So this happened awhile ago but I still feel like it's a story that deserves to be told. Back in February, a co-worker of mine was doing a Vintage Valentine's craft group. I was still pretty new at this point, about 5 months or so in, and we didn't work in the same department, but I knew her so I just assumed she knew me.
I was on the clock but when I got off the craft had an hour left, so I stuck my head in and asked if I could join. She said yes, so I sat my happy butt down and got to work making my girlfriend something.
Now, the thing is, I've had a pretty sever social anxiety disorder since middle school. With a lot of hard work, a therapist, medication, and patient friends I've managed to mostly act like a normal member of society - but on occasion, especially off of my own turf, it rears it's ugly head.
So in this Valentine group there are about six people - four of whom are obviously friends/relatives and regulars, two which are a couple, then my co-worker and myself. When another coworker [we'll call her CW-B] joins us, CW-A decides it would be great to make everyone introduce themselves.
My heart rate goes up - this feels very High School.
So everyone goes around the table and says their names like normal fucking human beings and then it's my turn. I open my mouth, and what comes out is:
"My name is Patrick."
There's a beat of awkward silence. I wait for either CW-A or CW-B to call me out on my bullshit but here's the thing. Neither of them do. In fact, for the rest of the hour, CW-A continues to refer to me as Patrick without missing a beat.
So when we're done, I leave, and haul ass to my friend, who immediately notices the look on my face and goes: "What did you do?". So I tell her, full of nerves - "I told CW-A that my name is Patrick and I think she believed me."
My friend cracks up, grabs me by the arm, drags me all the way to CW-A's department and says, "CW, Do you know this lovely individuals name?" At which point CW-A answers with full confidence, "It's Patrick!"
My friend cracks up laughing and says, "No it's not. She's a brat and her name is Charlotte."
I apologized and explained what had happened and, by the grace of God, she found it not only funny, but endearing. [she still calls me Patrick to this day]. Then, this very lovely, 50 year old woman said to me, "A dear friend has a son who is just beginning his transition, and I thought it was odd that you would have such a masculine name, but I thought the least I could do was refer to you how you requested without any questions."
This sentiment floored me. I was so shocked I don't even think I said anything. I think about it to this day. That even in Texas, even among the older generation, Trans Ally's exist. And anyway, it made me happy, so I hope it makes you happy too.