Monday, March 31, 2014

Trans Visibility: Choice or Necessity?

Cloaks of Invisibility aside, being invisible isn’t an option most of us have. We are out there whether we like it or not, for everyone else to see.  Some times we’d rather sink into a hole in the ground.  We do something wrong or idiotic and it feels like everyone is laughing or staring at us.

Being transgender can feel very much like that.  You can feel both ‘wrong’ and ‘idiotic’; sometimes it seems as though the whole world is focussed on you and on how you present yourself to the world. That is the most uncomfortable feeling ever; one I always hated.  Consequently many of us work hard at being a the gender we feel we truly are.  For me the option of invisibility was to pass unobtrusively as a girl and not attract any attention.

But today is International Transgender Day of Visibility.  Just exactly how visible are Trans men and women in society and why bother to be visible at all? Surely the ambition of every Trans individual is to try and blend in and be as unnoticeable as possible? When I was a child and a teen I so wanted to be just like every other girl in class, be accepted as one and to melt totally into the background; trans camouflage; hiding in plain sight. I didn’t want to be glamorous, incredibly beautiful, pretty or attract undue attention.  Sticking out as a child and teen who didn’t fit in was difficult to tolerate.  It was hard to deal with the bullying and the misunderstandings.  For a young person growing up in an era when being gay was criminalised, being out as trans seemed like a really bad idea. It smacked very much of putting your head above the parapet and I hated seeing how others were treated. It engendered fear and hiding.  Something I expect that the bullies were very pleased about.

Let’s fast forward the years.  My children have both graduated High School now and these days I think differently. Faced with the option of going stealth or being out after GRS, I decided that ‘OUT’ was better.  Yes, I was right, it does make you incredibly vulnerable.  It hurts and robs you of self confidence when transphobic people are unkind.  It’s not an easy choice.  I chose to be visible because I want to inspire and support others.  But being transitioned AND out means that you can be an inspiration and support others.  It means being YOU and not being afraid to be an actual person like anyone else.  For a girl who was a total fake for so many years that is actually a huge relief too.

So here is me being visible for TDOV.  Have a great day everyone!


Jane xx 

1 comment:

  1. That is a good question!! Is it a choice or a necessity to be visible?

    However, I believe the answer to that is choice. It's a choice that has to be made based on one's confidence and how resistant they are to the negativity that they might be faced with from the haters. It's a choice to blend, or not to blend. It's a choice to stand out from the crowd to claim they are transgender and try to prove to the world that there is nothing wrong with that. It's a choice to become the sex that one feels that they should have been born into to be content.

    It's a necessity to blend into society to live the way that any other person would live without forcing discrimination upon yourself from being out and proud. It is a necessity to have an income to put the ever increasing cost of food on the table, clothes on the backs of your children and to live without the paranoia of some one doing harm to you or your family because of the path that one has chosen.

    It is a choice to live, and a necessity to live in peace.