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Thread: Changing Perceptions, One Tortilla Chip At A Time

  1. #1
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    Changing Perceptions, One Tortilla Chip At A Time

    *** I was going to post this in the TS section, but it's not strictly on-topic for that section, and one of the moderators there is such a hard-ass about that rule, so...

    Last night I joined my friends Jeri Ann and Stephanie for dinner at a local TexMex restaurant. It's part of a chain, but known for consistently good food and service. This particular location is also rather far from the more "cosmopolitan" parts of Houston, so I anticipated the occasional wide-eyed, and even gape-mouted stares. When I arrived, the place was packed, and we had to wait about a half hour for a table. As expected, the gapers were there, but with the exception of one man at a nearby table, who was visibly hostile, what looks we got, were the usual transient expressions of surprise and amusement.

    I played with the stink-eye dude, smiling every time I caught his eye. He quickly became so uncomfortable and stopped looking our way. I win!

    Shortly after we ordered, a middle aged couple sat down at the bar almost across the narrow aisle from us. We did seem to make them a little uncomfortable, as tends to happen around here when the less "cosmopolitan" patrons first notice. As Jeri Ann observed though, they were unusually interested in each other as well; "Definitely not married..." was her assessment. I agreed, suggesting that they were business "associates", attending some convention across the highway, at the NRG Convention Center.

    Somewhere about this time, a young woman showed up with the cart carrying the ingredients and tools to prepare the "table side" guacamole that I had ordered for us. As I said, the aisle was narrow, and the worker and cart completely blocked it, becoming the center of attention for all seated nearby, including the couple seated almost across from us. It's quite the production and well worth the wait.

    We had barely consumed half of the bowl by the time we were ready to leave. Jeri Ann suggest that we might offer to share the delicious green stuff with the nearby couple. Seeing an opportunity to make a positive impression on at least two people, I caught the women's eye as I held up the bowl and pointed to it, mouthing (it was very noisy) "Want some?" She looked suprised, then clapped her hands together, smiling and nodding. So I passed the dish and a fresh basket of tortilla chips to them. I'd estimate that they were pleased, as they'd consumed much of it by the time we'd paid and passed their table. They both smiled, thanking us sincerely.

    Unfortunately, I forgot to check with stink-eye dude, but I'd also estimate that my friends and I became at least a little bit more normal to at least a few of the patrons there that night.
    Last edited by Aunt Kelly; 02-16-2020 at 02:25 PM.
    "Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it will always get you the right ones."
    -- John Lennon

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  2. #2
    Silver Member Micki_Finn's Avatar
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    It’s great that you made overtures to the people around you who showed no hostility, but wasn’t “Mr Stink Eye” the heart and mind that really needed changing? Do you think that by making him even MORE uncomfortable that he’ll have a positive impression of trans people going forward? IMO, he’s the one who you should have offered guacamole.

  3. #3
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    Possibly, but the reality is that that type is not ever likely to change, certainly not from an unwelcome encounter in a restaurant. That kind of hatred is born of, and reinforced by, a culture with far more influence over it's adherents than you or I will ever have.
    "Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it will always get you the right ones."
    -- John Lennon

    https://groups.io/g/gno-houston

  4. #4
    happy to be her Sarah Charles's Avatar
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    A few years ago at Diva Las Vegas I ended up with one extra bottle of champagne that came with the limo ride. As I was waiting for the valet (it was for tips back then) to get my car a group of 6 young people sat down nearby. I overheard their conversation and they were ready to move on to the next step on their adventure and I offered them the full and still cold bottle. I got a hug from the young lady who took it and I'm confident they had a new appreciation of trans folk, at least for a while. I considered it a small investment in the future.
    Sarah
    Being transgender isn't a lifestyle choice. How you deal with it is.
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  5. #5
    Junior Member Brianne_M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Kelly View Post
    Possibly, but the reality is that that type is not ever likely to change, certainly not from an unwelcome encounter in a restaurant. That kind of hatred is born of, and reinforced by, a culture with far more influence over it's adherents than you or I will ever have.
    I concur. As much as I'd hope those types of people will change, I know in reality they never will. Showing gratitude to the other couple and getting gratitude in return is much more rewarding.

  6. #6
    Weirdest woman ever! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    I'm nominating u for the National Bravery Award, Auntie!

    There r a number of u that can still enjoy your evening surrounded by eye rollers and haters!

    I go out to have fun with whoever's out there. NOT to try and represent the T community. I'm not a brave dresser!

    And, I do NOT enjoy evenings out in venues like that!
    Last edited by docrobbysherry; 02-16-2020 at 11:21 PM.
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  7. #7
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    Wow! Do you ever know how to handle a muggle, AND turn it into a teachable moment! I would like to be able to say I could do as well as you, but its probably not true. OTOH, I live in a region where I don't need to. From women I get smiles and compliments, from men I get absolutely nothing. Just lucky.

    Again, bravo!

