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Saturday, October 6, 2012

something sweet

About a month ago I had an interview for the 'Kreuzberger chronik'. It's a small giveaway thing that goes into bars and shops in the local area, has been going for years and is put out as primarily a labour of love, and hence has a lot of credibility with the residents of the neighbourhood. Certainly I felt a lot of satisfaction in featuring in it, a kind of local acceptance. Did sort of wonder at the time whether it would focus attention on me in a good or bad way, since it does talk a little about me being trans.
So I'm sitting at my desk last monday, half an hour before closing and this german guy comes in. He looks around the shop for a couple of minutes, asks, in a heavy accent whether all the books are in english, and then sits himself down on a seat in front of the desk.
He reaches into a pocket and takes out a copy of the Kreuzberger chronik, with a picture of me on the cover, and asks, somewhat superfluously, if it was of me.
I confirmed it and then he asked me whether I was a transsexual.
Now the guy was quite large with one of those kobold kind of faces one sometimes sees especially on german guys from the south, in his fifties, and overall a little intimidating, so my thoughts did go to the pepper spray I keep within reach as I answered that yes, I was transsexual.
Leaning closer he asked whether or not I'd had 'the operation'.
Getting aware by the smell of wine that he wasn't entirely sober, I said no, not yet, and started to unostentatiously to fumble for my spray.
Nodding, he leaned even closer, looked into my eyes and said, 'I had mine 5 years ago'.
So we talked for about twenty minutes, with my halting german and his rusty english, and he told me something of his problems, how lonely (shades of every trans man I've ever met)  life could be, a difficult relationship he was in, etc. And at the end he said he'd see me in a while, and I said fine, I'd look forward to it and he left. Only to return 5 minutes later having been to the florist on the corner and give me the biggest cabbage rose I've ever seen.
Really sweet.
And thinking about it that that is one of the good things about being out and approachable here. Because there isn't so much casual space for post transition people my age in the queer /trans world. And I've had several drop by here who seem to enjoy an exchange of perspectives. Because however well transitioned you are, however stealth, as many are to some extent or another, there'll always be some things that can only be fully shared with another trans person, and it's only an extension of my normal role of proprietress of an english speaking oasis to fulfill that function.
Sweetly satisfying.


  1. I don't get it... Was he a transman who was born female, or non-transitioning MTF?

  2. A well transitioned trans man, FTM. Tend to have a bit of a love / hate relationship to trans men in general, but giving me a rose goes a long way to the good.