The video circulating on social media platforms is that of a transgender woman who is standing in a Gamestop in Albuquerque, New Mexico and obviously distraught and upset with the employee and the other customers in the store. The video shows the woman demanding to be referred to as “ma’am” multiple times after the employee and the customers repeatedly misgender her. She gets visibly upset, makes threats, demands, and swears. But, in the end, she leaves. That’s the gist; you can see it for yourself here:
Is it ok for someone to storm through a store, kick a display, shout obscenities or threaten to meet an employee “out back”? No. Absolutely not. But I have to consider what was going on with this woman to make her get to this level of upset over a stranger misgendering her.
I had to do a little research to find the backstory here. Because, as we all know, not everything we see on the internet is as it seems. I wanted to know what happened BEFORE the cameras started recording. What brought it to this place of anger? What I could find, according to Daily Mail is, the woman came in and purchased an item. Upon the clerk handing her the receipt he called her “sir,” and she got upset. She wanted to return the item she had just purchased because she didn’t feel comfortable spending money in a store where an employee had just deeply insulted her. The clerk offered store credit. You can see in the video that she is noticeably getting more and more agitated with the situation and then starts the explosive responses.
The whole thing makes me so sad. So angry. I have to wonder if she would have escalated to that point if the employee wouldn’t have misgendered her in the first place or if he would have apologized IMMEDIATELY, and not continued to do so time after time following. The employee did apologize a few times. However, are you really “sorry” if you continue to do the very thing you’re apologizing for? Me thinks not.
She is dressed in pink shoes, a grey hoodie, women’s cut tight jeans, and a pink top with long hair and makeup applied. In a world of gender stereotypes, she is unquestionably dressed as a woman.
Why is it ok to misgender someone and then CONTINUE to do so when they have repeatedly corrected you otherwise? I’m not sure I can think of a good excuse here as to what would make that scenario acceptable.
I have seen some horrifying posts about this poor woman. Chastizing her for being angry, making jokes about how she “looks like a man.” I have to say, there are plenty of people who LOOK different, but that doesn’t give you the right to refer to them otherwise. We are told as a society that words like “retard” and “slow,” “tranny” and “fag” are derogatory and hurtful. Hate words. Why is repeated misgendering someone who has already given you the correct term to use not on the same level of insult and disrespect?
Let’s pretend this didn’t have to do with the controversial LGBTQ community. Let’s say, for argument sake; the employee made the HUGE mistake of asking a woman when she is due with her little bundle of joy only to find out that she is not actually pregnant. Would he say it again, and then again? Would the visual of her belly make it IMPOSSIBLE for him to stop saying something about her pending pregnancy despite knowing better? Would the internet be trolling with people demanding that because she looks like she could have a baby in her womb that she must, in fact, be pregnant? My eyes are telling me that you look like you’re carrying a child, so I’m going to call it as I see it because that’s the entitled asshole I am. Would this scenario change the way you think? I should hope so, and then I would venture to challenge you to consider what makes this situation so different?
Besides having a transgender child and fearing every single day about situations like this happening to him one day and my child having to see first-hand how genuinely awful and cruel the world can be, I am sad because I am sure there is so much hurt behind this poor woman’s reaction. I would have to assume based on her level of anger that the furiousness in her voice and the fierceness of her actions comes from dark places. Places where she has spent part (maybe the better part?) of her life trying to get people to SEE HER for who she is. And here she is, in a public place around people she doesn’t even know, and it’s happening to her among strangers. She’s being denied her gender identity.
I can tell you one of the first times we went out after my son cut his hair and picked out a new wardrobe is a day that sticks in my memory as one of the “good days.” We took a trip to the grocery store, and an older man in the checkout line looked at my son and said, “hey little dude, you really like to help your mommy, don’t you?” Moreover, then he looked at me and said, “you are so lucky to have such a helpful SON.” And I agreed. I was lucky. That man made my son’s day, and he didn’t even know it because that moment was the very FIRST time anyone had ever seen my son as a boy and didn’t know any better. And my son could not have been happier about that. When we got to the car, he said to me, “hey, mom! That guy thought I was a boy and he didn’t even know I used to be a girl, isn’t that so COOL??!!”
It was very cool. It gave my son confidence. Showed him that he could be the person he felt inside AND out. And made my son feel comfortable in his own skin for the first time, maybe ever.
So thinking back on that day and how critical that moment was to my son. It paved the way for his path to socially transitioning completely and being confident and brave enough to do so. I think about that, and I feel sad for this woman because based on her reaction and the behaviors and words of the people in the people in the store, it would seem she hasn’t had many experiences like my young child. Instead, she is probably fighting family and friends to accept her for who she is and then, now, she can’t even go to a public place surrounded by strangers without someone reminding her that she was born in the wrong body. How sad is that? What kind of hurt must that feel like? I couldn’t even imagine.
