Tag Archives: snappy comebacks

Snappy Comebacks for Trans People

image from mad magazineThe thing about being gracious is, as soon as you let up, everyone notices. There’s no reward for seeming snappy, even if it bites at the heels of years of diplomacy and smoothed over tensions. So at the risk of letting my slip of hostility show under my skirt, let me just say that I am not a fan of the zoological presentation of transfolk as the primary means of educating the non-trans public. I am a fan of careful conversation, principled debate, and sensitive discourse when interfacing with any marginalized community.

Many of us have heard the now-standard “Trans 101” talking points: don’t ask what surgeries we’ve had, what our former names were, or other invasive questions about our bodies you wouldn’t want to answer yourself. But there are still more questions that deflect from a helpful give-and-take between parties, or that make some of us trans people weary and exhausted, well intentioned though these questions may be. So when I’m feeling ungracious, I may use some of these following answers. Apologies in advance for my snippishness, really. But when I’m on the edge, my responses may look like this:

Question 1: What’s your story?

There are many versions of this question, so much so that they may sound like different interrogatives, but really, they boil down to this: how in hell did you realize you were the wrong gender? And they’re often predicated on this: I’ve never considered anything even remotely as weird as that! It is a bit of a puzzler, at least as far as my experience goes, but the explanations get old faster than a baked avocado. So my answer to this is: “What, you haven’t read my memoir yet?” Read More…

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