“You can call me Nancy,” but I’m not, I’m really not

That’s not my name and I am most definitely a straight hetero male who sometimes likes to joke around about things that ruffle peoples’ feathers a little bit. I’m totally fine with doing that with people who know me well and I do really love that song it’s a hellova tune.

I’m going to stick my neck out a bit here, because that’s what I often do these days, and because some might say that I don’t know better. I can admit that, for some slightly concerning and quite funny reason, trans-gender women/men sometimes get a little bit fixated with me.

In a really pesty kind of way.

If I am going to put one criticism of trans-gender women/men out there publicly, it’s that they are waaaaaay more pesty than they should be sometimes. Sometimes they really, really, refuse to take a hint.

The first time I experienced this kind of slightly terrifying behaviour was when I was working at a fast food outlet in my late teens. As I walked towards the entrance to start a shift a co-worker was sitting outside smoking on her meal break. She suddenly bent herself over double, howling with laughter. Right in front of me. Directly in my face. Very loudly. Very unsympathetically.

Turns out the two trans-gender women/men who had just walked past me on Auckland’s Queen Street, yeah true story – we were on Queen St – both stopped, turned around and checked me out from behind. Very obviously. I wasn’t massively amused at the time but it was definitely an ongoing joke between my workmates for ages.

And then it happened again. I was working an overnight shift, I took an order – they ordered a ton of food btw – and one of the three transgender lady/men requested, in her most regal tone of voice, that when their order was ready I must deliver it to their table. I was amused and slightly annoyed. Five minutes later I delivered it to their table, where I was massively teased and objectified and repeatedly invited to sit down and stay awhile – fortunately I was tipped $20 for my troubles and I was able scamper away back to the relative safety of the counter.

Much more recently, about 6 years ago, I was walking along an inner city street at around 3am, on my own after leaving a fun house party, and then after that getting the bejeezus scared out of me at a strange acquaintance’s very strange house. I was seriously keen to find a cab but it seemed that every single Uber in central Auckland was already taken. Three young adults walked past me, they said “hey!” in a jovial way, I said “heya” in a jovial way, and then I saw a taxi heading towards me. I hailed it. It stopped. I jumped in. Someone else suddenly slid onto the seat beside me.

She was dressed well. I got an eyeful of some quite toned and shapely legs and she appeared to be quite feminine and pretty, probably in her late 20s. She wanted to go to Ponsonby, I was keen to return to the party, also in Ponsonby. We talked a little, something about the way she spoke seemed just a little bit strange but I couldn’t quite decide exactly what it was… until I noticed her adam’s apple. Then the penny dropped.

‘No big deal,’ I thought, I’ll just be chill, we’ll drop this person off in Ponsonby and I’ll continue without her/him.

When we got to Ponsonby this person announced that he/she wasn’t sure where she/he wanted to go. I continued to the party and got out of the taxi. Low and behold, this transgender person jumped out of the taxi too… This is where I got a bit irritated and alarmed. I told her/him to stop following me. In an authoritative tone of voice. She said she didn’t want to. I knocked on the door, no-one answered. The house was dead quiet. Very, very quiet. I told him/her I wanted her/him to leave again, and then I pushed open a tall wooden lattice side gate, grateful it was still unlocked and I closed it behind me. I then had to lean on it with my full bodyweight to prevent this person from forcing it open and following me again. For about five quite long minutes.

The whole thing was quite weird and surreal, a little disturbing, also quite funny. To this day I am really glad that I handled that incident the way that I did. I am very pleased I did not hurt that person. Punching a person who is behaving like that should be an absolute last resort in my opinion. An act of desperate self defence. I knew that I really wanted to avoid doing that.

More recently, in the last year, I matched with a trans-gender person on Tinder. Her photos were very deceptive but that’s not surprising and that’s not something I find particularly offensive. Tinder is bit of a jungle sometimes. You have to expect some weird stuff from some weird people as well as some positive stuff, some very tedious stuff and some downright idiotic stuff. This is why I hardly ever use it. Irritates me too much.

I initially respected this person because he/she immediately told me that she is trans-gender. The conversation was respectful, short, and conclusive. I unmatched with her/him.

But then she/he had to try match with me again, using different photos, about a month later. That wasn’t very amusing. That was getting a bit silly.

I have laughed about these experiences, and I will continue to laugh about these experiences. But they are concerning to some extent because complacency breeds contempt sometimes, and I really think that some of these people that I have mentioned were in danger of putting themselves in some danger, had I been a different type of personality.

These incidents are eye-openers too. A small insight into what it must be like for women to be sexually harassed. There’s always a line, and we all have to be so careful not to step over it. With all types of people, regardless of sexuality and gender and how inebriated we are at 3am on Sunday morning.

Nancy from now on is a really cool song. It’s a strange one – whimsical and funny and with a rock n roll vibe. I really like it for those reasons. God knows what it’s really about, it’s very hard to tell. I can’t guess this one. But I also don’t care.

In day-to-day life you can joke with me about being a Nancy, and you’ll find out that I’ll joke back. I may even succeed in pushing your boundaries. Or I may retreat quite quickly from this topic. There is definitely a line and I will make sure you don’t cross that line – I’ll be very direct about it if you cross that line. I’m hopeful that the large majority of New Zealand trans-gender do actually behave in a straight forward, respectful and careful way. When they decide they want to behave that way, they can get away with being cheeky. But out-of-control pesty is a bit of a different story.

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