  8. #8
    Junior Member Shannon michelle's Avatar
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    Kelly
    This is great! I love seeing you mess with the muggles.

    Also you look great in the new profile picture.

    SM

  9. #9
    Senior Member Asew's Avatar
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    Yes, the stink eye guy needs the most changing, but offering him to share would have been a disaster. Him seeing you be nice to strangers did more help for him seeing we are normal and nice than directly interacting with him where he probably would have become more hostile.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Laura912's Avatar
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    You and Jeri Ann double teaming the crowds? They never had a chance, especially with guacamole included.

  11. #11
    Member MonicaPVD's Avatar
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    This is a beautiful story. The only thing is that if I were at a restaurant and a total stranger at another table offered me their half consumed bowl of guac, essentially finger food, I would say, "How thoughtful but no thanks. I have money to get my own guac." Come to think of it, I can't think of any kind of half consumed food item I would take from a stranger at a restaurant.
    Last edited by MonicaPVD; 02-17-2020 at 07:39 PM.

  12. #12
    Member LydiaL's Avatar
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    MonicaPVD,

    Common now, how can anyone pass up a pile of tortilla chips and fresh guacamole, even if offered by a stranger?

    If I were to be offered some fresh oysters or clams by a stranger I'd likely jump at the chance!

    (Gulf of New Mexico oysters dipped in hot salsa, the best!)

    Last edited by LydiaL; 02-17-2020 at 09:33 PM.

  13. #13
    Silver Member Crissy 107's Avatar
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    Aunt Kelly, Terrific story, yes you did great, one tortilla chip at a time.
    Crissy

  14. #14
    Member MonicaPVD's Avatar
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    I'm just offering my very personal opinion. It's great that these moments of communion and empathy are possible. I'm sure the guac was killer, too. It's just that I'm not one to accept food that has been manipulated or talked over 🌧️. No matter how delish.

    Quote Originally Posted by LydiaL View Post
    MonicaPVD,

    Common now, how can anyone pass up a pile of tortilla chips and fresh guacamole, even if offered by a stranger?

    If I were to be offered some fresh oysters or clams by a stranger I'd likely jump at the chance!

    (Gulf of New Mexico oysters dipped in hot salsa, the best!)


  15. #15
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Two ways of looking at this story , on one side dealing with a diner who didn't appear to like his eating companions was handled with reasonable care but I'm still saddened to read you had this problem at all .

    A small group like yours shouldn't have raised any interest at all , I wonder if the guy was having a bad day for other reasons not asociated with you ?

    I haven't had to deal with this situation because so far it's never happened , I'm not saying a mixed group of TGs and TSs and Cders, doesn't attract attention but everyone so far has just gone about their own business without an adverse reaction . One aspect that does surprise me is when actually getting into a conversation with some people they do spring some surprises . One guy kept looking across at us in a bar area , he finally struck up courage and came over to tell how much he envied us for what we were and what we were doing but the way he was looking at us didn't suugest those were his thoughts initially .

    I'm inclined to agree with Monica over the offer of leftovers , nice gesture but possibly not one I wouldn't take up .

    The important thing is you had a great evening , these stories are very valuable to members who need the confidence to make these ventures out .
    The real me ,no going back.

  16. #16
    Super Moderator Jeri Ann's Avatar
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    This thread, and Kelly’s point, is about doing kind things that affect people in a positive way. It is not asking for opinions about what you might eat or have enough money to buy.

    The stink eye dude was not our dining companion and was not a problem to be sad about. He was a distance away and seemed to have a look of disapproval, that’s all.

    The Guacamole was in the same serving dish that the server prepared it in maybe five feet from the woman. It still had the same serving spoon in it. It was hardly leftover finger food.

    The woman who graciously accepted the gift from Kelly had made pleasant eye contact several times with both Kelly and I. That is why I suggested sharing the dish. She had demonstrated a lot of interest in the preparation of the dish.

    It was a good thing that happened. That is the point of this thread.
    Last edited by Jeri Ann; 02-18-2020 at 08:11 PM. Reason: Changed question marks to apostrophes.

  17. #17
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    my guess mr stink eye wanted to assert his alpha maleness and disapproval but in reality was maybe a little jealous he wanted to but couldnt do it himself, it happens.
    How many politicians and public figures speak out against the gay community (i'm not tarring anyone here with that brush but using as an example) and then go on to get caught in compromising positions doing the very thing they protest against?

  18. #18
    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
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    Aunt Kelly, I think it was a nice gesture! Mr. Stink eye will just have to get over it and move on! I for one would not have engaged him in any way! You gave it to the right people and made an example that we are just people like everyone else! Nice move! Hugs Lana Mae
    Life is worth living!
    "Foxy lady! You look so good!!" Jimi Hendrix

  19. #19
    Member MonicaPVD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeri Ann View Post
    It was a good thing that happened. That is the point of this thread.
    Indeed, it was. Let no good deed go unscooped.

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