Last night I walked into my local supermarket. Serving me was a six-foot man in drag, complete with a staff name-tag. I have to admit, I admired his balls.
Because it’s an act of extreme courage to go to work in a supermarket (or anywhere for that matter) dressed as a woman. When you are not already a woman.
And particularly if you are a six-foot man.
However, I must be honest and admit I was grossly offended by the whole situation. The man had made absolutely no effort whatsoever. He hadn’t even shaved…
With the centenary on the horizon, we can’t be seen to tolerate such a lazy standard of transvestism in this country. If our men don’t look good dressed as ladies, then what’s it all been for?
So I decided to go back into the supermarket tonight. I had some questions. I wanted to know about the abuse, the bullying, the prejudice, the discrimination this brave soul must’ve endured. I wanted to know whether his employees in this nationwide supermarket chain were progressive enough to allow gender fluidity among their staff?
But on the way to the shop I got flustered by pronouns. I didn’t know whether to call him her or what? I know they’ve added ‘Mx’ in the Oxford English Dictionary along with ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’, but how do you even pronounce ‘Mx’?
And would complementing him on his courageous stance be offensive in the first place? Should I pretend not to notice? Would that be the politically correct action to take? We’ve entered a whole new era of tolerance and acceptance, but we haven’t been tooled-up with the protocols…
I’m familiar with all the terms – gender fluidity, gender non-binary – I think I’ve a fair grasp on what they all mean. I still wouldn’t fancy a question to come up on the Leaving Cert about it though.
So all these questions – these delicate issues to navigated like a ballet dancer in horseshoes – had me in a ball of nerves by the time I reached the sliding door of the supermarket. But he wasn’t working. So it was all a complete waste of time.
But the experience got me thinking. We’ve come a long way in a relatively short space of time. Cross-dressing was considered a mental illness in the 1960’s. And let’s not forget it was illegal to be gay in this country as recently as 1993. I’m not implying the cashier in the supermarket is gay; many straight men dabble in a spot of transvestism – I’m just illustrating that our status as one of the world’s more progressive societies is quite a recent development.
So therefore it in the spirit of Monty Python, it would be politically and patriotically appropriate – particularly with the centenary approaching – that we retain a small dose of traditional ingrained Paddy backwardness, amid all this newfound progressiveness and tolerance. A new form of sexism perhaps?
We only want good-looking trannies working in our supermarkets!
Enda Kenny will make the announcement at a press-conference, with Joan to his left, and Noonan to his right, nudging Leo out of the way – edging his way into frame, the old pro.
Gerry, Mary Lou and Pearse will then swiftly issue a counter-statement, denouncing the government’s decision in the strongest possible terms – as it clearly involves the re-introduction of a monarchy system in the Freestate. All this talk of that film The Queen of Ireland in the past week has made Gerry and the lads nervous.
Mick Wallace will not be allowed to make any public comment on the issue whatsoever, as his is the exact ‘lazy-transvestite’ look we are trying to avoid in the first place, with the introduction of this new form of politically Pythonesque sexism.
Random spot checks will be undertaken in supermarkets up and down the country, to make damn sure our transvestites are making the effort.
So trannies of Ireland, have some pride. Don’t get complacent. Have a shave.
Do it for your country – there’s a centenary approaching.