I THINK I had an epiphany the other day.
I write A LOT about terminology, coming out to others, attempting to understand ourselves, and how to potentially help someone else understand who we are and why we are.
I KNOW I overthink EVERYTHING, especially all of THIS. And it’s rather silly as this side of us can’t really be explained, it can’t be understood. There’s no WHY. And there doesn’t need to be. Which is good because it’s like searching for a piece of a puzzle that doesn’t exist.
And I KNOW this. I do! I promise. Whenever I start wandering down the speculating paths of understanding or explaining this side of ourselves I tell myself it is a pointless journey, like looking to see if Target will start stocking heels beyond size 11. Come on Target, just a half size more, please.
On one hand I would love to find or create a nice, simple message to explain to others why I am bi-gender, why I like to wear what I wear. I would love to find this even though I know it comes down to being born this way, being wired this way. Why am I right-handed? Why am I transgender? Why do I prefer Mexican cuisine compared to Thai cuisine? I don’t know.
But it occurred to me that I want to find a nice, concise way to explain who I am to my friends, my families, the entire world because I am tired of being terrified of being caught. Of needing to keep this a secret. Of thinking twice (or a hundred times) when I consider coming out to someone.
I hate living a life in fear.
I hate going out en femme and worrying if certain family members will see me. I am tired of worrying of my bra strap being visible when I am in boy mode I am tired or worrying if the lace edging of my panties showing. I am simply exhausted from keeping this side of myself a secret because I know this revelation can cause anything from people I love never speaking to me again, to being ridiculed, to some jerk harassing Hannah as she goes about her day. I mean, my god, transwomen are killed every single day because they are trans.
I am tired of my gender identities and wardrobe being a deciding factor as to how someone will treat me. I would prefer not to be friends with someone if I knew that my gender identity was a problem for them. When it comes to my friends I am out to VERY few of them and the ones I am not out to, well, I don’t think they would end our friendship if they knew, but that’s my point. I don’t know for sure. I could never be friends with someone who is racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic and I hope I never learn that someone I love is any of those things.
No one beats someone up or disowns them because they like, oh, I don’t know, jazz music or sushi, and although gender identity is different than food and music, I am tired of living in a world where my underwear is a BIG DEAL.
Perhaps this is why I write so much about these topics. I am searching for a way to understand myself, to understand other t-girls, other crossdressers, others like me. I am searching for a way to talk about, to write about why and who we are. Girls like us know we don’t have a reason why we are who we are. But the rest of the world sure as hell is looking for a reason so I want to find one.
And YES! I know that we don’t need to explain a damn thing to anyone. There’s no reason to spend even a second trying to help some transphobic jerk understand who we are. But let’s face it, so much of the world actively hates us. There are so many laws being debated right now to hurt our community. It could be laws banning trans youth from playing high school sports to making it a felony for a doctor to prescribe hormones. It could be libraries being pressured to end drag queen story time. It’s heartbreaking to see so much time and energy and effort to strip away our rights for no reason other than people wanting to punish those like us. They want to erase us.
BuT HanNAh, I aM a CRossdreSSER, I am NoT tRANSgendeR you may be saying. For the most part, it doesn’t matter if you simply only wear panties or if you do drag or are like me. The point is that too much of the world is trying to force the non-cisgender community from existing. “The world” doesn’t see the difference, or care about the difference, between someone who wears lingerie under their boy clothes and someone who is taking estrogen and changing the gender on their birth certificate. We’re all in the same boat.
It would be easier if the world simply stopped caring about what others wore or the pronouns someone has.
And yes, for some people they don’t care and are even supportive of the transcommunity. And yes! I shouldn’t bother worrying about those that hate us. But here’s the thing. The people who hate us are the ones that push for laws against us. The people who hate us could be the ones who write those laws. The people who hate us are the ones that want to beat us up. Those that hate us, that go out of their way to punish us, to suppress us, to take away our rights… yes, they may not be a majority but they could have the power to make our lives miserable.
We will never make hate go away. At my most pessimistic I don’t think we will EVER see the end of sexism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia. But I want to try. I want to make a difference. I know it’s naïve and hopeless (like looking to see if Target is finally carrying high heels beyond size 11) but pessimism doesn’t change minds, and it doesn’t change worlds.
