men in Dresses I pride myself on being open-minded and I think that I do a very admirable job of not just talking the talk, but of walking the walk as well. Even so, I have to admit that accepting everyone is much easier when done from a distance than when it becomes up close and personal. My ability to be truly accepting of people who have different views, life experiences and ways of being in the world was tested recently, and for a brief moment, I wondered wether or not I would pass the test. I belong to a very liberal church and we are a welcoming congregation which means that we really do welcome all. You can believe in God (or gods) or not. You can lean towards paganism or fancy yourself a western Buddhist. You can be black or white, Asian or Hispanic, lesbian or gay, transgendered or transsexual. Come one, come all. Our inclusiveness is what drew me to this church and I believe myself to be ready for anything. But then I met Tracy (not her real name). I wasn't quite sure what to make of Tracy. She was always beautifully dressed and very polite but her figure and features had a masculine edge that I couldn't help but notice. I began to wonder if she was really a "she" at all. A masculine looking woman? A transsexual in progress? A man who just likes to wear dresses? Whatever the answer, I was truly willing to accept it. I just found that the not being clear on who I was dealing with was a bit disconcerting, not to mention distracting. How does one make small talk with a man in a dress anyway? I made a point of pushing myself to look past the incongruities and to get to know Tracy, the person. It wasn't easy at first. I wasn't feeling judgmental or prejudiced. It was more a feeling of confusion. The first few conversations

Lori Jewett

I'm an overly educated stay-at-home mom with two kids and the need for adult conversation.

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