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Gwen tells us about a recent experience.

Last night I was inside a cozy bar in an Atlantic City filled with laughter and music.  It was the night before the start of March Madness so there was quite a buzz at the bar which was right next to a huge room riddled with television screens playing every sort of live sporting event. I found myself sitting next to an attractive woman. The warm atmosphere was inviting, and we were in the mood for a friendly conversation.

You see, I’d just prior got hit on by a drunk guy who came over as a dare from his friends. “I’m quite drunk and my friends said I didn’t have the guts to come over to talk to a transgender girl”, he said.  I sat still for a moment and contemplated before responding.  I glanced at his friend’s from across the bar all giggling, pointing and sneaking glances at us.  I replied, “Sorry, but I’m not interested in your fantasy experiment”.  He left.

I glanced to my right and I wanted to focus on the woman had sat down next to me just before my conversation with the guy.

She had platinum blonde hair, forty something and was quite attractive.  She began, “I couldn’t help but hear the conversation. That must be frustrating.”

She continued, “You have a unique sense of style and confidence. I’m intrigued.  Hi, I’m Susan. How’s your evening going?” she asked, extending her hand for a handshake.

I accepted her handshake and replied, “Nice to meet you, Susan. I’m Gwen. My evening was going well up intil a moment ago, thank you.”

As we chatted, we discovered that we had a lot in common, including our love for fashion and music.  Susan was a straight, married woman who valued open-mindedness and understanding different perspectives.  She noticed that I seemed open and willing to share, and she felt compelled to ask about my experiences as a transgender woman.

“Gwen, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but I’m really interested in learning more about your journey. I’m an ally, and I want to better understand transgender experiences. Would you be comfortable sharing your story with me?”

I appreciated Susan’s respectful and curious approach. I nodded and said, “Sure, I don’t mind at all. I always appreciate when people are genuinely interested in understanding.”

As I shared my experiences, Susan listened attentively and asked thoughtful questions. She wanted to ensure that she was being respectful and showing her support.

“Thank you for sharing your story with me, Gwen. It takes courage to be who you truly are. Can I ask you another question? Would you be comfortable showing me a picture of your male self?”

I hesitated for a moment, but seeing the genuine curiosity in Susan’s eyes, I agreed. “Alright, here’s a picture of me from a few years ago,” I said, pulling out my phone and showing Susan an image.

Susan studied the photo for a moment and then looked back at Gwen with a smile. “You’ve come so far, and you look so happy and confident now.  I have to say, you’re quite attractive as a man and a woman. Thank you for trusting me and sharing this with me.”

As the evening progressed, we continued to talk and laugh. We realized that despite our differences, we had a lot in common and enjoyed each other’s company. Eventually, the night came to an end, and it was time to say goodbye.

“I’m so glad we met tonight, Gwen. I’ve learned a lot from you, and I hope we can stay in touch,” Susan said sincerely.

I smiled warmly. “I enjoyed our conversation too, Susan. It’s not often that I meet someone so open and willing to learn. Let’s definitely keep in touch.”

With that, we exchanged contact information and went our separate ways.  I left feeling grateful for the unexpected friendship that had blossomed that night.

I’ve always felt that how we carry ourselves, reflects on the entire community.  Reinforcing a viewpoint of another or changing the previous held negative belief is so fulfilling.  

Dr. Gwen Patrone


10 Responses

  1. What a wonderful experience (with Susan, not the overgrown drunken child…lol)! I find it amazing how often I’m presented with opportunities where I feel like I’m being an “ambassador” for transwomen. As you said, it’s so fulfilling – and I would add that it’s so personally rewarding and rejuvenating! Thank you for sharing!

  2. What a great story and very heart warming to know there are people out there that are truly interested in learning more about us. And how she handled herself during the whole encounter was amazing.

    To me it reaffirms that we are actually making progress. It’s all because girls like you Gwen handle themselves and others in a respectful manner and present in an appropriate and classy manner. Even your reply to the person that first came over was in a more respectful manner than he deserved. Well done to you and your new friend. It fills me with hope when I hear about things like this happening and you’re kind enough to share them with us.

    Trish ❤️

  3. Very nice story Gwen, I too don’t mind sharing when out, I don’t often go anywhere full en fem that I would have such an experience but just the other day I went out as my fluid self to get a pedicure and the young lady asked me about pronouns and I basically said I’m fluid so I use both
    It was a nice conversation

    Thanks for sharing yours

  4. Dear Gwen,
    Your story included so many of the qualities I both seek and “preach” to my clients. Namely: Slow to react, let silence do some of the heavy lifting, calm and poised response. And when Susan engaged with you, several more conversation tools were evident: she asked permission, you embraced her sincere curiosity, she asked quality questions and listened. One mantra I use, “Have a conversation to understand, not to win.”

    To echo the wonderful feelings of such Friend encounters, my pedicurist , who only knew me as a male, noticed remnants of acrylic on my toes and asked aloud, “What the..?” Taking a leap I asked if I could trust her and if she would be non-judgmental. She agreed. I told her my story, showed some Crystal pics and she was both genuinely curious and caring. She is the only person in town who knows and, just like your encounter, it feels great to make a “new” Friend who cares and supports me as me.


  5. Hi Gwen,

    I enjoyed reading about your interaction with that woman, she sounds like a cool lady. Your story is further proof of what I have noticed when I am out & about and that is that women are so very much more accepting of CD/Trans people than men. I have had any number of interactions with women of various ages where they either did or did not know I was a CD and have experienced various levels of acceptance by many. And a lot of the conversations are just about the usual things two women talk about like dress sizes, shoe styles, skirt lengths, prices …etc. For many CD’s, including me, this type of interaction would hardly ever have taken place when presenting as our male selves. I find that it is very interesting that, in looking at the world sort of as a woman would, I have discovered and enjoy this new way of interacting with genetic women. Who knew?

    BTW, it was nice meeting you in Harrisburg, I can’t wait to get back there next year.


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