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Published: 21-11-2019

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A Safe Girl to Love and Depiction of LGBT Community

Continuing the theme of LGBT representation in literature, this essay’s concentrate is on a transgender girl’s knowledge in the brief story “Other Women” in the quick story collection: A Safe Girl to Enjoy by Casey Plett. The story follows a trans girl named Sophie and her struggles with others respecting her gender identity, name, and pronouns, along with gender dysphoria and her sexuality in relation to her gender identity.

The story picks up with Sophie reuniting with her mother after an extended period of getting moved away from residence. She remarks that her mother “didn’t say anything about gender the complete day, which was nice of her.” It was Sophie’s very first time residence in Winnipeg considering that she asked every person to contact her by her chosen name. Her Mom has been attempting to call her Sophie, but it’s challenging for her.

Sophie’s pal Megan is a single of the couple of men and women in the story who respect her gender identity, and is fiercely protective of her. Megan introduces Sophie to her cisgender male buddy Mark, and Sophie tends to make “a note to pay focus to regardless of whether males and females shook hands with every other. All these new social cues are confusing.” Later on in the day Sophie gets misgendered in passing by a stranger and she thinks to herself: “I do not know why I can not just say for myself: Actually, I’m not a guy. I get this awful image of becoming like a tiny kid saying ‘look, no I’m actually a girl. I promise. I super promise.” I wanted somebody else to step up and say you’re incorrect buddy-o, that there is a chick, she’s no man and you must get your eyes checked.”

Sophie is mostly attracted to girls, and therefore identifies as lesbian, but concerns her identity when she meets Mark. She finds herself wanting to know if he is straight, and wants him to be into females. She says that he burnt a hole by way of her gaydar and made her really feel quite, one thing that sounds trivial but as a trans girl, tends to mean really a lot. However, her dysphoria kicks in when she accidentally rubs her telephone against her five o’clock shadow, and she stops feeling pretty.

Plett also addresses violence against trans people in this story. Sophie tells her mom that Oregon is good and she does not feel unsafe, but she knows that “it’s not accurate that everything’s usually friendly. She was at a bar a handful of weeks back and some guys threatened to throw a knife in her face. Someone yelled ‘fuckin faggot’ when she was walking residence the other day. She moved to Portland partly on word that it was a queer-dripping liberal dream, but she wishes she had researched geographic specifics ahead of she signed a lease on 104th and Powell.” She muses, “I just really feel lucky no one’s attempted to punch me but. Or stab me. But Mom didn’t want to hear any of that.”

Sophie faces both casual transphobia and violence from men and women she knows as properly as random transphobic strangers. She meets up with old men and women from higher college, and is out to them. She makes a remark about her gender, and one of the cisgender boys says, “Don’t be gross. Appear, I’m cool with you. Performing whatever, like, I don’t get it, I imply, if this turns you on, whatever. But there are men and women here tonight who wanted to kick your ass, okay? I talked to them, they’re cool, but just like, unwind, be standard, it’ll be fine. Okay?” She tells the reader that she worries a lot about her safety, but she did not think she would have to expect it here.

Sophie tells the reader about her expertise coming out as trans to her mom, and how her mother took it pretty challenging. It was not too bad when she came out to her a couple years ago, admitted she wore dresses, and told her she was considering about transitioning. She had listened and frowned and stated, “okay, well. I consider you make a great son, and I surely hope you can discover to love yourself as a male.” But when Sophie told her she was going on hormones, she stated “‘oh lord” truly softly and kept excusing herself to go to the bathroom…It was challenging following that. She stopped signing her emails “Love, Mom.” Stopped going out in public with me. These have been rough months.” Even so, they got closer once again after Sophie moved, and began respecting her pronouns.

She mentions that the one particular time her mother had “gotten audibly squirrely about gender stuff in the final handful of months was when she described to her that she had gone to this march in Portland for trans rights. [Her mother] created this exasperated noise and started providing her this massive talk about brainwashing and cults and stuff like that.” Sophie got a tiny annoyed and told her that just because a group of men and women gets collectively to make the globe far better doesn’t automatically make them a religion, but her mother mentioned to not ever be also positive of that.

For the duration of prayer just before dinner, her grandfather says, “We are particularly thankful you saw fit to guide up from America our grandson Leon-” She corrects him, saying, “No, Sophie,” in spite of the reality that she knows you are not supposed to interrupt prayer simply because she couldn’t help it. Her grandmother took in a sharp breath and her mother mentioned “hey now” in a quiet, angry voice. Sophie apologizes, and her grandfather pauses, as if he were deciding whether or not to address her or not, then moved on to pray for a person else.

Sophie remarks that she has a visceral reaction each and every time she hears her birth name, due to also a lot of poor memories, not of anything distinct, just common unhappiness due to gender dysphoria. 1 of the younger youngsters in her loved ones tells her, “I think part of my head will usually think of you as Leon though” and she feels an urge to throw her mug out by means of the window. She notices how sad the kid’s tone was, and that he looked worried. She wonders what his parents may have told him. She explains that she has usually been Sophie on the inside, so in fact she was by no means Leon all along, it just looked that way.

Casey Plett, a trans author, conveys many aspects of transgender encounter, from violence and transphobia and pronoun struggles to dysphoria and the strain it tends to put on family and relationships.
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