The suicide rate among the trans community that feels unsupported by their loved ones is a staggering number — almost HALF. I have to point that out because it’s situations like these that contribute to this astonishing rate. When you misgender someone you are dismissing their gender identity. According to Gender Confirmation Center, “Misgendering can invalidate a person’s gender identity which can lead to feeling disrespected, alienated, dismissed, and/or dysphoric. It has negative consequences for a person’s self-esteem, mental health, and identity continuity, so it is important.”
I urge the world to start trying to do better. Using words that assume someone’s gender is usually habit, I get that. However, making an effort not to assume gender in the first place would eliminate the hurt and discrimination someone feels by being misgendered. And if you accidentally call someone by the wrong pronoun, APOLOGIZE, and MEAN IT. Don’t follow it up with repeated offenses. If you can’t get it right, don’t use gender identifying language at all.
And let’s stop making comments about how someone looks a certain way they deserve to be identified whatever WE feel is acceptable. It’s not a valid argument.
Some Days I Hate Being A Mom. And I’m Not Afraid To Admit It.
Let’s stop pretending like parenthood is all unicorns and rainbows, ok? There are great days. FANTASTIC days, sure. But there are other days that I feel like an imposter. Like I am living someone else’s life. As if I have no clue what I am doing and it’s only a matter of time that someone finds me out and I am exposed. But why do I feel that way? Because some days… I am not a huge fan of being a mom. Some days I sit and day dream about what my life might be like right now if I hadn’t had kids.
I wonder what kind of home I would have with clean carpet and marker-less walls. What kind of car I would drive that isn’t filled with cracker crumbs and car seats? I think about what career I would have, what kind of hobbies I would have taken up. What I would do with my time if I didn’t have baseball, soccer, karate, gymnastics, school events and scout meetings every night of the week?
I consider what kind of wardrobe I would own if I wasn’t concerned every morning about what food would get whipped at me by tiny hands and find its way plastered onto my shirt by lunch. I think about if I would be caught up on my favorite shows, if my pets would get more attention. Would I feel less tired? Would I have more time to go to the gym or would I eat healthier if I didn’t pick leftover chicken dinosaurs or macaroni and cheese off my kids plates every night?
What would my stress level be like if I didn’t have to fight irrational tiny humans every day to brush their teeth, go to sleep, put their coat or socks on or do their homework. I question if I would have gray hair and crows feet; dark circles and under eye bags. Would those have shown up years or even a DECADE later if I didn’t have kids?
I day dream about my trips to Europe, my girls nights that would be followed up by a day spent on a date with my couch ordering takeout and binge watching Netflix. Without any interruptions to wipe someone’s butt, clean up someone’s spilled milk or kiss a boo boo.
I ponder these things on my bad days and wonder what kind of life I would have had, if I had chosen not to have kids.
And then, something happens. Usually something small. My daughter will smile. Or my son will bring me a portrait he drew of just the two of us. My oldest will hand over a test he scored 100% on that we studied for together for hours last week. And suddenly, I am catapulted back into reality and it’s GOOD. I look around at my stained carpet, my sticky table, the blind my kid broke when he threw a basketball in the house and the sink filled to the brim with dirty sippy cups and I. AM. HAPPY.
I might have my moments where I wonder if I’m cut out for this parenting thing. If I had done things differently, if I wouldn’t be in the financial situation I’m in or if I might have planned better if I wouldn’t have soooo many consecutive years of sleepless nights under my belt. But they are fleeting moments. I can honestly say there are some days that I absolutely HATE being a mom. But I don’t hate the wet, sloppy kisses. I don’t hate the sweet and high pitched “I love you, mommy”s or the tiny arms wrapped around my neck for a hug. I adore their chubby little fingers and their stinky feet. When they fall asleep and are covered in a layer of sweat and drool, I don’t hate that.
I might hate seeing the sunrise every morning, especially when I was up at 12:30, 2:15, 4:45 AND 5 am. But I don’t mind all of the extra cuddles I was lucky enough to soak up during the times of the night when my child was sleepy and affectionate.
Laundry, dishes, and vacuuming are not my favorite chores, but making my child’s favorite meal, finding a special outfit for their big day at school, or cleaning up after a day of making cookies with my three favorite people makes it a little less terrible.
