Actually, I wanted to tell you today about my last weekend, but as it is so often in life, whims are changing all the time. Especially my personal moods. I also believe that my hormones, are now more involved into my decisions, than it was the case in the past. They have completely adapted themselves to my femininity. Frequent changes of ideas are absolutely a regular female behavior, I think.
The transphobic opening
Anyway let’s start at Saturday night. As usual, I was on my own again in the Old Town of Düsseldorf. My favorite activity is still the bar and club hopping thing. You can change the place as often as you love to, and in the meantime you can also get a fresh breath on the streets. Which is very pleasant for me, as I like to consume a relaxed cigarette on these paths. Nowadays it is hardly allowed to smoke in a public pub. My personal opinion, it’s a ridiculous fact, that the smoky atmosphere of a cuddly pub is completely gone.
In an underpass I met a group of young men. All of them were around 20 years old and with Arab migration background. The group consisted of about ten people. One of the men shouted ‘shemale’ at me. Normally I would just ignore it. I would be proud of myself, and would have walked away in my high heels, and I would be quietly annoyed, that again such a transphobic asshole offended me. And yes, shemale is an insult to me. The term itself is derogatory. I also did not call back at them. A few times before, I tried this way, to get rid of my excitement. But with each of these attempts, finally the opposite was the case, and my pulse afterwards still faster from indignation than before. This time it was something different, and this has something to do with the fact, that in the meantime I have been thinking a lot about this kind of unpleasant confrontation. I know it must sound stupid, but I was never really satisfied with my own reactions. I have always questioned myself. Because I am a person who likes to move things straight back. The resulting imbalance had to be restored. The mere ignoring of this impossible behavior had done nothing, and my assumption was, and it still is, that it wouldn’t change anything in the future. So I left my comfort zone and tried a completely new, and somewhat more daring approach for me.
But, what other alternatives were there? If you are verbally attacked, then most people I know, would answer at the same level. An insult for an insult – like eye for eye, and tooth for tooth? Sorry! This has no style at all. We only follow the invitation to a game. Neither we choose to play it, nor could we make the rules for that game. The outcome would be completely unpredictable for us. Off course I like to play. However, I must be able to see a chance in that game, to pass it. Being in a situation, where escalation is most likely, does not meet these requirements. The outcome depended only on who chose which words. These phrases are thrown in front of the counterpart. Depending on how these words would be perceived by the other person, affected the outcome. Such a situation is always incalculable and risky. In my position I was facing nearly ten strong, and sporty Arab youngsters, who hardly respected me. I had the impression, that they were waiting for a little mistake from my side, to procede to offend me even more intense. This can only be a bad idea, because unfortunately I’m not Jackie Chan.
No way you could start a conversation with a woman like that
I don’t know, why I chose this term, but it seems to be well received by the Arab men. So I called aloud ‘olum!’ without really knowing the meaning at this time. I had already caught something like that in the past somewhere. The situations in which this term has fallen, have always been of a peaceful nature, and I simply assumed that Arabs were communicating with each other in this way. For me, the intention was somewhere in the meaning of a raised but well-intentioned finger. In the meantime my research has led me to a much more precise meaning, and I can tell you that it can mean something like ‘my son’, or ‘my boy’, or even ‘my little one’. I supplemented my introduction to them with a ‘really brother?’. At that moment, one thing was clear. I had drawn their full attention to me, and stood at least for a moment in their limelight. One of the group took the lead, and joined into the conversation with the words ‘yes, what?’ I answered his question without further explanations, and without really going into it ‘no way you could start a conversation with a woman like that.’ and finally continued: ‘You could introduce yourself for example first. You tell me your name, and I’ll tell you my name, and then we start again.’ He agreed with a short nod, and told me, that he was ‘Ibrahim’. Ibrahim is the Arabic form of Abraham and means ‘father of the many peoples’. In the three biggest world religions, he is considered to be their father-in-law (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism). So I was faced with a leadership personality, and it seemed to me, that I had access to this person without fear of further escalation. I also introduced myself with my first name. Bravo – the beginning was already set. But how should I proceed now, without losing this positive momentum?