Is this the hill I am going to die on? The crusade (if you will) to get word to the world about who and why we are? To find a nice, simple, easy to understand message that those like us are not confused or perverts or only needing attention? This is how some of the world sees us. We are not these things. If anything we KNOW who we are better than anyone else. We think (and overthink) about our identity more than anyone else I know. I mean, I doubt jazz enthusiasts spend a lot of time wondering WHY they like Miles Davis but maybe they do?
If we want, if we need to get a message out to the world, we need to first have a message that is easy and simple and relatable to the world. And I know this is looking for a puzzle piece that PROBABLY doesn’t exist but goodness I want to try.
I already DO try.
9 thoughts on “An Epiphany! Maybe!”
The hard part for me is knowing that those that hate us are motivated to establish laws against us.
I believe most could care less and believe in a be and let be approach to life. They are not motivation to fight for or against us.
People like us are so afraid of the consequences of being exposed that we remain silent.
I worry that those three things doom us.
I wish I had more courage. I wish I could be like Sarah McBride.
I feel lucky enough though that I have reached an executive level in the company I work for. Everyone in the organization knows that I would not tolerate discrimination of any kind. I am not sure though if that helps prevents it or if it just means that they become better at hiding it.
We all saw what happened under the Trump administration. It seemed that the world had become for civil before him. Then we he gave the country the approval to show their bigotry, they came out in full force.
I worry that the company I work for is the same. When I retire, I will tell some close colleagues about me. It would go through the organization like wildfire. Then we will find out if I had any impact.
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Please keep writing and encouraging your readers to be what they want to be and to share their identities within their context. Not everyone has the courage to take the in your face approach that Jacob Tobia takes in Sissy- A Coming of Gender Story. For me this book by a person under the age of thirty helped me to understand gender struggles I have experienced for 70 years. Each of us has our own special situation so respect the feelings of those you live with and remember to respect yourself as well.
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I think the transgender community can agree to this simplified statement: a proportion of the population need to express a gender which does not conform to social expectations. When these expectations are challenged, the “live and let live” credo is disregarded. This places us outside the social circle, at which point our rights as human beings are questioned and hatred becomes accepted. This is a common human animal limitation that causes endless suffering the world over. Maybe in a distant future we will learn to manage our fears. In the meantime, try to enjoy your short beautiful life, and shine.
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I would say that we like beauty, especially of a feminine sort, and for some of us, being this way is the only way our needs seem to get met. I’ve written for post humous consumption and for my former trans club that the lady inside me takes good care of the man, and the pleasant respectful funny passionate man inside me takes care of the woman. I would feel the need to do this in many cultural settings, but I think much more so in this one than most, mostly I would suspect because with luck and discretion it is doable. I’m fully aware of how ubiquitous our behavior and pastimes are all over the planet world; I’ve recognized folks like us in a couple dozen countries on all continents except Antarctica. They ‘ve probably been there, esp. Terra Nova bay [Italian station] . We just like beauty, esp. girl beauty best, and sometimes or more times, it is what we in fact are.
unfortunately I have now encountered a new way that we are slammed i.e, we have now been labeled as those who identify as transgender. innocent enough. unfortunately the haters take this to mean ” I think I will identify as a woman today”. they really believe this is just a whim like taking up golf. I wish we could be labeled in another way
Yes pretty shameful as it’s just mockery of something very real and serious
Hannah, we are who we are and your right we can’t explain it and honestly I think that’s what bothers people, people need a reason to understand something so different
Someone’s race is easy it’s right there in front, but those of us of a different race don’t really know what they deal with but at least most people can see that they struggle
For us invisible, many of us hidden
Then someone like me or you decide we can’t hide anymore and we go out we choose to be visible and that bothers people they would rather us stay hiding.
Well sorry I’m not going to if I want to wear a dress or a skirt I’m going to and I’m going to be me,
I hope things will change but like you say there will always be the haters
Hannah, the comments above are very appropriate and insightful.
May I be more practical and pragmatic?
Re Target only selling to size 11:
Buy a cheap diy 300 mm trigger clamp from your local hardware store; one that can convert from a clamp to a spreader.
Fill the too tight shoe tightly with newspaper and stretch it with the spreader. Leave in tension overnight. Voila! Size 11.5.
Cheaper than specialist shoe providers or orthopedic surgery!
It’s a jungle out there. Courage to those who foray into hospitable surroundings. The rest of us are minding our P’s and Q’s. Assuring that are number of us is growing and becoming more mainstream. Viv la difference in your life..