I had a phone meeting with a human rights lawyer the other day, and before the call I looked her up on her law firm’s website.

I thought to myself, without really thinking about it, that it was nice I would be having a conversation with a lesbian.

In her photo, she wears grey hair cropped short, dresses in conservative businesswear that is not traditionally feminine.

Butch looking in a professional, powerful sort of way.

I had a nice conversation with her, strategizing about something we’re both working on.

Then at the end of the call, she identified herself as a transgender woman.

I mean, I wasn’t shocked, but that’s not what I assumed based on her gender expression in her photo.

I think that’s maybe a good example of why we should not assume things about gender expression and gender identity.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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