Apologies for not posting something sooner, though I suspect since all four of you who follow me have a life and really didn’t notice!!  😉 We have been busy with the Pride Festival in my city this past weekend, so lots of activity leading up to it. Will try to consolidate my thoughts around the events and post at a later date about that. For now though, it’s another topic.

So, a short while ago, I received a PM from a listener of a radio show that I was a guest on about 2 weeks ago. The host asked me a bunch of questions regarding transgender issues etc to get my thoughts. I know….scary thought isn’t it! Anywho, one of the questions was “How do I feel when I ‘pass’? “. I started by saying that I have a whole bunch of issues with the concept, but I then replied to the question. Basically, I don’t give a rats *ss as to whether or not I pass. I do care, profoundly though, if I am accepted by whatever community or company I am in. That was essentially the gist of my answer.

What the listener told me is that coming from a position of “passing privilege” that my position was easy to take. That I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t “pass”, as many, including this listener in our community struggle with…their words not mine. Given my photos and my voice etc, they said that I had no idea what it was like to have that issue everyday of your life. They felt my answer was glib at the least and offensive at the most.

First off, let me say, that I sincerely apologize to anyone that took offense with my comment. That was certainly not my intent. The point I was hoping to get across is that we all need to be treated with dignity and respect and accepted for who were are. This pressure to “pass” is so counter productive. But I get it. Really, I do.

Our society is binary. You’re a man or a woman. And for whatever reason, society feels the need to place all of humanity in one of those two buckets. That, I feel is the issue. I guess I just didn’t articulate them very well. I’m certainly not saying it is right. And I know it is not going to change overnight. In fact, I probably won’t see any movement on this in my life time. That’s not only wrong, it’s just sad. So I empathize with the experiences and the point of view of the listener.

Yes, I guess I do have “passing privilege”. Since my full transition, I have never, not once been misgendered. I go about my day to day life, no issues, no worries. And yes, it does feel good to move about society as my authentic self. I present myself appropriately given the activity and location etc, and feel comfortable in most environments. But it took me along time to get there and a ton of really hard work. Maybe I was also blessed with good genes, I don’t know. I just know this is all me. It’s who I was meant to be.

This ain’t easy. Transitioning takes a tremendous amount of inner strength and support. A ton of support. I worked my little butt of on both counts. Lots of set backs, lots of issues, lots of tears, all at a very high cost. But I did it. Because I had to. Just as everyone else in my community has done. They do what they do to survive. They are special people in my community. Simply amazing. The world would be a much better place if everyone just figured that out.

So yes, I do get it. But for me, it is about acceptance. Don’t care if I pass. I Just want to be accepted. I don’t have any issues. That may be because I do “pass”, but I doubt that…I think people realize that I’m trans, but don’t care. They get passed it and accept me for who I am. Either way, I don’t care. Treat me with dignity and respect, that’s all I ask. You don’t have to like me. And I may not like you. But we are all humans.

I am very proud of who I am. Very proud to be transgendered. So I won’t apologize for who I am.

This…is me.

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2 thoughts on “Passing Privilege…

  1. Unfortunately, to most of us I think, it is important to pass. One thing I’ve noticed in my life is that the things that don’t seem to matter to me or I don’t understand others consternation over, are things I’ve mastered. It’s easy to not care about issues that don’t impact me. I must often remember that to not end up” holier than thou”.
    That’s not to say that that Erin is uncaring of others or their feelings, I know better. I do oftentimes feel bad about how important is for me to “pass” and not only that, but to be “pretty” as well. If I think too hard about it, it makes me feel more than a little vain and self involved. To the degree that I’m more than a little embarrassed by my own vacuity. It’s so difficult in this binary society and quite easy to fall prey to the petty jealousies of the people who glide through the world effortlessly as Erin does. On the other hand, what we never get to see is all the hard work and effort that went into the preparation of presentation. This doesn’t just fall in your lap. So those of us that have to work a little harder to understand that when we meet a polished TS woman, this ease of movement most probably was not dropped in her lap. It more likely is the product of years of hard work, and more than a little frustration. Hard won skills that have brought us to where ever we are. That applies to those who phone it in as well. If you’re not willing to make this work, it probably wont.
    Blaming or shaming each other does nothing to help any of us and the person who called out Erin probably was saying more about themselves than they were about her. We all need to take more gut checks on where were at and what were doing than the general population. It’s just the way it is. We seem so ready as a community to be offended by any slight that we can’t help but walk on egg shells in the company of other transwomen. We’d probably serve ourselves immensely if we’d only see that most of us are looking out for each others welfare and not lording about with a “more tranny than thou” attitude.

    Liked by 1 person

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