I’ve come out to a fair few people over the last year and am really happy about it. I have a script that I use now that allows me to test the water and to reveal my secret bit-by-bit. I start with the ‘easier’ parts of my story and finish up with the doozy that I’m transgendered.
But, having explained it and my situation, many of the people who I tell frustrate me by saying, “So it’s a bit like being an alcoholic then?” Their meaning behind that is that it’s an addiction that I can’t give up. To them, this would explain why I would be willing to sacrifice my family, home and life to still be able to be a girl. I have to say, I blanche every time. This analogy they use is one that I find almost upsetting. It implies that this is something that:
a. I’ve chosen to do
b. I could stop if I had enough willpower
c. is deliberately debilitating to my life and health
d. is a negative bad thing that is horrible for the people around me
You get the picture I’m sure and like me I suspect you will find the analogy quite insulting really. Nothing against people who suffer with alcoholism, but transgender-ness is very different surely. So, I always disagree with them when they say it, but I’ve never managed to come up with an appropriate alternative. I toyed with likening it to a terminal disease: it’s something you didn’t chose, won’t change and actually have little control over. But the issue with that view of it is that you presumably don’t enjoy (in any way at all) having a terminal disease. Whereas I love being able to be Rhiannon.
So to be honest, I’m stumped. I was wondering whether anyone else had an analogy they use that I could borrow for when I’m trying to help people understand what is going on with me? Any help would be gratefully received.