Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Did She Just Say Transing?

Standing next to my truck I realized what had occurred, I just locked my keys inside.  It was truly an unreal moment and I stood there for a bit absolutely dumbstruck.  This couldn't really be happening could it?  Yes, yes it could, and it was.  I tried pushing some random numbers into my key-less entry system as I never actually bothered to memorize the actual combination.  I knew it was a five digit code, but that was about it.  

Proving to be quite fruitless, I moved on to coaxing my dog into the front seat with the hopes that I could get him to paw at the door lock button.  Yes, Indy was inside the truck.  Luckily this was not a recent event, thus it was not life threatening for my dog to be locked in my truck.  It was an annoying thing for me and a confusing thing for him, but not life threatening for either of us.  It actually happened last December or January while duck hunting with the outside temps in the 40s or 50s.  So no lives threatened.

With some encouragement Indy climbed over the seat and was next to the window with his tongue out, looking at me very anxiously.  I motioned to him to come towards the window.  He did what I asked and actually pawed at the arm rest holding the unlock button, which momentarily thrilled me.  But alas he unfortunately missed it by a few inches, at which point he laid down on the seat and stared at me and would do no more.  

The story of this incident is far more involved.  It has lots of walking and lots of sweating from going back and forth in the marsh.  Finding out that my wife did not have her spare set of keys.  Quite a few moments of pondering just what exactly I was going to do about this situation.  A bit of cursing my lack of awareness.  But the long and the short of it is, I ended up breaking the small slider window in the back window of the truck.  I was able to then crawl in and hit the unlock button.  Yay, Indy was rescued and I had regained access to my truck.  

At the time, I was shocked at how calm I remained through the entire incident.  Estrogen and I had become good friends by this point and all parties involved were quite happy with that fact.  This was where I thought the story would end, but actually it led to something super amusing.

Being a teacher, I often put off things until summer vacation rolls around, and getting the window fixed was on that list.  I had put up some plastic to keep out the water and that was it.  I have lived with it for the past six months or so.  Being as I am now on vacay, I finally took the truck down to a local automotive glass shop to make an appointment.  

Nothing unusual happened at first.  I inquired about the cost, when they could do it, and what it would entail.  It was pretty standard stuff.  Of course I was a bit nervous.  I was wearing (which is always relevant to a trans human's story right?) short shorts, and a tank top.  With that whole estrogen thing occurring as well, my breasts travel where I do.  So, um, yeah, there I was, in a local auto place, dressed as me, and chatting it up like this was just any other normal day.  Because, you know, it was.  

Then it happened, I setup the appointment I wanted and the super nice woman asked for my name.  Of course I stopped for just a brief moment.  It wasn't long, but it was long enough.  I mean how many people have to stop and ponder, yeah just what exactly is my name, that's a damn good question!  Uh, I don't think that many people generally ever pause in the least to stop and consider what their name is.  But I did and that is a bit odd. 

I gave them my male name, Robert.  But then I had to explain myself.  Okay, you are right, I did not have to, but I am wanting to try to do my part to normalize the transgender experience for people.  So I chuckled and explained that for now my legal name is Robert, until Thursday of this week when I am having it changed.  

The receptionist smiled and asked what I am having it changed to.  I smiled and told her, Kelly.  (Yes peeps I know I still blog under Nadine, which I will continue to do, but please know it is simply my nom de plume, hopefully that is understood by now ;) )  She smiled and said, cool well we will go by Kelly then.  I smiled back and said cool thanks.

She continued by saying "well you are transing aren't you?"  Transing?  Did she just ask me if I was transing?  Yes, yes she did just ask if I was transing.  This was one of those moments that took milliseconds in the real world, but lasted for far longer in my mind.  I pondered if I should stop and correct this woman to let her know that she just created a brand new verb?  Do I tell her that many people in the transgender community would see her comments as ignorant and possibly quite offensive?  Or do I simply take pleasure in this woman, in this town, trying her best to be understanding, caring, and accommodating?  

Of course I railed her for her ignorant bullshit in my typical militant transing fashion right?  Ha!  

