No Help in Hardware


I am a Male to Female Transgenderd Person.

Recently My boyfriend and I were building a few things for our deck and yard, and we didnt have all the tools we needed for this.

So, as I had designed the projects and had the wood working experance, I made a list of what we needed.

We drove over to the local Big box Hardware store, and started to gather what we needed, as we still had a few missing items that we could not find, we sought out the help of an employee.

When he arrived at our spot, he asked what we needed, and I told him exactly what we needed, his eyes went a bit glassy, he then turned to my boyfriend, and said “What was it you needed again sir?”

My boyfriend pointed at me and said “She just told you what we need. I have no idea about this stuff.”

The employee again glances over at me, then back to my boyfriend “Please sir, what is it you need?”

During this I managed to locate what we needed, placed it in the cart, and started out of the aisle.

So I guess, Estrogen makes me dumb. My fault, I’m NOW female. #MFIF



37 Responses to “No Help in Hardware”

  1. SkyHawk Says:

    Now this is fascinating. Apparently, if you give even a whiff of “female”, you are immediately assumed incompetent in a hardware store. However, this is one of the more bold brush-offs I’ve seen.

    • Alibelle Says:

      Yeah, I’m going to guess she’s going to give off more than a whiff of female, she identifies as female thus, she is. It’s actually kind of offensive to say that someone who is female only gives off a “whiff” of being female because they’re transgendered.

      Also, “fascinating”? She’s not a fucking science project.

    • Amy Says:

      Actually, she seems to be just another woman who is living her life. She probably doesn’t get looked at any differently than any other woman, doesn’t look out of place at all (looks physically female), and acts naturally and normally. So, even if she asserts herself to death with knowledge, the guy who doesn’t know anything about building things will get all of the attention, and she’ll get ignored. Sounds typical.

      The truth of the matter is, if she didn’t say that she was trans, everyone would just think that she is just a handy woman. But the moment she says that she is trans, people start dehumanizing her and treating her like she is less than human. Now, isn’t that “fascinating”?

      • Sarah Says:

        Her fault she’s trans? 😦

      • Amy Says:

        Something like that…

        Not that being transgender is a choice any more than being born female in general is a choice. The only difference is whether one (if they blend into their new gender role in society) decides to disclose their past to others. The fact that it was semi-integral to the story meant that it was important for her to mention it, but the same thing could have happened to any woman who knew carpentry skills. And since it is the internet, I honestly respect her for deciding to disclose that part of her past. That being said, because it could happen to any person living as a woman in society, it’s also HFSF.

  2. J Says:

    I think you made his brain explode.

  3. Meg Thornton Says:

    Gawd, what an absolute arsehole that lack-of-assistant sounds. I do hope you had a word with his manager about customer service, remedial training, and the fact that Mr Unhelpful there needs the one regarding the other.

  4. Alyson Says:

    Oh hell yes. When I transitioned ten years ago apparently the outside world thought my IQ had halved.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    (Comment deleted by a mod for transphobia-sexism-victim-blaming soup)

    Sorry that took so long folks, here’s a picture of a puppy if you were triggered by the comment. -B

    • Alyson Says:

      Yeah, sexism’s totally awesome when it’s directed at trans people!

      Uh, wait. What?

    • Sarah Says:

      Wow, anonymous transphobia *and* misogyny in a mere 17 words. Classy.

    • Michelle Says:

      You’re an asshole, transpeople are what they identify as, not what YOU want to identify them as. Gender is a process in the mind, which has nothing to do with anatomical sex. YOU try living with a body that doesn’t match what you know to be true in your mind! YOU try living with a family who will never accept you for who you are and friends who will abandon you when you come out! YOU try rectifying all of this with your faith if you are a Christian! You and I will never understand what transpeople go through on a daily basis, just because we happened to be born with some form of connection between our bodies and our minds. It’s hard enough trying to be there and support my wife, who is also a mtf transwoman, I can only imagine what it would be like to actually BE HER FOR AN HOUR let alone the 25 years she has been alive.

      • Axiomatic Says:

        I just have a policy of taking people’s word on the matter when it comes to boy versus girlhood.