I decided to keep the friendly course, and said, ‘you see that’s much better.’ by the way, most men love it when they are praised for their behavior. Every woman will confirm that my dear men. So it was just a pretty clever move, to go on like that. I began to set up new rules for the so-called game. He felt flattered and relaxed. All this told me his smile, and the increasingly friendly expression in his face. But he was still on a course of confrontation with me, and kept on saying ‘but you’re gay’ It was completely indifferent to me, whether he was thinking that I was gay. Homosexuality is completely natural to me. I’d rather love to be gay than transgender because of the acceptance. Nevertheless I commented on his statement with the words: ‘that I am trans, has nothing to do with whether I am gay or not. I can love both men and women. And you can be born as a woman, even if you do not look like it from the beginning, and not all people have to love that. One could simply wish, that they behave respectfully. To be trans, does not mean, that I have to love men. To be honest, I’m more interested in women.’ He listened to me more interested, which could only be an advantage. His curiosity showed me that he basically had intelligence. Because only smart people are open, and curious about new information. That he had an interest in talking to me about this subject, was not a proof of the existence of intellect. At least theoretically it would be possible that this person had a functioning brain. Such a thing was quite conceivable. I just continued and was full of hope.
Now even a small room for a first clarification has emerged, which I took immediately. ‘You have a completely different problem my friend. Did you know that trans women have a 90% higher risk of committing suicide, than any other person in the world?’ The thesis was put up, and it was not questioned by anybody present. Basically I was not even sure whether the number was true. I realized that the risk was significantly increased, but I didn’t remember the correct percentage any more. But as long as it worked, I did not want to make any doubts about it. So I went on without interruption ‘imagine, one day you will be the father of a son. One day your son decides, that he wants to live as a woman, because he is totally unhappy.’ I paused briefly, and when I realized that he could still follow me, I continued ‘do you want your son to take his life because you think the way, you think now? Nowadays it is completely normal that you do not have to hide with it. You see me. I have a usual life, even though I was born differently. I have a regular job, and I have four little children.’ followed by a longer interruption. I already noticed that some of his guys were annoyed by the conversation, and preferred to move on. But Monsieur did not want to leave, so the others had to wait for him. Ibrahim certainly served the meaning of his name. A real leader type. At one time he said something, that I did not expect at all. ‘Sorry’ came softly over his lips, so that it was hard to hear. Even if it was scarcely audible, he has at least expressed it. I smiled and pulled a friendly face, then I said ‘guys, I wish you a nice evening.’ and ran as planned in the direction of the next club, which I aimed on this night.
I told a friend about this incident. She first gave me a speech on the topic of how ‘real’ women would behave in such a situation. At all, she seemed to possess the patent for femininity. She criticized me for letting myself into these guys so far. Furthermore, she prophesied to me, that my passion, and dedication would decrease with increasing experience, and especially with a growing lifetime as a woman. I too, like her would one day be sorry to talk with such men. Her image of men from the Arab world was characterized by hatred and disrespect. She used terms, that I would not like to mention here, since they are totally wrong in my eyes. I tried to argue against it, but I think her tolerance has gone long ago.
There’s still some hope I have
However I have not given up the hope, that I can convince some of you to open up for these people, and not to prejudge them. It is clear to me, that a new and cruel attack with a terrorist background has paralyzed Germany in the last days. Absolutely no question, that we can not accept such an act. However we should not forget, that many Arabs live among us, and have integrated themselves wonderfully into our culture. I would like to promote understanding especially for these young people, who are similar to the guys, I met on the weekend. Why is Mycha doing this? Well, let’s take a look at the situation in which they are. Born here in Germany, but constantly marginalized. At the door, the entry is denied. Our fearful eyes from the corner of the eye, which in principle express, that they are not accepted as part of our society. No German citizenship, and no permanent stay perspective. The examples are endless. What are you even wondering about, that they have no behavior? Who has ever bothered to deal with them seriously? Start thinking now! There are no bad people. We could all be like that. Could be done to these personalities. This happens once we can only find confirmation, and support, by opposing everything that is almost Western culture. At least among their people. Exclusion also connects, and creates similarities. I am experiencing this very strongly at the moment. Let us finally start with tolerance, and put the intolerance chess matte!
Kisses, yours sincerely Mycha