So… my son has long hair and he’s forever being called a girl. Not in a bullying kind of way. More in a completely ignorant kind of way; people see the long hair and assume he’s my daughter. There have been times when he’s had “girly” hairstyles (please tell me why it’s so unacceptable for boys to wear their hair in braids for example), but most of the time it’s either worn long, in a low ponytail or in a man bun.
This week delivered a fine example. We had to go to the opticians to pick up my contact lenses and his glasses. I gestured towards Logan as I said “I am here to pick up my son Logan’s glasses”. We were ushered to the waiting area and then called to be “booked in”, where the following exchange took place:
Assistant: OK, so now you are booked in, and your appointment is imminent, so we’ll get you sorted and then fit your daughter’s glasses afterwards
Me: My son’s
Assistant: Excuse me?
Me: My son’s glasses. I am here to pick up my son’s glasses, my daughter doesn’t need any
Assistant (looks over both Logan and Caitlin): Oh, where is he then?
Me (gesturing to Logan): right there, he’s a boy can’t you see?
Anyway… fast forward and over a 20 minute wait for my imminent appointment. We get back out, go to the front of the store and say “We were told my son’s glasses would be sorted and fitted once my appointment has finished. My appointment is finished so can we get his glasses now”. The response “well, your son actually has to be with you to pick them up”. Logan and Caitlin are directly next to me. I don’t even say anything at this point, I just gesture towards the children. We get directed to a seat back to the waiting area.
An assistant comes over and says they are ready to see us, there’s only one chair, Caitlin is in her wheelchair. I tell Logan to sit as it’s his fitting. The assistant says “You know I can’t release these to you without your son present right?” I stare blankly at him for a moment like “are these guys for real? if they want to be stereotypical, just look at his darn clothes: cut off chinos, grubby Tshirt and a ‘boy’ cardigan – what?” and then point towards Logan and say “not for the first time today, but he is a boy. This is him, and this is why HE is sat in the only chair”.
Anyways, after much of a kerfuffle later (the wrong lenses had been put in the wrong frames) we were able to leave. But not without feeling once again disgruntled at, seemingly the majority of, society.