“So, what’s your real name?”

“Pan, well Pan-Lennon to be correct.”

“No, your reeaal name?”

“Oh… sorry it’s Pan-Lennon Harrison Jude Norkiewicz”


“Are you getting the “surgery?”

“Well, I had a surgery this summer. I had this weird thing on my ankle and they had to remove it; it was nasty.”


“But you don’t look like a boy, you still have those?”

“You mean these, my pins on my breast pockets? These, these are for everyone. I can’t believe you didn’t know that, silly!”


“You were so much prettier as a girl.”

“Ya, but I’m much happier as a boy, got to weigh out those options.”


“Are you just trying to escape oppression?”

“If anything, I’m fighting oppression. I might even say I’m more oppressed now than I was as a lady; I was at least considered more of a person when I was a girl.”


“Do you hate women?”

“Yes, including my fiancé, who is, in fact, a woman.”


“Are you just trying to look at [rude version of male body part] when you use the guys’ bathroom or locker room?”

“Yes, my main goal in life is to pretend to be a man so I can sneak around the boys’ room trying to check out all the phallic shapes I can find and make everyone feel uncomfortable when I take off my clothes to change.”


“Will you still wear dresses and do makeup and stuff?”

“I mean, if I wanted to, but sadly it is still not socially acceptable for a man to wear a dress or makeup in public, so most likely no.”


“So, you’re like a cross dresser?”

“If I were a cross dresser, I would be in girl’s clothes because I’m a boy; no I’m not currently a crossdresser.”


“I can still call you [old, dead name] right?”

“Who, are you talking about?”


“Which bathroom do you use?”

“The one in my apartment.”


“Isn’t that just being a tomboy?”

“Tomboys are girls that dress and act like boys. I’m a boy that dresses and acts like a boy, so I’m a boy.”


“What does your family think?”

“What, of this colored shirt? The dinner I had last night? I told them that I can get ice cream in the Dining Commons whenever I want, and they thought that was pretty cool.”


“Does your fiancé know?”



“Aren’t you afraid of going to…hell?”

“Hell, is a concept created by Abrahamic religions and does not apply to all other religions including my own. I do not believe in hell, so I’m not afraid to go to an imaginary place. That is, unless that place is Mitras from Attack on Titan, then I’m deathly afraid.”


“You know God made you perfectly already”

“Well, that means you can be more than perfect, and I just proved it.”


“How’s your sex life?”

“I don’t know, maybe ask your mom?”


“Nice to meet you Pan, what are your preferred pronouns?”

…Thank you!  And He please.


These may seem like very rude answers to very “normal” questions, or at least questions you really want answers to, but to a trans* person these can be very insulting. If you want to ask a question or learn more about the trans* community, please first ask if it is okay to ask personal questions about their life and gender. Next, you want to phrase questions in a kind way that isn’t insulting, like asking, “What’s the difference between being a tomboy and being a transgender man?” This question is less insulting because it’s not calling the person a tomboy, but asking the difference. Another good thing to do is learn a little before going into questioning someone. Do a little research on reliable websites such as https://www.glaad.org/transgender. This can really show you care about the person you are talking to or at least to respect them enough to use proper language and ask polite questions. The MOST important thing you can ask any LGBTQ+ person, or anyone for that matter, is their preferred pronouns. This shows a lot of respect for someone and how much you really care about who that person is. I promise, no one will be offended if you ask them their pronouns even if they are “obvious.”

Trans*- this can stand for a transgender or transexual person, used as an abbreviation for both.

Pan Norkiewicz can be contacted at pnorkiewicz@kscequinox.com

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