A friend of mine told me about a workshop she had been to where participants were asked to tell each other what comments they would be perfectly happy never to hear again for the rest of their lives. The activity was based on what marginalized group or groups a person belonged to and what things people said to that person because of his/her/hir membership in that group.
It sounded like a fascinating exercise, so I decided to try it out here. You don’t have to be trans to participate. Regardless of what group or groups you belong to or identify with, I would love to hear in the Comments section what questions, phrases, or comments you could happily live the rest of your life without ever hearing again.
As a trans person, my top one would be “You’re so brave.” A close second is “I would have never guessed (that you were trans).” Don’t worry if you’ve ever said these things to me. I’m not upset. But I would get along just fine if I never heard them again.
And I have one more that has nothing to do with being trans. As an old(er) person, my number one would be “You’re not old!” Yes, I am.
I love being old, and I say it quite a bit: “Well, I’m old, so I remember that” or “The good thing about being old is that you don’t have to worry about that” or “I’m old, so I didn’t grow up with the Internet.” Then someone (always much younger) will say, “You’re not old!” – as if being old were a bad thing. It’s not. It’s way better than you think.
So let me be old. You’ll like it when you get here, too.
Readers, this post is short because I want to hear from you. What would you be happy never to hear again as long as you live?