The Idea That Absolute Stealth Represents The Most Perfect Ideal For Post-Transsexual People

Some folks have claimed the Doctors expected transsexuals to go absolutely stealth after they had SRS.

That absolute stealth represented the best possible adjustment  for post-op women in particular.

Dr Benjamin wrote some awfully Pollyanna sort of bullshit during the 1950s.

Actually it might have sort of been possible for a few people in those days to absolutely disappear because records were kept on paper and it was easier for people to build real identification out of some pretty sketchy bits and pieces of paper.

I know because this was still sort of possible in the late 1960s early 1970s.

Credit cards and credit reporting agencies changed all that by the mid-1970s.

By the 1980s business computers were on desks and hooked to LANs and the primitive Internet.

By the 1990s everyone had a freaking computer linked to the internet.

After 2001 those of us in the US had the Department of Homeland Security, TIA and so many private information gathering agencies that Big Brother knew when you went out partying and how many drinks you had.

There are a whole lot of sisters I really look up to, mostly public figures like Andrea James, Jennifer Boylan, Julia Serano.  Not to forget lesser know sisters from the blogosphere like Mercedes Allen.

Most are more or less out, even if they don’t walk down the street wearing a t-shirt.

You kind of have to be if you want to do anything, including speak your mind on issues of public interest.

That aside I’m forced to wonder why so many of the trolls who hide behind aliases to spew hate while touting their own superiority due to their being stealth with perfect lives come off as so mentally ill and maladjusted.

As far as I can tell too many sisters have allowed themselves to be sucked into believing that they are somehow failures if they don’t manage to attain this ideal of absolute stealth.

I’ve been stealth at work and have found I manage it by never getting close to my co-workers.  I don’t socialize with or share my private life with my fellow workers.

Generally they tend to not be interested in the things I’m interested in because I’m kind of a hippie.

My circle of friends mostly know my history, after all I write and Blog about post-transsexual life.

Tonight I found out an old enemy had been asking about me and I thought WTF? My name produces page after page of Google links.  I sign my name to the things I write.  Because I am of the opinion that if you believe strongly in something you should own it by signing your name to it.

I’ve known too many sisters who withdraw from life rather than accepting that which they can not change about themselves and moving on from there.

A friend of mine died a couple of years back.  She was incredibly flamboyant and knew antiques with Road Show Appraiser astuteness.  But she unhappily withdrew from the world nearly 20 years before she passed away.

Stealth doesn’t seem like a mentally healthy way to go about dealing with transsexualism.  It comes off as being ashamed of something one was born.

Not being ashamed doesn’t mean wearing a t-shirt, more just treating it like any other thing one could be born with that makes someone different from the majority of people.


10 Responses to “The Idea That Absolute Stealth Represents The Most Perfect Ideal For Post-Transsexual People”

  1. Natasha Troop Says:

    Stealth is just leaving one closet for another. I refuse to live my life looking over my shoulder, wondering who knows or who doesn’t.

  2. Marilyn Says:

    For me, stealth only means not talking about transitioning. I don’t hide in any closet, nor am I looking over my shoulder. I think this comes with being a couple of decades post-transsexual.

    The Galveston gatekeepers encourged stealth, and a big part of the evaluation was about “passablity.” Oh well, that was the early 80’s, and transitioning wasn’t as cool is it is now.

    I’m in my home town (Dallas) this weekend, and as I drive around, I see that things have changed more than ever. I’ve got to believe that the process of transitioning has changed too. I do not want my life to be defined soully as a transitioned person. That is why I don’t talk about it unless I can help someone not feel alone it this.

    I have discovered, just as I did way back when, that everyone’s process is different, and it should be. There are no cookie cutter solutions just like that are no cookie cutter people. This also means that people don’t always want to listen to advice. We all need to make our own mistakes. I’ve certainly made mine.

    Absolute stealth, I’ve been there (at least I thought I was), is fine and good, but being defined as a person beyond transition is my goal.

    • Suzan Says:

      In those days and even today passability means survival. Or at least the ability to survive and have a job in the straight world. One of my best friends will never pass and has bounced back and several time due to work and family.

      Things like transgender and genderqueer are important because they help create a space for her, I would argue hippie did too.

      I use post-transsexual for myself. Woman of a transsexual history works too as I acknowledge where I came from, which is different from where I am now.

      I have met a few people who were absolute stealth, not even telling their partners of many years. They had parents who supported their stealth with a created past.

      I own my past as a transkid and don’t particularly want an ersatz past.

