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Trigger Warning for disordered eating

Maybe you are having a great day. Maybe you want to spread the Joy That Is Being A Woman In America! Maybe you are just fucking TICKLED PINK that another person with a vagina came into your drug store to buy Chex Mix.

Please don’t call me ma’am.

Maybe you see my clothes and my face and you think “What a pretty girl she would be if she would just wear a little makeup and some figure-flattering clothes!”

Please don’t call me ma’am.

Maybe you’re a little pissed at me for breaking the rules. Maybe your greeting is pointed, and you’re narrowing your eyes at me as I browse the aisles looking for a bargain. Maybe you’re wondering if I’m one of those queers.

Please don’t call me ma’am.

Maybe you’re tired and it’s been a long morning and you’re just trying to get through it by clinging to social graces. Believe me, I understand.

Still. Please. Do not call me ma’am.

You see, the thing is, you may think it does no harm. You may think you’re doing me a favor. You may not think at all. But I do. Every morning I wake up in a body that’s not mine. It’s never been mine and it’s never going to be mine. If it was a good morning, I might’ve forgotten that, until the first “Ma’am” or “Smile, sweetheart!” of the day. If it was a bad morning?


If it was a bad morning, I’d have woken up and tried to get out of bed without touching any part of my body with any other part of my body.

I would’ve turned off the light in the bathroom as I stripped off my boxers and T-shirt so I couldn’t see my reflection.

I would have tried not to look down in the shower. I would have tried to wash without really feeling anything. I would’ve anyway, and I would have wished I could peel the soft, feminine flesh from my body.

I would’ve been reduced (nearly) to tears by every piece of clothing I own—nothing would seem enough to sufficiently hide my curves, to disguise my alien body.

I would’ve considered skipping breakfast, hoping to starve away the traitorous curves that evil motherfucker, estrogen, stuck me with.

By the time I get to you, to your casual gender-policing politeness, I have already been fighting a war for hours. So please don’t assume. You may think you’re being polite. I get it. I was raised that way too. But what are manners for, really? They’re to make everyone comfortable. They’re to establish that you respect the person you’re talking to. You want me to feel respected? Ask me what I like to be called. It goes a long way.