Leaving work the other evening, I ran into a woman with whom I ride the train in the mornings. We have chatted casually a few times – not so much to really be ‘friends’ per se – but enough to be friendly. She was waiting for the E train when I saw her and I stopped and said hello. We started chatting a bit and so began the journey home.
I’m not an especially outgoing individual – quite the opposite really – but once I get past the initial awkwardness of meeting someone I’m usually fine. We chatted the whole subway trip to Penn Station and once there, parted for a few minutes to get supplies for the trip home. We met up again, and boarded the train for home. As I said, I’m kinda shy and I always find it a bit surprising when people want to just talk with me – perhaps I shouldn’t, but it’s just how I feel.
We continued our smalltalk about the train and the people we see there and stuff like that. She tells be she loved getting to know about people and I smile a bit because, well, I’m not really the ‘average’ person on the street, but it’s fine – she’s done nothing to offend me so I continue our conversation. She proceeds to tell me her life more or less (which to be honest has been a hell of a lot more exciting than my own) and I think to myself that this is not the first time for this. I tend to get people telling me stuff and wonder what it is about me that makes them that comfortable with sharing. Don’t get me wrong, I like listening and sometimes offering whatever insights I might have – I just wonder how it happens sometimes.
And so the train ride goes. It was fun seeing as I usually sit alone and noodle around on my Mac. We get about five minutes from our stop when she sits back and says, “So, now I have a question for you…” I smile, knowing what’s coming – I have been waiting for it for an hour or so. A method to the madness so to speak, she jokes afterwards a kind of “I’ll show you mine now you show me yours.” I give her the super condensed story of me and a bit of background as to be identifying as genderqueer. It’s nothing ‘complete’ but I did want to share as well and told her we can discuss more next time we have the chance. We exchange our farewells for the evening and head off to our cars and home.
I don’t mind that people are curious and I have never been shy about discussing being trans. My one rule is that people treat me with respect – which she did. And her willingness to share with me put us on a bit of an equal footing which was nice. I have had many chats wherein it seemed to be all about me. It was nice to not be the sole topic of conversation.
So… Not an especially deep post, but I went home that night smiling a bit – and I thought I’d share. 🙂