Tuesday, December 04, 2018


I was having breakfast at a Holiday Inn Express recently.  You know the people with the annoying commercials about being smart, very smart.  I was trying to decide which juice to have, and I had a grand ah-ha moment.  One of those moments that open your perspective on the world. 

A person walked up next to me, I looked over and I was not sure what gender the person was.  The person was kind of butch looking, with tattoos and a plaid shirt, but the face, and jewelry didn't register as male, being a little overweight, the body shape was indeterminate.  And it hit me, "why does it matter?"  

Our brains attach a set of social roles and expectations based on that momentary assessment of gender (or race, or sexual orientation, or ability.)  This is a mixed bag of desirable and undesirable.  Men and women have different expectations.  It helps my brain assign the correct pronouns.  But it also results in me treating a person based on a momentary assessment based purely on appearance.  Much about a person is not readily apparent, sexual orientation, and many differences in ability.  

Sometimes I wish sexual orientation was more obvious, then people wouldn't ask me about my wife.  At that point I either correct them, or ignore it and talk about my spouse.  My brain rushes through a through process. Does it matter? If I correct will the person still like me? Is it safe to talk about my husband?  Will I ever meet this person again?  Is this a teachable moment about cultural assumptions? I haven't kept track, my guess is about half of the time I let it slide, about have of the time I correct the gender.  

That moment of uncertainty, forced my brain to think through and articulate deep thoughts.  

Have you stayed at a Holiday Inn Express? 


  1. Yes, why does it matter?!? My brain has evolved on this subject over the years thanks to a trans cousin and their rainbow of friends. So enlightening. And, yes, I think I stayed once at a Holiday Inn Express.

  2. a few times yes.

    I had a moment like yours two weeks ago. my UPS driver always has a helper this time of year. the helper had very short hair, a cap, and an apple-round body. I assumed male, but found out the following day the helper was female. good thing I never said anything embarrassing! does catch ya by the short & curlies though...

  3. Oh yes, I have been at the Holiday Inn Express for several hours here and there.

    Sometimes it is hard to tell, but some people like ourselves here, are only concerned because we don't want to insult the person. If I don't know, and Im in a conversation, I try to ask questions without being overt about it in hopes I will have my answer.

  4. Yes, I like them. Clean, reasonably priced, friendly staff, good food.

    I like the way models can walk the catwalk, or the runway as it is now called, as either male or female, and anything in between. They can be whatever they chose to be these days. Fun times.

  5. Indeed - at the moment of our birth we are put into roles and expectations of our gender.
    There is a holiday express a mile away from where I live. It burned down last year but looks to be up and running again. I've not been to it.