Two old women in a coffee shop
Credit: Ugo Di Fenza, Flickr.com
If you were asked to guess what these two women were talking about during their coffee shop conversation, what would you say? Here are a few of mine: children, grandchildren, coupons, shopping, hair appointments. Stereotypical? Maybe.
 
I don’t actually know the topic of conversation at the time this photo was taken; however, I played this “guessing game” recently at a coffee shop, sitting near two women I’d guess were at least 70 years of age. My answer was the same: children, grandchildren, coupons, shopping, hair appointments. Boy, was I wrong!
 
The topic of conversation today? Transvestites. Yes, you read that right. The women were in a serious debate about the difference between a transvestite and a cross-dresser. When I got wind of this, I quickly lifted my coffee mug to shield my smile, as I held in a laugh. I listened closely, attempting to assess each argument as if my judgement would settle it.
 
I thought their debacle was a bit ridiculous until I realized I don’t know the difference, either (should I?). So, I did a little research to clear things up.
 
 By definition (at least according to ehow.com):
 
Transvestite, also known as transgender, refers to “a state of being in which the apparent or biological gender (usually determined at birth) does not match the person’s subjective gender — that is, the gender the person identifies as”.
 
Cross-dressing is”the act of wearing clothing typically associated with the opposite sex. Cross-dressers are not necessarily transgender”.
 
And, in case you were curious, I also learned when speaking with transgender people, it is “best practice” to use pronouns that match the gender of their dress.
 
So, now you know.
Advertisements