My Uber driver made me cry today. I self flagellate sometimes because of my inability to be a “nice person”. I’m not the one who is going to make small talk and look for friends everywhere I go. I work hard at being aloof and not engaging with people often. And I realized today what gets me to that point. People are fucking assholes. And one would be wise to be weary and prepare one’s self for someone else’s bullshit especially if you’re trans or part of some other marginalized group. I won’t get into the nitty gritty of the incident but I will say it started off being a very nice at least on surface interaction. We made light talk and laughter about my large food shopping order and he kept making comments about ” He must be real happy with that cooking you’re gonna do”. And knowing the rules of casual light banter and being hip to flirtatious inklings of men, I said at one point,” How do you know there’s a he?” And he flipped it on me and said “well a she, or whatever, I know who you are”. And I responded , ” it would be a he” and laughed. But he followed up with a comment that really turned the light mood very ugly real fast. He switched up pronouns and said something to the effect of ” You need help bro?” when he dropped me off.
What gets me most upset about this situation honestly is how lighthearted it began at least I thought. The sun was shining, the Uber driver was a pleasant looking older Black man, his car was very nice and the conversation that he elicited was just regular. I did not detect malice or any transphobia or nothing. He just seemed to be a nice man. And then to flip on me and mis-gender me for no reason, it hurts. Cause if he was a dick from rip then I wouldn’t be upset. I’d already know to play my position and be my usual quiet self. But when someone seems nice and then shows their whole ass it really sucks. I can imagine people saying things like ” Don’t prejudge everyone” or “give people a chance” but there’s a part of me that says fuck that. I need for cisgender straight men and women to stop attacking trans people. I need if ya’ll are assholes to not fake niceness, not hold bullshit conversations and not cause situations that forces me to rate you as a 1 and report you to your agency. As a rule ,I hate cancel culture and I do find so much of it insidious. But people have to do better especially in a service industry. I don’t believe anybody should be treated anyway but I will say I did not find myself to be at fault in this situation. I did not attempt to flirt or call him out his name or none of that. My go to is to be quiet cause I never know who I am going to encounter. I have no allusions that everyone will love me or accept me or make me feel welcome. But what you won’t do is disrespect me. I won’t question my tendency to be aloof anymore cause I see how much of a protective coat it is. How necessary it is. But I will side eye or maybe not participate in a light banter with an Uber driver who seems nice but is really an ignorant jerk who probably wants some of this and couldn’t handle what a fly bitch that I am.
I tire of em. I tire of cis straights feeling threatened by the presence of queer people. Of making fun of us and being disrespectful as a default. I’m tired of fake smiles and disclaimers and talks of “gay friends and gay cousins”. I’m tired of having to feel like I have to always be ready to fight the world to not get pummeled by it. I’m tired of good days being ruined by motherfuckers who want to make it bad. This is not an easy time. It takes a lot everyday just to try to navigate this bitch with any shred of stability cause nothing makes sense and everything and everyone is exhausting on some levels. I hated even reporting him cause as a fellow Black person I never want to take money out his pocket. And here I am of the age to possibly be your daughter and you disrespect me. You don’t stop to consider all that I may go through and all the ways you and I struggle as two Black people in this racist ass country. Instead you beat up someone as beaten down as you. Smh.