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What's Your Gender?

I always thought it was fairly obvious I was female until I donated blood last week. That's right I donated blood. Some lucky person who was in a transfusion-requiring accident last week had two cups of my special, secret formula of A+ blood. It must be good because the blood bank calls me constantly wanting more. (I shouldn't say anything, but just between us kids, the secret ingredients are Diet Pepsi and a surprisingly high level of carbohydrates).

So I was sitting behind the black curtains next to the phlebotomist, an older man with white hair, black-rimmed glasses and at least one missing tooth. He had to have been in his 70s. He was asking me all the routine questions, what's your name, your address, etc., when he asked me the oddest question. He asked me my gender. I stared at him for a moment, I thought it was a joke and waited for him to laugh. He just kept looking me in the eye, so I answered, "female." But for some reason when I answered, I posed it as a bit of a question, I was like, "uh, female?" I should have been all up in his grill and said something like, "female, dammit, isn't it obvious?" But I didn't. I said it as if I wasn't sure, like I was expecting him to correct me. It felt like a trick question and that the obvious answer would be wrong. It wasn't though. He didn't correct me, or smile, or even wink, he just stooped over and clicked "female" on on the computer questionnaire and moved on to the next question.

So as I was answering the rest of the questions, my mind kept wandering back to the whole gender question. I knew all the answers, so it's okay that I didn't pay attention. I was thinking to myself, either A, I'm not as feminine as I thought, or B, cross-dressers and trannies are getting much too good at impersonating women, forcing old phlebotomists to question everyone's gender.

Granted, I've never been the most girly of girls, but I at least have the basics covered. I wear makeup, I have long hair, I have a high voice...I have a small adam's apple...isn't that the dead give away?A few hours later, I was still pondering. I was thinking of ways I could girl it up. Maybe I would start wearing dresses. Maybe I would plaster on more makeup and wear six inch heels. Maybe make lace, ruffles and the color pink a more prominent part of my wardrobe. I pictured myself with all that extra girl-stuff, and honestly, it was over the top. I looked even more like a man dressed up as a woman.

I finally asked a friend of mine who also donated and was interviewed by the same guy if she was asked the same question. She said she was. Whew! That was a relief.

So here's a warning to everyone out there, be prepared to look your future interviewers in the eye and tell him/her your gender. And keep in mind, it's not because of you.

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