Um no.  No that is not what I did.  What I did do was to take the time to realize the beauty in the situation.  Here was someone who possibly has not ever encountered a human such as myself, but she was trying her best to care about me.  Some stranger cared enough about me to want to call me what I want to be called.  Who cares if she was not totally clear on the transgender lexicon?  She was a human being trying to treat another being kindly.  

Yeah I get that what she said truly made no sense.  There is no such thing as transing.  The thing is, while I could have corrected her easily enough - by saying, well yes I am transgender, but no, one cannot be transing.  It would be simple right?  Well yeah, but it would also taint the experience.  See, the important thing was that she was trying.  She tried on her own, with no prodding from me.  So, she tries and then I _________ .  Scold her?  Even lightly?  Even, ever so gently?  Or do I excuse the specific phrasing, and hear her intent?  

I heard her intent and it made me smile.  So I answered, yes to her question.  She said, cool, well then we will call you Kelly.  I thanked her while gathering up my things back into my purse.  I reconfirmed the estimate amount and my appointment day and time before heading for the door.  She said, goodbye Kelly when I walked out.  

Myself?  I had the hugest shit-eating grin on my face.  (Side bar - what a weird idiom, shit eating grin, is it just a regional thing?  Is it used outside of California?  And why in the heck does a shit-eating grin refer to a huge smile?  There is absolutely nothing smile inducing about the literal meaning of those words! - sorry, side bar over!)   

It was an event that made me smile for the entire day and I got a kick out of telling my wife throughout the day that I was transing.  Hilarious.  Okay, well to me it is.  I love the English language.  Why?  For its flexibility.  It is so malleable.  It flows with general guidelines and very few definitive rules.  My work subject matter, mathematics, is so opposite of that, full of rules that have very few exceptions.  So at the end of the day who cares that she took an adjective and turned it into a verb, not me.  Not then, and not now.  

What I care about was someone showed me that they care.  A total stranger cares that much about me?  Well that is just totes magotes.  Did ya see what I did there?  English is so absurdly hilarious! 

Love you!

Love yourself!

Love others!

Love transing!  

photo credit:


  1. Thank you! That was beautiful!

  2. Loved your story, I have been waiting in new dentist office for an appointment, killing time viewing my (Stephanie's) FB when a lady opened the door and called out "Stephanie", I stood up & called out 'here"…. walking toward her, and she said no I called Stephanie name sir, and yes remembered I was in male mode as this other lady walked by me with a puzzled look on her face (Stephanie the one being called) .. I just laughed to my self as I sat back down in seat... others looking at me like I lost my mind...

  3. I live in New England and we definitely say “shit-eating grin”.

    Great post as usual!

    1. Good to know, thanks! I love the English language!

  4. Transing... I kinda like it, actually. :c)

    Good for you and good for her. Thanks for a smile at the end of a dispiriting week. :c)


  5. I think “shit eating grin” evolved out of the old country expression “grinning like a(animal) eating shit out of a tall jar” popular (animal)s were skunks and opossums.

    1. Interesting! I don't think I have ever heard that expression, but I like it!

  6. I first came across the word 'Trans-ing' in an e-book I got from Barnes and Noble (Nook) titled Arresting Dress - Cross-Dressing, Law, and the Fascination in 19th Century San Francisco by Claire Sears. She coined the term Trans-ing Analysis. The book was written in 2015. It may be worth a read. Just now I'm re-reading it


    1. Ahhhh..... so the lady who said this to me did not create it! I will check out that book for sure. Thanks!

  7. If you like words I refer you to reading some of the quotes of George Carlin. I am just now reading his second book "Napalm and Silly Putty". He talks a lot about use of the "s" word and the "f" word.
    I am glad this lady treated you with respect. I am also glad that you recognized that not everyone is as 'up' on T language and culture as others.

  8. Hi Kelly,

    I’m trans-ing too and it is a wonderful experience to actually live authentically isn’t it. I have legally changed my name and gender so the name issue is no longer. It’s amazing when I think about how easy it was to do in some ways. Sure there were weird and time-consuming hoops to jump through and all in all it took about four months. But, like you, I find that I am so much more patient and less on edge than I’ve ever been. I’m retired now and my kids have long ago flown the coop but I wish I could have had this sense of peace for all those years just trying to hold my life together.