Today while bra shopping at Lane Bryant, the store was EMPTY. It was midafternoon, beginning of the week and did I mention EMPTY?
I rarely go shopping, rarely have the time and energy to be present to myself in that “enjoy the looking@ sense. But today…I got really comfortable in the store. I was looking for travel friendly outfits for conferences, I explained.
After a while the 2 saleswomen asked me if I was going somewhere fun that I need-traveling clothes. I explained that I am a pastor and lead workshops on intersectionality and after I explained the intersections that I speak on (Latinx and LGBTQ+ and how my faith holds those together) they laughed and said that’s interesting!
After a bit: “maybe the reason you are here today is to help me,” she said. “I was shopping recently and met a person in heels and a dress who was shopping. We started chatting and at some point I called her sir and I was so embarrassed that I turned bright red and left the store.”
Breathe in and breathe out.
“I can’t believe I did that. I was so embarrassed. Really, I can’t believe that I did that.”
I asked, “Which part? How might you answer differently? What do you feel you could do in the future?”
We talked about misgendering, we talked about ways to apologize and make amends. We talked about how to change the outcome of that story. We talked about grace and hospitality and friendship and learning from the experience and how not to run-a-way.