  3. nikkidane Says:

    I’m a MtF post op Trans woman. I’ve struggled with the “going stealth or not” thing. After almost 5 years of living full time and having SRS, my thoughts currently are that it is an individual choice based on one’s own unique circumstances. If going stealth means that you are ashamed of identifying as Trans, then that’s an obvious problem; however, many TGs never fully transition and continue to remain in the LGBT safetynet. Obviously, the more passable someone is the more likely they will be successful transitioning and potentially going stealth. For me, my goal is to go mainstream. I do not hide being Trans but do not feel the need to advertise it. I continue to maintain a few Trans friends because our relationship is unlike any other. I continue to blog and comment on LGBT issues but I no longer want to be solely defined as Trans anything. I feel that is a very small part of the complex person that I am. It is part of my personal history just as being a cancer survivor is but you move on.
    Dating is still VERY complicated. I always tell a man that I am Trans before I will date him. That’s been a problem because guys attracted to Transwomen often tend to be all about fulfilling a sexual fantasy. Rarely, do they want a committment and to take on the complexities of being with a Trans person and what their friends and family will think. Most guys are also looking for a pre-op to satisfy their bisexual fantasies. I certainly do not want to be identified as a “she-male”. I’ve found that my best chances are with a heterosexual man who is open to “alternative” lifestyles. They relate to me as a woman, not as a she-male or an effeminate gay man in a dress. My experience is that men who claim to be bisexual and looking to meet a transsexual are really looking to have sex with someone with a penis. Sorry. Look elsewhere!. If I go out to bars, restaurants, or nightclubs, I go to primarily straight places. I think the best bet of finding a partner is through work or being introduced by a mutual friend. I may try attending a progressive Church. I think bars and Internet are nothing but a meat market.
    Actually, dating for GGs is difficult as well. Men now just seem to be all about hooking up for sex and the Internet has really contributed to the culture of bed hopping with no committment. At this point, I’m reisgned to be single and just focus on developing quality friends with people that I enjoy being with. My philosophy is that I want a man to love me in spite of being Trans, not because of it. Not sure if that reality exists?
    The few Transwomen I know that have relationships with other women, all tend to have successful careers and make great money. I suppose being able to offer financial security is a huge asset. Unfortunately, I don’t have lots of money and I’m not sexually attracted to women.:(

    • Suzan Says:

      Why struggle?

      Keep your friends, phase out centering your life on trans, especially on the transitioning. Know the difference between best friends and acquaintances, have layers of trust that you share information within.

  4. nikkidane Says:

    Totally agree with Marilyn. Living beyong transition means not hiding or being ashamed. It means no longer being defined as Trans but living as the gender you have chosen. It’s a natural evolution of living full time. Of course, many people remain comfortable in the LGBT community and that is fine if they are happy. For me, going mainstream has always been my goal. I don’t live in a closet. I just don’t feel the need to advertise my past history unless asked or I feel inclined to do so.
    When it comes to dating, I do feel it is important to disclose that I’m a post-op Transwoman. I do not want a guy to flip out and feel decieved. I’d rather just put it out there to begin with.

  5. nikkidane Says:

    Thanks for your comments. Suzane. Love the term “post-transsexual” and “woman with a Transsexual history”. I agree that phasing out centering you life on Trans issues is just a natural process of transitioning. Sadly, Trans activism needs our support so you just can’t ignore the community needs. I think we all struggle to balance the need to evolve beyond Trans in our daily life with the desire to support the Trans community that supported us through our transition.

    • Suzan Says:

      I’m forty years post-op. Forty years ago I was co-running a counseling center helping sisters get through the process 8 month or so after I turned the center over to another sister who ran it for a year.

      It was a peer to peer group and after a while you are no longer the peer of people in the process. It is also important to be constantly teaching others to take your place as activists.

      Myself I went on to photograph and document people who were part of a trans-sex workers community in Hollywood.

      Now I write. And to paraphrase a David Allen Coe song, “If writing a blog titled Woman Born Transsexual ain’t a form of activism I’ll kiss your ass!”

      But you know something else no one owes other sisters anything and the non-trans stuff I post like things about Global Warming, the Environment, GMOs, racism and the class war being waged against the working poor and unemployed poor that affects everyone Cis, straight, and LGBTT folks alike. That is also activism.

  6. hypatia's child Says:

    “the difference between best friends and acquaintances…” exactly. There is no reason that acquaintances need to know the details of my past. In the last few years I’ve come out to my close lesbian friends, and I have never been rejected as a friend by another woman because of coming out. The main thing is they come to know me as a woman and as a human being first. If you introduce yourself to people as a trans woman, then their preconceptions about what being trans means will colour their first perceptions of you. As long as you don’t lie about your past and make up “when I was a little girl” stories, no one but a bigot or someone with serious boundaries issues will accuse you of deception.

    Dating is difficult since I do feel that anyone I am seriously dating needs to know. So I always get to know someone well enough to come out to them before starting to date them. I don’t date often, and that’s fine with me as I’m not into casual sex, and I don’t really have time for superficial relationships.

    As to stealth, I agree that it’s impossible in today’s age of instant information retrieval. If someone really wants to find out every name you were ever known by, they can unless you take steps on the level of entering the witness protection program. It isn’t worth the trouble and for most of us it’s not possible. Transition is something I went through over a decade ago. If I try to chase an illusory goal like “stealth”, I haven’t really put it behind me.

  7. nikkidane Says:

    Lots of great comments. It seems like we’re all basically on the same page. That’s very reassuring.

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