I might not have the fancy car or the plush couch. I may have a bank account that lingers around a balance of three figures on a GOOD day, but I get to spend my days watching personalities grow. I get to witness wonder, reasoning, and the development of logic and love. I am sitting front row to a live show that involves three beings I created as the main characters. And it’s kind of amazing.
My days might be long and arduous but the bad is sugar coated in kisses and sweet scents and the good, the good is just so damn good.
I miss regular “self-care”, hanging out with friends, traveling to places with more adult beverages than costumed princesses and I miss high heels but, honestly, life is a hell of a lot more comfortable with unshaved legs in yoga pants anyways.
So, sure. There are days that I hate being a mom. But that doesn’t mean that I would trade those days in for anything else. Even on the days I hate being a mom, I still love my job, I love my kids, and I am honored to be the one that they call “mom” in the first place.
Our “First” Family Photos
When my son socially transitioned so many things changed. His appearance, his pronouns, his past. After a playdate where he was exposed in a raw, unexpected way, he didn’t want friends to come over and see pictures of him “dressed like a girl” again.
So he asked me to take down all of our old photos. Years of memories, family events, holidays, birthdays and school concerts. Any proof of our past that included him were essentially erased from our home. At his request. And as much as it pained me, I’ve said from the beginning I wanted nothing more than to be supportive, accepting, and to show him that even if I make mistakes along the way I will always LOVE and respect him no matter what.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t miss having the memories hung on the wall. The cute photos I had of him as a toddler (albeit in a dress). But, I also understand that for him those photos can be hurtful.
They can be reminders of a life lived as someone else.
Someone who didn’t make him feel as his true self. And because of that, I had to stuff the old photos away in a box and not look back.
When I first started sharing our story I was contacted by a photographer. One who graciously offers to take new photos of families when their children have transitioned to give them a replacement to all of their old family memories hanging on the wall. She does this as a way to show support to the trans community, support to the individuals, and support to the families.
One thing I wouldn’t have thought of in the beginning was to schedule sessions with photographers to replace all of our framed possessions, but I didn’t have to think about this one. Someone is out there doing that part for us, and she’s amazing.
We made the day special. I let him bring any extra outfits of his choice, and he chose a mustache. (Of course he did!) She took care to make sure to get some extra special shots of him, and him alone. As well as countless family and sibling photos to replace the precious memories I had hanging on the walls of our home.
She knew this day was important to us and spent time to make sure the final product was just perfect. A worthy replacement. And I couldn’t be more grateful.
Being a single mom, I don’t often spring for family photos. Any pictures of my family happen to be spin-off of a larger family event. Weddings, parties, something (honestly) not on my dime, because I simply can’t afford luxuries like professional photography.
Many of my “family portraits” were taken with a timer while I was desperately trying to scurry my way into the frame before it was too late. And even then, it takes far too long (and too many) to get one good shot that I can consider even shareable, better yet frame worthy.
I met an entire community of people when my son came out as trans to me. One that welcomed me with open arms and showed me support when I needed it most. They became and extention of my family and I share some of our biggest hurdles, and biggest wins with them. Our first “family photo” included.
If you have a child that transitioned, I HIGHLY recommend taking the time, spending the money, putting forth the effort to replace the old photos you can no longer gush over.
It’s well worth it and I couldn’t be more appreciative to have been able to do this for my incredible son. They turned out perfect and so did he, in every way.
Find Our Astounding Photographer On Facebook Here: Painted Leaf Photography
(I was not paid for this endorsement, this is not a sponsored post. I think what this photographer is doing is amazing and abundantly supportive of the trans community and I wanted to share our experience as a family, but in no way was asked to)
If you’re looking for more trans youth related stories of mine please check these out:
The Day I Told Someone I Have Two Girls And A Boy, And My Son Was Devastated
My Son’s First Haircut, A Rite Of Passage
My 5 Year Old Is Transgender And I Don’t Want Your Advice
DIY Self-Care Techniques To Decompress After The Holidays
Nothing says “I’m ready for a New Year” like a string of holiday festivities spent with the people in your life you had zero control in choosing, and even less desire to spend that much time with.
Between the creepy relatives, overindulgence of pie and alcohol, and your kids spending weeks being gushed over like they are part of the royal family, everyone in the house needs a serious sage detox before it’s too late.
If you’ve made it through Christmas you’re probably looking at your tree now barren of gifts and wondering how the fuck you manage to do this year after year without committing yourself.
Your bank account is empty, your stockings are ripped down from their expertly placed hook and now strewn on the floor like the rest of the abandoned socks in your house, and the Christmas tree is dropping pine needles like your kids drop crumbs of food on your freshly vacuumed carpet.
You NEED. A. BREAK.
