Please Contribute!

---> Do you have a similar story to share? Make me feel less self-indulgent and less alone. Please email me:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Buttons on the Right Side

Before I was fully comfortable with my butchness (butchhood? butchdom?), I had a special "interview outfit" that I kept in the back of my closet for when I needed to femme-it-up for job interviews. This outfit was composed of a button-up that had severe side darts and a collar that was over-sized, slacks that were slightly bell-bottomed but tight around the butt, and dress shoes with some low-key frills decorating the tops and sides. It was ugly and ill-fitting because it was designed by a butch, for a butch, who wanted to appear femme, but still feel butch.

And of course it didn't work. It made me feel sad to wear this outfit and it adhered an extra layer of discomfort to the already challenging interview process. I imagine that I looked like a fraudulent, pre-maturely defeated, over-dressed teenager. But my logic was that I would get a job as a butch in disguise and then gradually de-femme myself. And at the point in which my bosses and co-workers discovered they had unknowingly hired a butch it would be TOO LATE. I would've already stolen their hearts with my strong work ethic and threat of discrimination lawsuit.

But all that mess is over. I have a job and I got it with all my butch parts unhidden. I finally realized that I was applying to jobs with liberal folks that considered gender-nonconformity as weird but not unhireable.  My boss hasn't said one sour word about the way I dress. And recently he paid for his progressive acceptance.

The building I work in is famous. It's like a celebrity, which is a waste because no building can appreciate superstar privileges. On this day, I was taking some relatives up to the top of my famous building to enjoy the view. In exchange for the view, they brought me a half dozen cupcakes that were decorated by the kids in the family. They were adorable and delicious, and I decided to share them with my boss who was stationed in the conference room with a client. I thought: "This'll be so cute, the client will totally think that we have a tight-knit office relationship where we all share treats and spend our free time together." My boss doesn't eat sugar and we don't even have a Christmas party in the office.

I didn't care. I sauntered in to the conference room and interrupted conversations of capital gains and audit preparations. I offered the ugly/adorable cupcakes. My boss asked if his client had met me before. The client said with sudden recognition: "Oh! Is this your son?"

My boss struggled to come up with a response that didn't embarrass his client but would clarify the situation. Before he could get there, I said: "No, I'm just an accountant here. Sure you don't want a cupcake?" They shook their heads and I quickly left the room.

Look, I'm still not gonna wear an ugly dress-suit to work just so my boss doesn't have to deal with these kinds of situations.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Model Citizen

Here's a new story from Kate!

(---> Do you have a similar story to share? We're always looking for contributors! 
Please email me: <---)

I work for dockers. Well, I work for an ad agency who gets hired by dockers to shoot things and make things and write things. And so we did this print shoot for them, and we were holding auditions where we had to have handsome men come in, get videotaped in these different khaki pants, not khaki colored but like “cool khakis.”

So we held this casting call by my work, so I walked there, later than my coworkers because I’d had car trouble that morning. And at the studio, there was a check-in at the front desk for all of the handsome men arriving, manned (or womanned) by the most green (perhaps an intern) worker in the building. She was flustered when nearly every handsome man approached.

I was late, and I rushed into the building. Nobody looked up, except for the nervous intern with the clipboard. “Models need to sign in here.”

“First off. I’m not a man. Secondly, where is my agency?”

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

He's a Lady Hardware

From Ez, who along with a whole pile of confused individuals keep this blog alive:

There are two mom-and-pop hardware stores across the street from each other in my neighborhood. Which one I shop at depends on whether I need another samurai sword. Okay, I pick according to the side of the street I am already on. Though only one of the stores sells samurai swords.

The other morning fresh out of bed I wandered by store #1 coffee in hand and ducked in because I realized I needed a key copied. The owner said “good morning, sir” and we started our usual banter about the weather, whose coffee was better etc.

“How much is the key,” I asked. “Your key is priceless,” began the owner. Great. I only have $3 and a coupon for a free tasti-delite in my wallet. “But for you $1” he finished. I hand him $1.

“I hope to see you again soon for something more than keys,” he says with a wink as he hands me the key.

I was halfway down the block when it occurred to me that the dude was flirting. Did he read me as a dude the whole time and flirt anyway? Did he realize I was a lady and flirt? Am I reading too much into things? The analysis was beyond my half asleep pre-caffeinated brain.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Me Vs. Man #1

Man #1: But is it a guy or a girl?

This is what Man #1 said to Man #2 moments after I entered the elevator in my office building. I look up, surprised at their audacity, ready to bare my teeth, when I realize they are talking about someone else.

They move on to office chatter and gossip about avoiding a co-worker, until they come back around to whether or not it was a guy or girl.

Man #1: No, but seriously, is it a guy or a girl?

Man #2: I don't know.

Man #1: I just can't tell!

Then, I'm all riled up, and like a gender-neutral tea kettle I screech:

Me: Who cares?

Man #1 turns to me so slowly I'm afraid I might have to say it again. But eventually he turns to face me and says with pinched eyes:

Man #1: What?

Me: Why does it matter?

Man #1: You don't even know what we're talking about.

Me: I know. I'm sorry, you just sound ... really judgmental.

Man #1 huffs and puffs looking alternately at me and Man #2. His anger and confusion make his eyes look like they're about to pop out of his face.

Man #2: Just be quiet before someone gets hurt.

I decide Man #2 is warning Man #1 about me and how I could become violent at any moment. Either way, this is a long elevator ride and we have some time together. I'm on the 60th floor of my building and though the view is nice, it's insane how high up I work. We all stare at the video screen, reading about Kate Middleton's pregnancy, until the elevator doors open at the ground level. I start to rush past them, happy that I confronted this situation. But then:

Man #1: I was talking about my dog.

Me: You're talking about an animal?

My mind races. Am I a total, total asshole??? I conclude that I am.

Me: Ahh. My apologies.


So that happened yesterday, and when I told my girlfriend that story, she immediately said that Man #1 had enough time to think of a good excuse. She argued that it's really not hard to figure out if a dog is a boy dog or a girl dog.

Do you agree with her? Or, am I total asshole?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Uptown Determination

Great story from Ez:

For graduation my mom gave me a briefcase she was given when she practiced law. It’s a great gift. I’m stoked to use something of hers in my professional life. It needed some repairs so Mom sent the briefcase off to a fancy-pants leather shop on an even more fancy-pants street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Here’s what happened when I went to pick it up:

I approach the counter to speak to a patrician looking lady with upright posture and arched eyebrows. If you can admit to yourself that you watched The L Word, picture a taller Peggy Peabody. “Last name?” asks the lady.

Per usual, I say my name and then spell out “C-U-K-O-R.” It’s not phonetic.

Oh, “Coo-Core,” responds the lady.

“Actually its pronounced ‘Sue-core’”, I reply.

No, “Coo-core” she insists.

At this point in the conversation I conclude the lady is in fact snobbier than she looks. No small achievement. I blurt out. “It’s my name, I know how to pronounce it.”

The lady’s eyes sweep my body from faux-hawked head to Adidas-Samba clad toe. I’m guessing she was trying to raise her eyebrows, but they couldn’t go any higher.

“Oh. I thought you were the delivery boy.”

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Gym

Awkward conversation in my gym's locker room yesterday went like this:

Her: (looking me straight in the eye) This is the female locker room. 

Me: (shaking my head and to no one in particular) People are SO RUDE. 

- a few seconds pass -

Her: I'm sorry. 

Me: Have you lived in NYC for very long? Haven't you seen people that look like me? 

Her: I said I'm sorry.