So I encountered a bigot who tried to mask his ignorance in what he perceived as an innocent question. It was far from innocent nor was it appropriate.
The question was "were you one of those guys who became a woman?" Now this is really a sign of bigotry, and it's obvious to anyone with a brain.
The first problem is that it is based on the lie that being transgender is a choice, which ultimately makes gender itself a choice ironically. This is far from the facts, we know there is a genetic difference in transgender people.
The difference in genders is not binary, as we once thought. So this means multiple genders are actually possible in our genes.
Thus it is an outright lie to say that transgender is a choice of any sort. The second problem is the wording, using informal and unscientific terminology betrays a lack of intelligence and compassion.
The man obviously did not care about hurting anyone's feelings on the matter, he was actively attempting to illicit a specific reaction. The outcome was, luckily, a reaction which caused him harm from a third party instead.
There is only one instance in which such a thing is even considered a valid inquiry. It must be approached with respect and tact or the questioning party can expect negative repercussions.
That instance is when sexual activity may be imminent and one cares which genitalia is currently present. Beyond that reason, there is no excuse for anyone with any empathy or compassion to ever ask such a question, even if worded politely.