Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Do we pick them well, or is the ground fallow already? Where is the line?


Over the weekend, I told an old school friend (its 20 years since school, not that she’s old, because she isn’t) about Rhiannon.  True to form, she was absolutely amazing in her response.  After the ‘are you pulling my leg question,’ she quickly took it in her stride, said I look fab and that she wouldn’t have recognised me.  When I was surprised at how ok she was with it, she made an interesting comment along the lines of: its 2013, why would I be bothered.

Clearly from the newspapers, certain ones in particular, there are some people who think its 1813, not 2013.  But its got me wondering.   I’ve told a fair few people about me now and they have all been very receptive and kind when I have delivered the message.  Up until now, I’ve been putting it down to the fact that I am good at choosing people to tell, that I have an instinct (self preservation?) for it, if you like.  But I am starting to wonder whether actually, the reality is that actually most people, these days, are just actually not bothered any more.  If you are trans, you are, its no biggie?

Reading this, I think that this is probably the case really.  But I have in mind a test.   A fair chunk of the people I have told have been either women who are quite open minded already or are men who are my age or younger (I’m 38).  Tonight, I’m meeting a older man who I used to work with, who I haven’t seen for a while. I know that the subject is very likely to come up.  I’m not sure where he stands on such issues, but I’m interested to see how he responds on the basis that he is outside of my ‘norm’ group.  He is a great chap, so I’m sure it’ll be ok, but it’ll be interesting.

Maybe this isn't the question I need to ask anyway.  Of course people are more responsive in general now, especially as they think, what harm can that news be to me.  If anything, its an interesting conversation.  Instead what I maybe need to ask is where is the line that changes open minded people into being more reserved?  Is there a point where general societal positivity reaches its limit?  Is it when they see some of my photos?  In the group of people who know about me, some draw the line there and don't want to see them.  Or maybe its meeting me in private when I’m dressed.  Is the line there?  I have noticed that when I tell people, some offer to go out with me when I'm presenting as Rhiannon.  To me, those are the bravest, but even some in that group avoid me afterwards. I feel that maybe their spur of the moment offer, once considered, is where they found their line.  Everyone must have a line somewhere?  Or have they?  I have found two people who seem to genuinely seem to have no line and go beyond the pail compared to others.  In fact, they are the people who push my line forward rather than the other way around.  They cause me to be brave.

If people, in general, are open minded and liberal about this, why is it that in a crowded room when I’m dressed, I think that all eyes are on me?  I know part of it is that I'm insecure, but it is probably for most people, that seeing a big fat man in a dress has already crossed their line, whatever amount of effort I've put into looking my best.  Maybe society is ready for so much, but in the future, hopefully, will be ready for even more.  But not quite yet...?

3 comments:

  1. I've found (so far) that the key thing is to seem 'natural'. If you are that, then you embarrass no-one and they can talk to you, and feel comfortable in your company.

    The only other major hurdle, if you are attractive, is intimacy. It's a big step in ordinary circumstances to acknowledge an attraction and do something decisive about it. In our circumstances, it may be a step too far for a non-trans person. But so much depends on yourself, and whether you want a close connection with people. If you do, chances will come.

    Even if you are not 'looking for love', life is still stimulating if your presentation is good. By which I mean 'attractive in the way a woman of your age would be considered attractive'. And not just on nights out. You need to be worth a glance in the supermarket as well. It's a natural blend of happy personality, light and graceful movement, suitable clothes, and a readiness to give people a word or two. So that they want to know you, and feel rewarded for their effort. I am convinced that if you reach out to people, they will respect and value you, and they'll do that even if you look less than perfect.

    Lucy

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  2. ...are just actually not bothered any more...

    I hope so. I mean, there are far more important things to worry about, rather than how you like to dress.

    Is there a tipping point? I would think so. Perhaps there's a social evolution going on? Something, where at a certain time, someone makes an anti-trans comment and the rest of the folk in the room give the person a that's-not-okay look. I think it starts with the right on brigade (hello from the Nottm branch! :-) ) and trickles through into the rest of society.

    BTW, in regards to certain newspaper columnists being anti.... well, seemingly anti-everything! :-P... I was pleasantly surprised by the anger from the non-trans community in social media and the world at large. Seems folk are fed up with the haters.

    Oh, good luck with the chat with your friend. <3

    Lynn
    x

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  3. I have almost everyone close to me and they have all been ok .... to a point. It seems now though, especially out in company, its almost a taboo subject for some. I might make a comment about something related to dressing or treatment and it seems as though they really don't know what to say. This is frustrating as I part of the reason of telling was the normalisation of it all.

    Perhaps its the fact that I am often out with Mrs B and they know there is an impact there but even on my own sometimes I get a similar reaction. Maybe the change in attitude in general has meant that they are ok with it but fear upsetting me by saying the wrong thing.

    That said I haven't had anyone not want to see me anymore, I do think though that there is more than an element of sympathy, not something I really want. I would really like to be at the point of being out and proud .... Something I continue to work towards. Then we will see how the world is for me and my friends ?

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