“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”
– Mark Twain
Oh wise words, if only I had followed them for once. I was on campus, exiting the ladies restrooms. It was one of those awkward door opening moments where someone is standing right on the other side, and the awkwardness continued as we tried to figure out who was going where. This was the first time I actually kind of looked at the person. It was a guy! Young, somewhat effeminate with short hair, baggy jeans, sweatshirt and glasses. In those brief moments I debated saying something, sometimes people just get confused and accidently go to the wrong side, but ‘No’, I think, ‘it could be a guy who identifies as a female and who am I to say anything..?’ We’re lucky, in the ladies room we have stalls so it doesn’t really matter anyways. As I pass by and hold the door for him, he takes it, I walk a step he’s just holding the door to walk in. I open my mouth and remove all doubt of my being a fool.
I say “Do you know this is the ladies bathroom?”
He says “I know. I’m… “ and gestures to their chest and then kind of mumbles something that indicates that he is in fact a she. I am mortified. She could totally read it on my face.
She says “it’s okay, it’s probably my hair and stuff”
Me – “I’m so sorry”
Her – “it’s okay”
Me – “I’m sorry” and do a little head bow, to emphasize my sorry-ness.
I walked away, so embarrassed. And as life normally does, I now see her around campus fairly regularly.