By Lisa P.
I received the following email from Lisa and I am sharing it here with her permission. Lisa and I often share things with each other outside the scope of what you see here. I am blessed for her friendship. These are excerpts from that exchange.
I thought I would share a mitzvah with you, as you do them so often yourself. I don’t know if you are familiar with the Jewish duty to perform them, but as a reminder, a mitzvah is a good deed associated with one’s religious duty. Even though I am not Jewish, I like the concept. There are 613 religious duties for Jews, but I focus only on the 11th one, which comes from Deuteronomy 28:9 and says we have a religious duty to emulate God’s ways. To me, God’s ways are the ways of love, so for me performing a mitzvah is doing a good deed for someone as an act of love asking nothing in return. That certainly beats being judgmental!
How did I perform my Christmas Mitzvah? Read on. I had hoped to go to a performance of The Nutcracker this season to celebrate my ballet classes and also to wear a nice dress and see all the beautiful dresses on the other women in the audience. It turned out the only person who would go with me was my lovely wife, who as you know is DADT, so although I got to attend a performance, I did not get to dress up like I wanted. I was also disappointed that too few women went to the effort to dress nicely for this particular performance, although I noticed that younger women in particular made the most effort. During intermission I stood in line to get a bottle of water. Several people back from me, I noticed a statuesque black queer person* in a beautiful block print A-line dress in black and white that came down to just above the knees. Glancing at the face, I thought it looked a little masculine, which was also reflected in short cropped hair. But the makeup was perfect and posture was regal. After I finished my transaction, I decided to wait at the top of the stairs back to the theater and when the fabulous dresser passed by I leaned over and said, “you look absolutely fabulous in that dress.” I was greeted with an amazing smile and then heard a woman behind me say the same thing (I hope influenced by me).
I have seen many assigned male at birth persons out in public over the years and often wonder if I should say anything. This time was the perfect occasion to do so, and it paid dividends. Let’s just say I was listening to Kandi in my ear, because I was given the opportunity to turn my disappointment into a wonderful Christmas Mitvah!
* You will have noticed that I did not attach a gender reference. That is on purpose, because although wearing makeup and a pretty dress, the person did not use anything to simulate a feminine physique (no breasts and no hip padding). Moreover, the thanks I received were in a male voice. Therefore, I don’t know for sure how this person identified other than queer and I want to respect whatever choice was being made. In contrast, I believe for me it is always obvious that I want to be identified as a woman!
First off, I feel your pain of not being able to dress as you would have preferred. But karma gave you that encounter. I have an event this evening that Kandi would adore but she is on ice with a daughter home for the week.
When I am dressed, and I see a sister, I always make sure to give her a compliment of some kind. If I guess wrong (hard for us to do THAT), it comes off well anyway given who I am.
Bravo Lisa, a kind word is always special and especially for those of us in the trans community.
With so much negative that surrounds our community I do agree this is how we should be with others
The other day at work I thanked a lady for being an ally for me as a gender fluid person at work.
It’s so much better to be kind and show Gods love to others indeed
Thank you for your kind words. And, thank you to Kandi for publishing my email to her. Often, the best way out of our pain is to do act of kindness for another. I am so glad to hear you had a chance to show thanks to an ally. Our Allie’s need to know we don’t take them for granted.
Lisa, there’s nothing like a feelgood story to brighten an otherwise dismal day in south London!
It’s obvious that you made their day but what was particularly nice was that the woman behind you said the same thing. Whether that was prompted by your comment or whether she’d have said it anyway is irrelevant at the end of the day because it’s just another example of acceptance.
And my fingers are crossed that next time you go to the ballet, people will be saying nice things to you about your dress!
Your final paragraph brightened my day. Thank you for reminding us all that there is still time to be pretty!