Afterward, Tenebrae and I went to Benito's for some post-club foodings, dressed in the aftermath of Michael Myers and Freddy, respectively. That place on a friday or saturday after 2am is a drunken douchebag madhouse, and yet we still put ourselves through it almost once a week. Even when we too are drunk, I am acutely aware of how much nicer and calmer we are than everyone else, especially on top of all the blatant stares we get. This time, we called in our order so that we could get in and out quickly. While we were waiting to pay, a Filipino bro broke away from his friends to compliment the blood on my face and ask us where we came from. Tenebrae said he DJ'd a club. The bro asked what club. He said it had a serial killer theme this month. Again, the bro asked what club specifically.
"Androgyny? Wow, sounds dangerous. But hey, I guess you guys got out ok!"
"Dangerous?" I asked, though I knew precisely what he meant.
"Yeah, androgyny. Could be dangerous, you know?"
"What the hell do you mean DANGEROUS?" I was actually raising my voice to a stranger and having fun doing it.
"You really don't know what I mean? Androgyny. Do I have to EXPLAIN it?"
"Well, maybe to YOU it sounds dangerous, but not everyone agrees with you!"
"Okay, okay, I'm from the south so, you know, yeah."
"I see. Well, that's your own problem then."
He retreated back to his friends, and I focused on containing my giddiness.
When he got frustrated and offered to explain, I know he suspected that we didn't know the meaning of 'androgyny,' and that's why we weren't agreeing with him. Usually when we go to Benito’s, we are both in full club or Rocky regalia, meaning that Tenebrae too is makeup and a dress; people stare at us but no one says anything. But the aftermath of Michael Myers meant a navy blue jumpsuit and just a bit of smudged eyemakeup that had been under a mask earlier. Had it been a usual night, I suspect he either would not have complimented us in the first place, or at least wouldn’t have tried to explain why androgyny is “scary.” Unless, of course, he didn’t know what he was talking about in the first place.
But in all fairness, he really was not necessarily being a dick. That is, he was not being a dick on the scale of Bros After Bars; he essentially backed down and agreed to disagree. And I got so much unfamiliar exhilaration from yelling at him, and putting him in what I thought would be his place, that it makes me wonder if, in all glorious irony, I was the one being the boisterous confrontational asshole in Benito's at 2:30am. Even so, I don't think that I was out of line at all. What angered me was not even his fear of androgyny, and probably queerness in general, but his assumption that strangers would automatically feel the same. Especially strangers who have visibly different lifestyles, and just came from club that would send him running back to his frat house in tears. As They say, assuming makes an ass out of you and me. But, mostly just you, Asian Southern Bro; it made me feel freakin' awesome.
That reminds me of another incident, it had to be over a month ago. After Blue Monday, I was at IHOP in Hollywood with Chris and Emma. We sat in a booth at the back of the restaurant, the two of them facing me while I faced the front. Throughout our conversation and feeding, I couldn't help but keep an eye on the group trickling in through the door. Three short, bro-like men came in, two were Indian and wearing boyband-stye open dress shirts, and the third was white with a buzz cut and flannel shirt. I’m inclined to say that all three of them were rather short, but really, the women they were with were just extremely tall. These women were clearly transgender. Not only were they Amazonian in stature, but they were the epitome of sculpted, overdone femininity. All three of them had bare, tan legs and stiletto heels, and tiny, skin-tight mini skirts or dresses. At least one of them was Asian, I’m not quite sure, but all of them gave the impression of living, breathing anime characters. Though much like drag queens in presentation, they had real, visible cleavage.
The juxtaposition of these towering caricature women with average, nondescript men left me wondering relentlessly who was in on what. It seemed impossible that the men could be oblivious to the tranny aspect of their counterparts, but they really did not seem like the type who would be interested in that, or even unbothered by it. It also seemed sad that such elaborate ladies would be interested in such boring, mousy little people.
Soon they were seated on the opposite side of a restaurant from us. They were no longer visible from my vantage point, gave up my distraction until we were getting ready to pay. Right as we were about to leave, I heard from their unseen corner, “HER VOICE SOUNDS LIKE A MAN. LOOK AT HER HANDS! FUCK THIS!” Two of the three men stormed out, while the tranny women stood yelling, “YOU’RE JUST SCARED, BE A MAN!” Emma and Chris were both overcome with surprise, but I knew exactly what was going on. I whispered across the table, “They walked in with trannies, I could tell from all the way over here. I’ll tell you about it in a minute.” As we walked out into the parking lot, a car pulled in front of us, and the passenger rolled down his window. It was the two Indian men, but Chris and Emma didn’t know that.
“Did you see what happened in there?”
Chris leaned in, possibly thinking they were bystanders as well, asking, “Not really, what the hell was that?”
“Well, those girls we were with? They were GUYS.” His eyes bugged as he waited for a reaction. I leaned in.
“Hey hey, no offense, it’s just weird. Kinda like they lied to us, you know?”
“Oh, like they owe you their whole life stories? Come on, it was pretty obvious anyway, use some judgment.”
The driver leaned over to disperse the confrontation. “Anyway, we’re going to an after party and you guys seem pretty chill. Wanna come pop a pill with us?”
“Ha, that you were going to give to the dates that you’ve rejected? No thanks.”
“We’re Indian, so when we promise a good time we mean it.”
Chris, acting much friendlier than I, just said, “No thanks man, we just came from a club and we’re going home now.”
“Yeah, thanks but I have to work in the morning,” Emma added.
Excuses, excuses. We said our goodnights politely.
First of all, it’s quite ironic that the people who are most intolerant of gender queerness are also the most oblivious to it, and therefore the most likely to make a mistake. If it has all the trappings of femininity, complete with real tits, it must be and must have always been a woman, right? Wrong. If they were a little more aware of nuance, then they could avoid hitting on these women in the first place, and therefore avoid situations that bring out their true douche colors.
Much like the last incident, it’s not their personal preferences that upset me, it’s their drastic assumptions. It’s one thing for them to be weirded out by unknowingly leaving a club with trannies (it was pretty clear that they had just met that night, that this was not an ongoing thing); it is another thing entirely to share their disgust with complete strangers and expect them to agree. They automatically assume that their point of view is universal, and I wanted so badly for them to know that it’s not. I wasn’t that angry about them being transphobic in the first place, but for assuming that my friends and I would be too. I take offense to that, and I wanted them to know. They did handle my little confrontation rather well, and they were not defensive or dismissive to me. I was rather baffled by them wanting to hang out with us, and I wanted to ask why they were so sure that I was a “real” girl. I’m pretty sure that stayed inside my head, though.
In conclusion, I am bromophobic.