This weekend marks the sixth anniversary of the MN T-Girls!
Almost every month (one month was canceled due to… reasons) for the past six years t-girls from all over Minnesota, and often times from outside the state, have met for coffee, plays, shopping, makeup demonstrations, as well as for support and friendship.
Having planned almost one hundred of these monthly events, I am still a little surprised at the success of these outings.
I tell myself that I will keep planning these outings as long as others show up. There have been outings where only two t-girls come, and there have been events with close to thirty. Some events are hits, some are… well, not so much. Each event and each t-girl teaches me about how to run a club (if you will), but I also learn so much about our community.
So, in honor of the sixth anniversary of the MN T-Girls, I wanted to share six things about our community that I learned after meeting hundreds of girls like us.
You are not alone
I think the internet has made us realize that there are more people like us than we could have imagined. However we identify, there are others like us. Whether we live between genders or we live somewhere in the middle, or we are starting hormones or have transitioned, there are more like us than you ever knew.
We T-Girls can be anything
Although many of us are protective of any details that are associated with our male lives, there are equally others who are open about the other side of their closet. We can be husbands, boyfriends, fathers, sons, and brothers. We can also be airline pilot, forklift drivers, realtors, retail managers and engineers. You can never be sure who the male presenting individuals are in your life really are… or what they wear under their suit.
Different like you
One of the hardest things about coming out is explaining who we are. Yes, I am transgender but identifying as transgender is different than Caitlin Jenner identifying as transgender. I like to present as a girl, but I don’t always want to or need to. I love feeling beautiful, I have no interest in men, I don’t feel I was born in the wrong body. We understand each other. We know who we are, we don’t need to explain it.
I’ll be there for you
We need each other. We need to have friends who are like us. Not only do we need people in our lives who understand us, but we often have complicated lives and having people around us who we can relate to is incredibly important.
No one cares
I have walked across malls, parking ramps, downtown, parks, auditoriums, and restaurants.
I have used the ladies room at coffee shops, Target, theaters, book stores, nightclubs, and grocery stores.
I have chatted with servers, baristas, lingerie clerks, gas station employees, makeup artists, and police officers.
I have been out in the real world for a long time and although there have been a couple unpleasant moments, I’ve realized that most people rarely give a girl like me a second look or a second thought.
The MN T-Girls have been all over the Twin Cities, and yes, it’s not every day you see a group of transgender women at a restaurant and we do get a few stares, but I am happy that each outing has been free of incidents and have always had positive interactions with others. Safety is my number one priority with the group and I do what I can to make sure we are going somewhere safe and welcoming.
T-Girls just want to have fun
After six years of planning events it’s not always easy to come up with something for the group to do. I like to get ideas from the girls about what they would like to do en femme. The suggestions are always rather small. Go out to dinner, go shopping, meet new friends. T-girls aren’t necessarily looking to something HUGE and AMAZING, but doing something as normal as getting a cup of coffee en femme is an amazing experience many of us have dreamed of for years. Something mundane that we do in male mode suddenly becomes super fun when dressed up.
When I started the MN T-Girls, I did so with the goal of making friends with other t-girls. Yes, going out en femme is fun, but after a while it gets lonely. I wanted friends I could go to the mall or out to dinner with. Beyond simply making friends, I wanted others to experience the real world. Going out en femme is amazing, especially those first few times. I understood why it’s scary, but it was more wonderful than I had hoped it could be. Leaving the house is not easy, it’s a scary world for a girl, but going out in a group, or at least with a friend, makes it a lot safer and more fun.
My final goal wasn’t necessarily for girls like us. It was for the rest of the world. I wanted the world to see girls like me out at restaurants, shopping, at a museum, or at a play. I wanted the world to see us doing normal, boring, everyday things. I wanted the world to see that girls like us are girls like other girls. This goal was a little ambitious but a girl can dream.
I am fortunate to be a part of this group. I feel that the group is important and has achieved what I wanted it to achieve. I am not sure what the group will do next but the membership keeps growing which makes me happy, but the simple fact that the group has existed for as long as it has is surprising to me.
To every t-girl out there, it is an honor to be a member of our community.