Tag Archives: gender

Transphobia in Wealdstone

Ever since I came out as Sophie back in December, I’ve been going out more often in feminine clothing. Whenever I present as female I don’t refer to it as going out “as Sophie”, I refer to it as going out “as myself”. “Sophie” isn’t a character that I play, Sophie is who I am. Since coming out as Sophie, I’ve been growing in confidence in going out as myself.

But, yesterday, I had my first experience of receiving transphobic abuse.

I was walking along a street in Wealdstone, in Harrow, north London, where I live. I was minding my own business, as I made my way to the shops in Harrow Town Centre. I wasn’t wearing anything outrageous or provocative, just clothes that felt right and comfortable for me.

I then walked past a man who started shouting at me. He repeatedly shouted, “Oi! Why are you dressed like a batty boy?!” (For the benefit of anyone who’s unaware – as I’m not sure how widespread the use of this term is – “batty boy” is a derogatory term for a gay man.) I didn’t look at him. I kept my eyes down, face forward, and carried on walking along the street – quickly. He appeared to be shouting at me louder, and following me, getting closer. I hazarded a look back, and he had abandoned his pursuit of me, turning to cross the road – although, at this point, I believe he may have used the term “******* pussy”.

This was a busy road during rush hour, so there was plenty of traffic about. There were also a couple of other pedestrians nearby who could hear this man’s abuse. Therefore the risk of any sort of physical assault was hopefully low – although what this man might have done if there hadn’t been so many witnesses about I dread to think…

Whilst I was a bit shaken up, I carried on to Harrow Town Centre, did my shopping, and got home in one piece. Thankfully, not everyone in Harrow is like this man – whenever I’ve gone shopping as myself the people who’ve served me in shops have just treated me like anyone else, without making any issue about my gender identity.

And that is what I want. I just want to be treated as normal, just like anyone else going about their business.

Why do some people feel the need to act in a threatening and abusive manner towards someone, just because they are different? I wasn’t doing anything to bother this man. I wasn’t talking to him, following him, interacting with him in any way. In what way does my choice to wear a skirt in any way affect him? If it somehow offended him (and there’s no reason why it should), what does shouting obscenities at me achieve? If someone dressing in accordance with their gender identity, which may be different to what they were assigned at birth, in any way offends you, just look away and ignore them if they walk past you. Making them feel insecure achieves no purpose.

Admittedly, I will now be a little scared to go out as myself. There is every possibility that I may encounter this man again, or others like him. Some people might say that, in order to stay safe, I should only were masculine clothes when I go out, at least if I go out alone.

But I don’t want to do that, and I don’t see why I should. I should feel free to wear whatever I feel comfortable wearing when I go out. If I want to wear a skirt when I go out, I have the freedom to choose to do so, and I shouldn’t feel threatened into doing otherwise.

I briefly described this episode on Twitter yesterday, and, fortunately, I have many friends who are supportive of me, and accepting of who I am. Hopefully, the man I encountered yesterday is in the minority, and that this was an isolated incident. Admittedly, I will be careful about where I go when I go out as myself, but I’m not going to change how I dress because of other people’s prejudices.

I am free to be who I am…

The Story So Far…

So, I’ve decided to try and finally do something with my website. I’ve registered a new domain name to fit my new identity, but the old domain name still exists as well. I’ve also turned my site it into a WordPress blog. However, the old site is still in existence, and you can find it here.

I know everything is looking a bit sparse here at the moment. I’ve opted for a very basic theme, just to get things up and running smoothly. In time I hope to make everything here look a bit more interesting. However, if you have any advice, particularly if you have experience with WordPress (and can recommend any themes!), please let me know…

A new site feels like a new beginning. However, for anyone who’s new to my site, or who’s unaware of the developments in my life over the past year, here’s a brief run-down on the story so far.

Around a year ago I came out as bisexual, as well as stating that my gender identity is femandrogyne. For me at least, that means I don’t feel fully male or female, but lean more towards the feminine side.

At the time, I was a guy going by the name of Karl S. Green. In December I decided to embrace my feminine identity, and now mostly go by the name Sophie Green. There’s a post on my old blog where I publicly announced this. There’s another post on my old blog from two weeks ago where I provided an update on my life.

Whilst I have come out as Sophie to my immediate family, I still go by Karl there. And I’m still Karl at work, and have not come out there. I’m nowhere near ready to come out there. However, there are some people at work who do know about it. There are those who are Facebook friends, and so saw everything there. And there may be other people at work who found their way to my Twitter feed or my old blog, and saw the news there, but haven’t said anything to me due to my not being publicly out at work. (Although, if you are someone who knows me from work, and you’re reading this, and you’re cool with my new identity, you’re welcome to send me a message to let me know…)

So, with this new site and new blog, I want to try and go back to regular updates. I’m not sure how regular updates will be though. And, whilst my gender identity is clearly a big thing in my life at the moment, and there will inevitably be some blog posts regarding it, I am more than just my gender identity. Therefore, expect blog posts on a whole variety of topics…

So, I think everyone’s up to date now. Just one last thing: If any of you have any questions about any of this, do feel free to be up front and ask me, either publicly in the comments, or privately via the communication method of your choice…