So as some of you know I have a profile on PlentyofFish.com. It is a free online dating site that usually gives me a source of entertainment, and sometimes even a date or two. Most of the time the people who message me are super nice, very rarely they are not. Usually though when they are not nice they are not even personally mean, they are just letting me know how much god hates me and all that. The other day though I got a personalized letter of meanness.
I logged in to see I had a message from some guy named mrright2572. I opened it to see he had just typed "Andrew?" Just in case you don't know, before I changed it to 'Sarah', my name used to be 'Andrew'.
I was a little scared because I had no idea who this was and he obviously knew me. I didn't know if I should reply at all, but curiosity got the better of me so I wrote, "Yup... used to be anyway." Then I apologized for not recognizing his picture.
I was pretty eager to see his reply because I wanted to know who he was. I was thinking maybe he was a friend from long long ago, maybe from boy scouts or something like that. When notice of his reply came I immediately opened it, and I was immediately disappointed. Not only did he not tell me who he was, but his message said, "what a freak you are. Thought you were a freak back when I knew you and you are even more one now. loser"
I was a little bit upset. Not only was that message pretty rude, but he didn't even use proper capitalization. I am pretty much immune to insults dealing with being transgendered*, but now I really wanted to know who this person was. I replied and I was very nice to him. I agreed that I used to be a freak for sure. I said that I never really felt comfortable in life before, so I was very awkward around people sometimes. I even apologized if I had wronged him somehow. I suggested that we forgive and forget because "I'd rather think I reconnected briefly with someone I once knew, than just have someone call me names."
Not long afterwards I got another reply from mrright2572, "Well Andrew, I am sure Heather *** hA*** would have a good laugh at you, as would others who knew you. Too funny, Freak!! " (I left out Heather's last name for her privacy)
I could see he was still having trouble with his capitalization, but at least this last message gave me a clue as to who he may be. He must have worked with Heather and I at A&W. I shot off an email with his picture to Heather, Jamie and Michelle to see if any of them remembered him. In the meantime I sat back in my chair to see if I could remember. I was a little distracted because I was laughing that this guy presumed to apply a behaviour to Heather that is so far from reality it was as if he had never even met her.
I have known Heather for over a third of my lifetime. Heather was the first person I told that I was transgendered and she is one of those people that I know will always be on my side. She is family. It is actually quite funny, when you think of it, that of all the people this guy could have named in an attempt to make me feel bad, he picked someone who has always made me feel good, even from just a stray thought or mere mention of her name.
As I thought about this lame attempt at making me feel bad suddenly a name popped into my head. Heather confirmed this guy's identity later that evening, but at the time I couldn't wait for anyone to reply. I sent him a message that said, "Ron! The broom handle guy!"** Now I don't know if Ron was just done insulting me, or if he was only comfortable calling me a freak when he was completely anonymous, but after I sent him a message identifying him, his messages comletely stopped.
It's funny how many words can be clearly defined, but in the end have meanings that are completely up to individual interpretation. I guess I just think of myself as a regular woman, but he saw a freak. Like I said, by far most people chat on plenty of fish with civility and a live and let live belief, but Ron believes in going out of his way to insult people and to name-call. I take a look at the two of us specifically and I see one of us is clearly an oddball; unique in a displeasing way. Who is the freak when you look at it that way?
* Honestly, for anyone out there who wants to insult a transsexual for his or her choice to live as the other gender, just consider that it is like insulting someone with a broken leg for using a crutch. It's what we do to get by.
** I don't really remember Ron at all except that he liked to unscrew the handles from mops and brooms and twirl them around while bragging about his martial arts skills. How very Napolean, Ron.