        I get confused when transgendered people rattle out four or five adjectives to describe their gender state – please, just tell me that you think of yourself as a woman or a man, and I’ll believe you.

      • Amy Says:

        Just for the record, no one needs to tell you anything if they don’t want to, and you don’t really have the right to say who the person is. Whether the person identifies as male, female, man, woman, something else, or a combination of the above, they are allowed to state their own preferences, and it isn’t up to you to choose for them. It seems that you are intentionally trying to make things complicated; if a close love one uses a certain pronoun, and are defending that person or using the person as an example, then the chances are that the person probably identifies as the pronoun being used.

        As stated by another person, both the writer (who identifies herself as female) and Michelle explicitly used female pronouns, so why question them except for your potential discomfort with the issue in general. She didn’t refer to her wife as anything other than she or her, and I don’t see any adjectives that would lead you to think otherwise.

        But just for clarification, I’m Michelle’s wife, so you can refer to me as SHE and HER. And if you start to think that I might prefer something other than that, well, I don’t. So it should be expected that you to refer to me accordingly and treat transgender people with respect just like everyone else, ok?

      • Axiomatic Says:

        I apologize, I expressed myself badly. I intended to make a general statement about first meeting situations in which we have not been introduced yet, not one specifically addressing either you, Michelle or the original writer.

    • Zoe O'Connell Says:

      Yeah, transwomen totally transition to get that coveted female privilege in hardware stores.

    • MissPrism Says:

      Here’s a puzzle just for you! Rearrange the following words into a well known phrase or saying:

      off fuck

    • Cyberspice Says:

      You are a coward and an idiot. If you really had something to contribute you wouldn’t hide anonymously. Go away little troll.

    • D Says:

      It’s a shame that on site where we share our experiences of discrimination, some people think it’s appropriate to discriminate even more.

    • Alibelle Says:

      “I get confused when transgendered people rattle out four or five adjectives to describe their gender state”

      Translated: Only identify yourself in terms that I can understand, I have no reason to show you respect by educating myself on the terminology you use. Also, if you aren’t accepted by the world it’s because you make things far too difficult for people to understand. I fully expect men to treat me as equal and have all my -isms respected and not allow anyone to have privilege over me, but I will cling to my cisgendered privilege until the day I die. Also all people should fit into male/female. Sure I don’t care if you were originally born into the gender you identify as (as long as you state it in the right way for me to understand without me putting any effort into it) but you have to fit one or the other. No gender queer, andro, drag kings/queens. Just male or female, seriously guys make it easy for me to understand.

      • Brittany-Ann Says:

        @Alibelle, I can’t tell if you’re joking or not, so I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and not delete the transphobic comments.

      • Alibelle Says:

        I was saying that that was the translation of Axiomatic’s comment about how they’ll accept that people are whatever gender they say they are as long as they come out and say it exactly:

        “I just have a policy of taking people’s word on the matter when it comes to boy versus girlhood.

        I get confused when transgendered people rattle out four or five adjectives to describe their gender state – please, just tell me that you think of yourself as a woman or a man, and I’ll believe you.”

        Yep, it was a joke in response to a comment that was pretty cis-privileged. Thanks for not deleting.

      • Brittany-Ann Says:

        Thanks for the clarification!

      • Matt G. Says:

        I read that comment to mean that Axiomatic just wanted people to describe themselves as a man or a woman, and then take them at their word. As in, without any qualifiers or caveats. I thought it seemed egalitarian (i.e., a cis-woman and a trans-woman are both just women, and the same for cis/trans men), if a bit simplistic, but not transphobic necessarily.

  6. Cyberspice Says:

    I transitioned.. Thinks… A long long time ago. I took my first degree as ‘him’ and my second degree as me. My career has all be since transition.

    It has been interesting to see the differences in how computer, electronics and hardware stores, and car parts dealers treated me after transition and how they treated me as a teenager. I’ve stood and been completely ignored many a time. Or had assistants try and tell me why I’m wrong. And when I do try and correct them they sneer or don’t want to know.

