I don’t have a problem telling people I am a transsexual woman, that’s how I introduce myself. Hi my name is Debbie and I am a transsexual woman. I refuse to present myself to anybody as anything but what I am. I follow the Popey philosophy. “I am what I am” if someone has a problem with that, it’s their problem, not mine. This has worked well for me, but I mostly hang out with progressive people. I refuse to suffer fools, if you don’t like me for what I am, fine, i don’t want to associate with you anyhow.
It may seem like a simple philosophy, but it has worked pretty well for me. Give it a try, stop hiding and be yourself.
Considering how long ago I went through the process I have a hard time thinking of myself as transsexual and being post-transsexual is rarely an important part of who I am. It’s like people who start of introducing themselves with, “I’m a Christian.” Okay and about 70% of the other people in this country.
Obviously I’m not stealth as I blog and write under my own name, but I’m also pretty realistic about the scope of my readership.
She’s cute and, very importantly, young but I wonder how much is entirely out of her control. It is the way these things are discussed in the media that has to changed before we are accepted as people. The constant emphasis on our backgrounds along with the insistence we be “out and proud” is too heavy a weight to carry around without having those things constantly turned into a problem people think they have to deal with and judge instead of letting honest first impressions be their guide.
Here is what the Associated Press says about how race should be mentioned by the media:
Why should someone’s medical history or historical sex assignment always have priority where personhood is involved? Language and definitions are important in the legal realm but even more important to public understanding. People need to be treated like people and not be defined by characteristics which has the effect of separating them from the rest of the human race.
Things will never change unless we confront people regarding their bigotry and privilege. I’m on several Facebook groups, places where I was invited where the normborns can’t see their privilege or their condescension when telling TS/TG people how they should behave and concern trolling us about our anger and bitterness at being treated as less than human.
“I don’t have a problem telling people I am a transsexual woman, that’s how I introduce myself. Hi my name is Debbie and I am a transsexual woman.”
Is life a perpetual 12 step meeting?
How about, “Hi, I’m ………. I’m a blogger”, or, “Hi I’m ………… I love to fish, shoot, read, cook — and other stuff”? Am I not more than an operation, or series of operations, I had years ago?
Since I’m over 70 now, hasn’t the sheer scope of my existence been enough to transcend the, “Hi, I’m ………… and I’m a transsexual” intro?
Why would you want to limit who you are, who you are seen as, to total strangers? Is having had surgery the totality of existence?
If it does, why?
My simple answer to my own question is that surgery is new. Another is that actually being physically female is still a wonder to the person.
After some time, after years pass, I suspect most folks want to be known as something more than their surgery. If you have wide ranging interests and mingle with a wide variety of people, if you try not to limit your life to those who will either tolerate or accept you (there are lots of interesting places where folks really either do not want to know, or don’t give a damn). Why would you want to intrude on THEIR LIVES before either of you realize you want to be friends. I’m some ways it’s selfish to burden a complete stranger with that information.
On the other hand, if your entire life is political theatre, or you limit your life to only those places and people you KNOW will accept you, then that type of greeting is just fine.
I tend to think of that greeting as showing a desire to either be, or remain, “special”. It also feeds the need for “drama”. Granted, if you are hosting an event where a lot of people who have known you for years will show up, like the funeral of a parent, it’s a kindness to make sure folks who have known you for years, who you haven’t seen for many, many, years, know in advance. After all — you are not the “star” of the event — folks are gathered together to mourn, celebrate, a life. It’s important you not be the center of attention.
I tend to believe there is a time and a place for everything.
This is not about being “stealth”, nor is it about advancing rights. I think it more useful to first let folks know YOU. Let them form an opinion — then let them know. After all, if “Hi, I’m ….. and I’m a transsexual woman” is the very first thing folks know about you, they well might tend to pick out those traits that support their prejudice. After all, every one of us is merely human – we are all a mix of traits and tendencies — why, oh why, would you want to stereotype yourself before folks even get to know you? Is this an attempt to “pre-explain” the negative aspects of your personality? Is this a way of saying, “I’m this way because I’m transsexual”?
I assume that’s not so. I also assume you see it as a way to allow people to expand their horizons. I just think there are better ways of doing it. Your EXAMPLE is going to be more powerful than anything. Allowing folks to see YOU, rather than a surgical event, or series of events – and then informing them (or not – they will, in most cases, learn) will do more to combat any stereotypes those folks have about us.