Clocking and the idea was relatively new to me and had no idea of what it was before starting transition. What is clocking? When presenting as your preferred gender and are subject to harassment as a result of it. It has certainly happened to me and it never feels good. I can recall a time when some friends and I were going out to eat. We had just arrived and as we were getting out of the car a group of high school students started staring and a few made some comments. It can be that childish or can escalate to a physical altercation. Even as a member of the trans-community if I am not careful I could clock another without meaning to. Just because I see another transperson out does not mean that I need to engage them. Even if I recognize as such they might take my seemingly harmless gesture as a fail in passing on their part.
A friend of mine told me about a situation that she found her self in and asked if she had done anything wrong socially. I offered my opinion because that’s really all I have. She and her husband were out at a bar and observed a bartender being just cruel to a transwoman that was being served. The bartender kept using words such as it, that, and thing in reference to her. She approached the bartender and let her opinion on the matter be known and not so quietly. The woman was already probably feeling pretty bad about the way the bartender was treating her but then she also had to deal with another making a bigger scene out of it. I don’t think that my friend had any bad intention, yet she might have made the situation worse for the other woman. Taking the other persons feelings into consideration is always a good place to start.
As a transwoman, I have come to expect that yes it is going to happen on occasion, but for the most part, I have noticed that most people are just too busy dealing with their own life to pay me much attention. If and when I am clocked now, I know that it does not mean I did anything wrong or make me any less of a person. In fact, I recall when I came to the realization that while this was happening to me I thought to myself, “This is what I was always afraid of?”. I remember thinking that the person was rather insignificant and not even worth my time. By me not reacting I did not give them what they were seeking which was just a response.
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