    The funniest time was trying to get my Dad a linux netbook from electronics stores at a strip mall. We knew they were nearing end of range (wanted something cheap) so knew we had to ask for assistance in each store. At the first I started talking and the assistant started talking back to my Dad. Asking did he know anything about Linux. Didn’t he want a nice windows machine. Etc. Etc. Eventually I pulled the Linux Kernel developer card and we got the answer that they didn’t have one. The second store was just as bad. Finally at the third store my Dad said “Right before you start. I know nothing about what we’re looking for. She’s the Linux expert and she probably has code in that machine there” and then points to one. The assistant did a good goldfish impression but rallied. Said “I see you know what you’re after. There’s one out the back”. And got us one.

    During transition was the most interesting time. When they think you’re female they treat you as above but when they aren’t sure of your gender they assume you’re male. Because “Its not insulting to refer to a female male as male but it is insulting to assume a male is female”. Fail!

  7. Amy Says:

    BTW, to the wonderful woman who is running this site:

    I figure that it is important to mention that the ads that are showing for this article are pretty awful. They are quite offensive and perpetuate negative stereotypes of who transwomen are to the world. If it was any other girl writing in, it’d be a general ad about some random topic, but because the writer is trans, it shows “Dating with Ladyboys” ads. I don’t know if you have any control at all over what ads pop up, or if you are able to remove ads for certain letters, but it might be a good idea in the future. Unfortunately, Google seems to be ruling the internet these days, and sometimes they can be quite classless.

    Anyways, thanks for doing this! It’s really important to get the word out about these things, and create unity among women everywhere.

    • Brittany-Ann Says:


      There are actually two of us! But thank you!

      I don’t actually see any ads-but I’ll look into it and get back to you. In the meantime, do you use an upgraded version of WordPress? That shows ads in trade for extra features?

      -Mod number 2

      PS Oh! If you can report or flag the ads, do so!

      • Amy Says:

        Lol, sorry. Actually, I talked to my wife about this problem, and she (Michelle above) actually had this issue with google earlier when she posted some trans-related articles herself. She then complained to google (a few times),and got told that it picks out the context of the article and if it flags it as a transgender article, it’ll go to it’s pool of ads from their transgender ads pool, which at the time was Ladyboy dating and one other inherently negative stereotype which I can’t remember her referencing now. They took no effort to take it down or care about the content, just that it fit the topic (vaguely) of the article.

        And, well, I signed up for wordpress because of this blog, so, no, I don’t have the upgraded version. 😉

  8. D W Says:

    just tell me that you think of yourself as a woman or a man, and I’ll believe you.

    Because the rest of who someone is and how they identify isn’t important to you therefor must not be important to them, and that you accept it is all that matters, right? After all, you’re the arbiter of gender definition.

    • Axiomatic Says:

      If you’re willing to tell me “refer to me as a he” or “refer to me as a she”, I can do that without needing a grammar lesson in freshly coined pronouns. I’m not the arbiter of gender definition, because I know I could never hope to adequately define one – so, instead I can simply ask “What do you want me to call you that the language I am currently speaking is equipped to deal with?”

      • D W Says:

        Ignoring that such a binary choice is unrealistically restrictive (there are far more pronouns in use) I’m unable to understand, in context, what this pronoun exercise has to do with anything posted other than your own posts. Both the original post and the one to which you replied lack ambiguity about pronouns; both clearly use “she,” “her,” and so forth, so I’m at a disadvantage to see what creates the confusion you state having. It leaves me closer to believing Alibelle has stated it perfectly.

      • Axiomatic Says:

        I apologize – it was a generic you. I was not trying to say that Michelle should decide if she’s male or female, nor the person who had her displeasing experience at the hardware store.

  9. Arsen D. Says:

    Yeah, that’s a beautiful thing. I am Female to Male, and nowadays people listen more, as if I am more intelligent than any women who happen to be near me. Which is generally not the case, and I get so lost, and don’t know what I’m doing with tools and the like.

  10. Pavlov's Cat Says:

    I’m a female physics teacher with a mechanical engineering degree, and people who know both these things still commit acts of fail of a similar flavour. Frustrating as hell. My sympathies.

  11. Grafton Says:

    My mom taught me all my handy-man skills. Same thing happens to her when I go to the hardware store with her. And she’s really butch.

  12. fyremane Says:

    so glad to see this post still here.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: