I’ve been following discussions on a few forums and message boards I monitor. Given yesterday was Transgender Day of Visibility, there was lots of chatter about being transgendered and what that means. There were several comments and long discussions regarding both those that are binary (firmly identify as one gender) and those that don’t. And yes, the dreaded topic of public washrooms came up. Again. It stirs up a lot of thoughts for me. I did, however, resist the temptation to jump in.

You see, I don’t always articulate my thoughts about all this very well. And I know that many won’t agree with what I am trying to say. There lies the rub. I very much support activities that promote equality within the LGBT community and the rest of the world. The trick is how you define LGBT. More specifically, the T part. This is my dilema. How to support without appearing to be hypocritical.

Yes, okay, I am transgendered. But I am very binary. That is to say, I identify 100% as a woman. I am a woman. Always have been. In fact, I consider myself as a woman who is trans, not a trans woman. For many the difference is subtle to say the least and confusing at worst. Even more of a subtle difference to the general population is the range within the spectrum that is transgender. And that’s another issue for me. Society may, may, be able to wrap its head around gender binary. I know that my world has. I am seen and accepted as a woman everywhere I go, in everything I do.

Many are not binary, but identify somewhere on the trans spectrum. Couple that with people whom I believe are not trans, such as cross dressers, drag performers etc, many of whom throw around the “trans” word and society can get very confused. If I don’t subscribe to it, society doesn’t have a hope. This is where the whole bathroom issue comes up. Don’t get me wrong, I support equal treatment of everyone, as people. We are all people, straight, LGBT, visible and not so visible minorities etc. Provided they don’t harm others or break laws. (Another theme for another day).

Then there is the whole topic of “passing privilege” of which I have been accused. Yes, accused is the correct word. Yes, I “pass”. I am never misgendered. Ever. But I take great exception in being accused of that. Yes, I have good genetics on my side, and Hormone Replacement Therapy has been very kind to me. But I don’t control that. And I had no idea how well it was going to work. I rolled the dice just like we all do. But I also worked my butt off during transition. I was (and still am) in constant therapy to figure this out. One year of monthly laser treatments, two years of weekly and sometimes twice weekly electrolysis, six months of voice work, constant voice training so that my new voice is my normal voice. It was all hard work. I earned all that I have gained. So don’t even for one minute talk to me about “passing privilege”.

The trick is how to be supportive when there are those that label themselves as trans when in fact, in my opinion they are not. How do I support them when they muddy the waters for my community. And there lies the rock, with the hard place being when I am criticized by many in my community for not being supportive and in fact seen as a traitor. Look, if you are a cross dressers or drag performer, etc, fill your boots. I don’t care. But be who you are, not something you are not. I don’t pretend to know your struggle , don’t think you know mine.

Look, for many in my world I am the first trans person they have really met. There are a ton of eyes on me everyday. They watch how I well I assimilate, am accepted, act as a woman. All I do is just be me everyday. For them that works. Because I am a woman. Period. And I support those in the LGBT community. I support those that are not, but not when they try to be something they are not. And that is what causes me grief, while trying not to seem hypocritical.

Rock. Me. Hard place. Sigh.

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6 thoughts on “Rock, me, hard place 

  1. Wow…..the proverbial can of worms. I have already been castigated for my opinon on the bathroom thing already. Probably setting myself up for it again…but here goes. I am a Woman and transsexual. When I need to use the bathroom, I Will use the Women’s facilities and am always left to my own devices, ever accosted. I do identify as female and don’t show up with a 5 o’clock shadow, a beard, 8 inch platforms, a sequined mini-dress, purple beehive wig or a campy make-up job to rival divine. I generally show as any woman does, jeans and a top and flats. Cuz’ that’s how I dress….that’s how we dress. Once there, I don’t go into a stall and stand facing the toilet and urinate as I’ve heard women complain about.
    I know CD men think they have the right to use these facilities, but they don’t. They simply don’t have the right to invade Women’s spaces. Their half assed or over the top presentation does not leave them with the right to make women nervous, uncomfortable or afraid because our CD friends have “rights”. The rights these people have is to go to CD events and clubs that cater to their fetish. Why am I so rigid? Such an uptight bitch? Well….Women have spent their life being derided and chided and assaulted and raped and murdered by men. These bathroom interlopers are men. Men in their space. Scary, if your a 50 kg. 5 foot woman. Anyone who throws on a dress iss not an e- ticket to the ladies Room. And as long as these people insist on their “rights”, transwomen who are in varying states of transition will be forced to be made to pay.
    This is not fun and games or a hobby for us as I’ve heard many CD’s express. You are not transsexuals. You are not women. This IS who we are and these people compromise our health and safety by creating a situation that has brought us where we’re at today. We get thrown into their circle of fantasy….and frankly?…..I don’t wanna be. I have nothing in common with you. I know I sound indifferent to the plight of CD’s, and in a way, well, I am. They make my life and my sisters lives hard. If I say anything, I’m non-inclusive…….a bigot. Or as I was called once, a “disgusting revolting hater”. Whatever…I won’t back away from my position. If these people are my sisters, then there needs to be some quid pro quo. Or… more pointedly, what have you done for Me, lately? This is my beef with the self proclaimed non binary free spirit. More power to you. Be who you are! But understand, Women live in fear of men…all the time…every day. It’s just the way it is and it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Add men to the mix (and thats who you guys are….self proclaimed just like to play dress up men) and let them utilize those bathroom facilities, and it becomes a bridge too far. Is that so difficult for men to understand? Rant off.

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    1. Okay, not just me? Thanks Jess. You are always more articulate than me. It’s hard when you want to be supportive, but I can’t when people violate my space as you describe in your comments.

      Hope I didn’t get you too riled up!

      Take care.

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  2. Never, am I more articulate than you, Erin. That subject is one of my pet peeves though. I’m glad there’s others that share my thoughts. Take care. Jess

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  3. Wow. So you are saying that you are a woman, and that no-one can or should disagree with this. Yet you have no problem disagreeing with other peoples definition of their ‘trans’. I can safely tell you, that you are a transwoman – and should embrace this, and thats fine. You are not a naturally born female, you are not a ‘woman’ you are a transwoman. And you should be happy with that.. You have had years of male advantage, yet you judge others. As a cis woman I am really appalled that you consider yourself as one of us. I dont presume to speak for transwomen, please stop presuming to speak for women.

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    1. Well Sarah, it is certainly your prerogative to protect Cross Dressers rights to use Womens facilitites. You’re obviously much more magnanimous than I am. But you’re not the one that will ever be confronted for using those facilities. Transwomen, on the other hand, are. To the effect that were endangered. So excuse me if I’m not concerned of your opinion regarding my position. I actually feel as your here as a devils advocate. So be it. My opinion stands. And excuse me if I’m dubious of your indignancy on behalf of a rainbow you can’t understand. I’m not here to compromise Erin’s awesome blog or argue with TERF’s. So I’m going to leave it there and that will be my final thoughts here on the issue.

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    2. Thanks for the comment. First off, I only speak for me, not for all transwomen or women. Just as no one speaks for all women, I don’t profess to speak for any group. Second, as for male advantage, ya, I suffered with that “male advantage” for 55 years to the point that I was 10 seconds away from ending my life. Some “advantage”. Your opinion, your prerogative. Oh, and trust me, I am happy….I am happy to be the woman that I am, that society accepts me as such. My self esteem is not linked to what anyone else thinks of me. Moving on.

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