A little transphobia daily

Posted on December 19, 2016 by Ellen Defrancq
The following incident occurred when I was in the midst of my transition but before I had my face feminization operation with Dr. Van de Ven in the 2pass clinic.

That I, as a trans woman in the midst of my transition was constantly being stared at, laughed at, or even accosted drained me emotionally and was something I could not quite understand. And all this is so incredibly costly in unnecessarily wasted energy. I thought at that time that I had already experienced almost all variants of being gawked at, laughed at, and accosted. But in the summer of 2015 I learnt that things could be far worse… In this otherwise so beautiful season of the year I experienced a thus far completely unknown new variant of humiliation and degradation.

Basler Tram
I waited with my son at a tram stop for a tram (streetcar) to town. We actually wanted to go shopping together in town. After a few minutes a tram arrived at the tram stop, but it was going in a different direction than where my son and I were headed. So we remained standing outside the stop waiting for our tram.

At that time of my transition, I did not really look directly at my fellow human beings, but often rather averted my eyes. And even less did I look them directly in the eye, as their amused and even derogatory glances would drive daggers into my heart. And this even though I actually am a person who loves to communicate with other people. I was actually used to conduct meetings or talk at conferences in the course my work. But since I had begun my transition, this self-esteem had begun to fade, and it slowly turned into the exact opposite..

But for some reason I looked bravely or rather stupidly at the passengers, who were seated in the waiting tram. At one of the windows, which was exactly at my height, two men in their middle forties were sitting directly opposite me. These two men seemed to know each other. One of them noticed me, looked at me, and started grinning disrespectfully, and even evilly in my direction. He then nudged his colleague and pointed his head at me, whereupon his colleague first looked at me and the openly stared at me. I stupidly looked back as if paralyzed. Because during this time the other had produced his smartphone. As I looked back at the first of the two, he pointed his smartphone towards me and obviously took pictures of me …

He looked at the photos on his phone and then nudged his colleagues. As he looked away from me and at his friend, he showed him the photos he had taken of me … Both laughed out loud as they kept looking at the screen of the smartphone and then again to me. I could distinctly hear their laughter out there at the tram (streetcar) stop. At that moment, the two were the only thing I still noticed and their laughing was the only thing I still heard…

At that moment, the tram (streetcar) started running again and took the two away. I looked after them and the tram as if paralyzed. And there were tears in my eyes…

Danielle Lang

Recent Comments

Fields marked with * are required fields.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>