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.