Since it’s still the season of below freezing temps and frostbite, no one wants to leave the house anyway. Here are some solid ways you can get your energy and self-esteem back right in the comfort of your very own home:
Create an In-Home Spa Sanctuary– The first thing you’ll want to do is really set the scene for healing. Any space can be transformed for optimal soul rejuvenation with the right tools. Establish aromatherapy by collecting your most soothing essential oils (or just your favorite hairspray will do) and spritz the area to create a fragrance of something other than dirty underwear and soggy dog. You can lather yourself in lavender body lotion for added calming effects, but if you don’t have that, Aveeno can have remarkable therapeutic effects.
You probably don’t keep candles in your house anymore, because, kids. So just take your kids’ iPad and drape your most used towel with the worn thread count over it to create an ambiance of mood lighting to help get your mind right. You can really amp up the tranquil atmosphere in your home by adding some plush robes and fancy tea to this relaxation ritual. But since you’re a mom now, you already know you can’t have nice things, instead throw on one of your husband’s over-sized t-shirts and reheat your coffee in the microwave. Let’s get this party started.
Massage – I know, you’re thinking I’ll never have the time. But, alas, you birthed the essential tool to complete this spa staple. I’m sure you’ve heard of cupping and hot stone massages, but have you ever tried tiny feet shoved into the small of your back while you’re trying to relax on the couch? It really loosens the joints and muscles allowing for optimal rejuvenation and removal of those nasty toxins. Your kids will likely not even need to complete a lesson on how to effectively apply desired pressure during this technique, but just in case, maybe you should kick them first so they get a thorough demonstration? It will aid in your overall wellness goal.
Facial Masks – Yogurt masks are a thing. Whether or not they are supposed to come straight out of your refrigerator is another story, but hey… minor details we can overlook. I find GoGurts work well for this because they have a sweet taste and a delightful color. Just take the whole tube and spread that sucker all over your face canvas. It’s cool and refreshing straight out of your refrigerator and if it gets on the furniture, you can assume there was already a spread of some food there before you got there. If you can’t beat em, join em?
Mani/Pedi – This one is tricky, but it’s definitely doable. Get your least favorite towel and the LIGHTEST shade you can find and announce to your toddler it’s time to play “nails”. She will jump all over the chance to reenact her favorite YouTube videos of grown adults playing with toys and talking in baby voices. If you’re really brave, you can let her do your fingers too. It buys you another three minutes to “relax” while she paints your entire hand in an overwhelming scent of shimmery chemicals that will take an entire bottle of acetone to remove. But hey, self-care is important, right?
Take a bath – You have two options here. You can either opt to knowingly allow your kids to destroy your house while you lock yourself in the bathroom with threats of decades-long grounding if they even THINK about bothering you (someone BETTER BE BLEEDING!). Or, you can go the more conservative route and slap your bathing suit onto your still detoxing post-holiday pie body and round up the little monsters for a family bath. The kids will think it’s a blast while you sit and enjoy a lukewarm tub filled with bubblegum flavored bath bombs and your child’s urine. Be extra efficient and apply your GoGurt bath just before you embark on this endeavor. That way you effectively wash it off while your kids splash water all over your bathroom floor with your tears.
Getting through the holidays can be B.R.U.T.A.L. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find time to recharge your mind and body and start the New Year off with a soul rejuvenating BANG. Everyday household items can be easily transformed to spa tranquility staples with just a few simple steps. Make it a “fun for the whole family” kind of event and get the kids involved in this DIY dumpster fire and before you know it your house will be filled with yogurt, bubbles, and nail polish just like any other day of the week. Except for this time, you’ll have lavender scented skin and iPad induced mood lighting to push through. And think of all the money you’ll save by dishing out your very own sanity instead! You’ll be wondering why you don’t do the home spa thang more often!
And keep in mind, if all else fails, there’s always Benedryl. And wine.
Nama-stay home, you got this!
If you enjoyed this check out some of my other humor pieces here:
2018’s Hot Toys Guide For (Sarcastic) Parents
So Many Parts Of Parenting I Did NOT See Coming
5 Things I Learned About Dating Apps – A Cautionary Tale
Why I Don’t Let Santa Take Credit For The Good Gifts
Like many, Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. It got especially magical after I had kids. I can’t wait to see their little faces light up on Christmas morning with delight as they burst out of their bedrooms with anticipation to see if Santa actually came.
You know, the man in red with the jolly disposition and the mystical elves that make toys from scratch and report back to the North Pole every night fueled on “cheer”. The man who somehow manages to make it across the entire world in one night living solely off of milk and cookies and Christmas spirit.
