PORTLAND, Ore. — Local trans person Emma Nelson was forced to cross the street last night to avoid an ambush from “well-wishing allies,” whose constant aggressive affirmation of her gender identity often leaves her feeling objectified and exhausted, Nelson confirmed earlier today.
“The second I see them, their eyes light up like a shark smelling blood in the water. It makes me feel like a piece of meat,” said Nelson, having jaywalked across multiple lanes of downtown traffic. “I know trans folks in other parts of the country have it way worse, but sometimes, I just don’t need someone telling me I’m beautiful.”
Nelson later added, “It’s hard to complain about, because it’s a nice thing. But it’d be even nicer if they just treated me like everyone else and didn’t burst into deafening applause at me.”
Nelson empathized with others who may find themselves in the same situation, noting that she’s seen it happen to other transfolk, “fat women who are owning it,” and interracial Asian couples.
“Sometimes it feels unavoidable — like I should just space out and let them get it over with. I usually wear headphones or dark sunglasses and keep my hood up to kind of throw them off,” said Nelson. “One day, I tried to really dress down, and just went out in a baggy shirt and sweatpants, but that just encouraged them more. I got so many high fives for rejecting traditional femininity that my palm ached for a week.”
However, local ally Lorraine Schrock sees things differently.
“I just want her to know she is beautiful. It’s a compliment! Whenever I see a trans lady on the street, I want her to know that she’s an inspiration to all of us… and I won’t leave her alone until she knows it,” said Schrock. “I can’t tell you how many trans people I’ve chased down just to give them a big ol’ hug and let them know we’re watching out for them.”
At press time, Nelson had turned down a small side street to a farmers market, where her entrance was met with thunderous clapping and shouts of, “You go, girl!”