As much as you leave the country, a small amount will always stay with you, which is a great thing.

One thing I will always take with me from the country is respect. I was taught to respect everyone. Other people have their own views and beliefs and make their own decisions, but give them the respect you hope they will give you.

This brings me to a recent discussion I had at a bar with a man. He seemed nice, we chatted and laughed as much as we could in the noise and commotion of the club.

Halfway through our conversation, in slinked an older transsexual, who’d obviously been out for most of the night and was having a great time. She made it to the bar and gave me a huge girlie wave, which I returned.

The gentleman I was chatting to quickly responded with “Who is he?”

Correcting him, I said, “I don’t know her name, but SHE is quite fabulous”.

“No, it’s a he,” the man snapped back.

At what point does the He, She, Him, Her really matter? If the person in front of you is representing a female, why not use Her or She? Do we really have the right to make someone feel that uncomfortable?

Our chat then got quite heated. He would not budge, saying you should be referred to as the gender you were born. He also had no issues about confronting people and using their original (boy) names.

Surely it can’t be that hard? Does it actually hurt anyone? If someone presents as male, refer to them as male. And if they present as female, refer to them as female.

If you’re not sure, politely ask. Respect the person’s feelings. If the person can see you’re asking for the right reasons, they won’t be offended or hurt. It all comes down to respect.

I ended up telling the man I was talking to at the bar to leave as I was getting too frustrated with the conversation and the more my blood started to boil, the more scared I was of saying something I would regret.

Talking about respect, I would like to acknowledge the passing of a true showgirl dive, Ms Rose Jackson, original Les Girl and true lady. I only met Rose a couple of times and she was nothing but a lady. I had a great laugh with her. Sydney really has lost a legend.

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