There is a lot of humor to be found in transition, and seeing the humorous aspects of this often-overwhelming process can help trans people navigate their transformation with a sense of proportion. If something amusing has happened to you during the course of your transition, send me your story and I may add it to the following:

- About 15 years ago, I was part of the support team for Sheila, a transwoman friend who had travelled to Portland for gender-confirming surgery. I waited with her partner Joanne during the surgery, and accompanied her when the staff told us Sheila was emerging from the operating room. Joanne and I were standing in the hallway as Sheila was wheeled out of surgery, just waking up. She half-opened her eyes and said groggily, “Another f-ing growth experience.”

- Diana, a transwoman some ten years into transition, went shopping with Jason, a transman friend who had transitioned to male at about the same time Diana began her process. As Diana went into a changing room to try on a bra, a woman browsing nearby said to Jason, “You’re lucky you have no idea how uncomfortable bras can be!” Since Jason had lived the first 27 years of his life female, this wasn’t exactly true…

- Mary and Alison had remained married after Mark transitioned to become Mary. Two years into Mary’s transition, they were in a pediatrician’s waiting room with their four-year-old daughter, who was happily playing with a set of blocks. A lesbian couple sitting nearby struck up a conversation, eventually asking if Mary and Alison had known their sperm donor.

- Rose went to a local building supply store to pick up some hardware for a home improvement project. She patiently listened to a lengthy explanation from a very helpful (male) store employee, who assumed she had no idea how to tell a screw from a bolt. (Not possible, for this former carpenter) She had become resigned to such treatment, saying, “Once I got treated like an idiot in the hardware store, then I knew for sure I was being seen as a woman.”

- I have often been invited to do presentations about trans issues for college classes. Some five years into my transition, I was speaking to a large sociology class at a local college. As usual, I had done a brief personal introduction, speaking of my own transition and then shifting into a more general discussion about the transition process, the nature of gender roles, etc. A young woman came into the classroom late, and slid into a seat in the front row. Throughout the remaining class time, I could see her looking increasingly puzzled, and I thought, “Just ask whatever it is!” Finally, toward the end of the two-hour period, she raised her hand and said, “I thought when someone transitioned they were supposed to dress like the other sex, but you…” It took me a moment to realize that because she’d missed my introduction, she didn’t know I had transitioned from female – she had assumed I was a transwoman!

- Henry, a newly-transitioned transman who had yet to undergo any surgery, went to the office of a local non-profit organization to do some volunteer work. At some point, he went to the bathroom, choosing to use the one labeled “Men.” He was amused to see a sign that read, “Your mother doesn’t work here. Please leave this bathroom as you would wish to find it.” So, he left the toilet seat down.

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