On Meeting Strangers

meeting strangers illustration

 Feeling intruded

Many people have asked me if I mind what others say about me, or if I do get affected by what others say. I don’t mind what others say because I can’t really control what others think or say. What I mind is more about how insensitive and rude people can be. I mean like, does it really matter what gender I am? What does it matter to you? I am just another human being- male or female. It doesn’t really change who I am, neither will it change who you are. What it does though, is to show me what kind of a person you are.

The illustration describes the situation that I encounter so often when I do meet new people. It’s weird but it does happen more frequently with males than females. At the same time, it happens almost all the time with older people. Yes, they might be more conventional and less open-minded about people like me. But it doesn’t give them the right to be rude and intrude.  Staring at my chest is 1 thing. The worst ones are those who, after staring at my chest and then go “Oh! You’re a girl ah!” Or if they still can’t be sure after staring at my almost inexistent chest, they will go “Are you a girl or a boy?”

In their generation, they might not have met people like me often, and so I don’t blame them for not having the common sense to know or be quiet about it. Isn’t it general common sense though, that questioning somebody’s gender out loud is rude? Staring at someone else’s chest is also rude?

To be honest, I really don’t mind. But these questions will end up in awkward moments. How can I answer these questions? Do I have to satisfy their curiosity? How can I answer these questions without sounding rude and without ending up in awkward moments?

 My answers will be like

  1. ” Er yaaaa…”
  2. “Girl la! “

Can you imagine the awkwardness? Then I will have to quickly find a topic to break out of that awkward moment. Still, AWKWARD.

With kids

Can you also imagine when it happens with kids around? They’ll be so confused and they will then grow up thinking that it is okay to go around questioning other people’s gender out loud every single time they are confused.

It does make me feel bad for making people uncomfortable around me. I don’t know if people are actually uncomfortable around me, but I always assume that they are first. Once they show that they are okay with my presence, then will I start being less conscious around them.  I feel bad for making kids confused. I feel bad if I am a bad example to them, showing that someone like me exists. I feel bad for breaking their norms.


Gender shouldn’t matter in any aspect at all. Unless it’s something like NS. There shouldn’t be a divide and difference in gender anymore because whatever a male can do, a female can too. And whatever a female can do, a male can do it as well, in society these days. All I can hope is that people will stop making a big deal or reacting about who I really am. Because who you really are, doesn’t really matter to me.


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