A few days ago, I was once again a guest on a talk radio show, Gender Talk. The host contacts me to be on the show when they are going to be discussing topics specific to the Transgender community. On this particular occasion, one of the topics/questions sort of stuck with me and the discussion that followed got me to thinking a lot about my specific circumstances.
The question had to do with what does it mean to be Transgendered, which was the theme of the show. One of the comments that was brought up had to do with how individual perceive themselves as trans, or not, as the case may be. I mentioned that I had been involved in a discussion a short while ago with a few trans people regarding this, and one of them stated that they no longer considered themselves to be transgendered. They had completed their transition (whatever that meant for them) and were living full time as their authentic gender. They were no longer “transitioning”.
In their mind, therefore, they did not see themselves as “trans”. They had nothing against the idea or concept, but for them, they were a man. Full stop. So, that got me thinking. Thinking about my circumstances, thoughts and feelings. And the more of thought about it, the more I could understand their point of view. Furthermore, the more I considered it, the more I began to identify with that concept as well! I had never really given it much consideration before.
I know that many of us don’t advertise we are transgendered, and go about our life in “stealth” mode, as it were. And I am no different. I don’t were a t-shirt that states I am trans. I don’t introduce myself as Erin, a transwoman. I’m just me. Erin. That being said, there are many aspects of my life where my transition was very public, so I don’t even try to ignore it. Particularly in my work environment. I transitioned in front of about 22,000 stakeholders, and having been with the organization for over 25 years, everyone knows. But, fortunately for me, it’s not a big deal. In fact, it’s no deal at all! The same can be said for my friends, family and neighbours. It’s just who I am to them, and they are all good with it. No issues.
I did start to think about it. Do I really, deep down, still consider myself to be transgendered? Now, don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of who I am, and proud to be transgendered. But do I really feel that way? In all aspects of my life, I am a woman. And am fully accepted as such in all aspects of my life. For all intents and purposed, my transition is done.
Once you are your authentic gender, living as who you really are, full time, open and honestly, is the transgender label still appropriate, or more specifically, is it even accurate? I don’t have the answer. I know how I feel, but that doesn’t mean anything to anyone but me. Okay, and maybe some TERFs who feel the need to attack me for my views, but I digress. If everyone treats me and accepts me as the woman I am, does it serve any purpose to keep the trans label? Is it confusing for my little brain? Personally, I don’t think so, as I feel that I am managing just fine, with no major issues in that regard.
I continue to advocate on behalf of transgendered people in my own little way, by doing speaking engagements, educational sessions, radio and other media appearances, and volunteer work. So I don’t deny it, not at all. In fact, I do the very opposite and embrace it. It is a interesting thing for me to ponder, and I wonder if others do as well. Don’t know.
A concept that will continue to percolate for a bit longer I think…