I love Santa. I love the idea of Santa. And I love that my kids think that Santa is magic. It adds an extra element to Christmas that fills them (and me) with intoxicating excitement every year. What I refuse to play into is that Santa shows up with the expensive, hard to find gifts and mom and dad bring things like socks and pjs.
The concept surrounding Santa and his reindeer ALONE is one that I think brings hope and enchantment to kids lives during Christmastime.
If we can get them to believe that there is a human being in this world who flies with wingless, hooved animals (one of which has a light bulb on his face), who lives in a hidden land that you can’t find on a map and has an entire staff of tiny, pointy earred people who have not yet managed to go on strike for being forced into overtime and being overworked, and have to do it all in dangerous conditions of freezing cold and hyper active machines throwing paint and nails…. well, I think we’ve done our jobs getting them to believe.
Isn’t that enough?
I work my ass of every year to make sure my kids have a good Christmas. To make sure that they are delivered just as many presents as their friends and they aren’t lacking in all of the “hot items” that they desperately asked for. For a month straight I live off of coffee and evergreen fumes trying to scrape together pennies to bring my little ones the MOST joy I can on the mindblowing morning called Christmas. I become a ninja of gift hiding, wrapping, and assembling. On Christmas Eve, I morph into a woman who doesn’t need sleep, hydration, or daylight to survive and I spend HOURS setting up an entire display for my kids to enjoy when they wake up at the ass crack of dawn because… SANTA!
Did I mention I love Christmas? I really do.
It’s all worth it. It is. BUT, I will be damned if I am going to go through the hell of November and December’s lead up to the big day and let the fat guy in the red suit take all of the credit for the gifts that I had to fist fight someone over in Target because it was the last one on the shelf. NO. WAY.
I want my kids to have the magic of Christmas in their very own homes every year. But I also want them to appreciate the season for what MATTERS. Gifts are great. Getting gifts as a kid is one of the most exciting parts of Christmas, but plenty of kids DO NOT get gifts and if they do they aren’t nearly as cool, high tech, or expensive as some of the gifts my kids have gotten over the years.
How do I explain to my kids that some kids (the ones who really need the miracle) don’t get what is on their list from a man who theoretically brings presents to ALL kids that are good? Do I tell them those kids are bad? What makes those kids less deserving? Nothing.
How do I explain that if we have had a year when money is tight that Santa suddenly doesn’t have the “disposable income” to supply the mountain of gifts he has in recent years? I can’t. Not without them losing some faith in the big guy.
Plus, I’m trying to raise responsible and grateful humans who understand the value of material things and what it takes to make and spend money. Christmas happens to throw all of that out the window for the weeks leading up, and at least a good month after.
The holiday comes and suddenly they become entitled brats (albeit adorable ones) who deserve the world just because they exist because for weeks family and friends have been showering them with gifts. And that is WITH me giving the best gifts from mom. If they thought Santa brought those? I imagine the priveleged attitude they carry would be slightly worse, and last a little longer.
It’s because of these reasons that my kids get the good presents from me. Call me selfish, but I want the credit. I want my kids to know that I worked hard to make sure that they got that one thing on their list they really wanted.
I want my kids to see that even though I might have missed a few important sports games or school events, it’s because I was working. Working to make sure we have a roof over our heads and our bills get paid and also so that I could do things like buy them the iPod they really wanted for Christmas. I want them to know that even when I was exhausted and stressed out I might not have seemed like it, but I was in fact listening to them when they mentioned a cool toy they had played with at a friend’s that they wish they had for themselves.
I want my kids to understand that Christmas IS magical, and there are TWO people that make it so. Santa, and ME. Maybe I’m a little self-serving, but I’ve noticed since I’ve started switching the tags around on Christmas and marking the extra special gifts from me, my kids have a new appreciation for their packages under the tree.
I have a better explanation for kids that may not get the same number or types of gifts as them or why our Christmas haul may vary year after year. And I don’t have to stress about remembering which gifts came from Santa and which didn’t when something doesn’t work correctly and I have to try to come up with some outlandish story about how I’m going to phone in to the North Pole to get a replacement.
If you ask me, the magic of Santa lies in my kids believing. Believing that there is someone watching them, rooting for them, willing to marvel them with his abilities every year because he loves little kids. He does it all in one night because he’s spectacular. And he brings things they will love and play with for the whole year (hopefully).
But the big ticket stuff, the gift that they requested for MONTHS, the one that cost a small fortune and will bring the biggest smile and the most thanks? That one comes from Mom. Move over Santa, I’m soaking up the cred over here. You already have a group of elves to do your bidding, I’m all on my own.