Every so often someone asks about the division in my lives, my gender identities, and my gender presentations. Usually these comments are wondering why there isn’t more overlap or blending between my two worlds.
Some of you wonder why I don’t talk more about my boy life. There are two main reasons. Firstly, I am equally protective (just in different ways) of both of my lives. I’ve written before about the risks of sharing too much about my life and my fears (and paranoia) that are associated with it. And look, this is going to sound VERY egotistical, but I am aware that on some level I am a bit of a “celebrity” in our little world.
God, that sounds just… icky and self-important. Please know I don’t think of myself that way. My ego is firmly and always in check.
What I mean is I have a decent amount of followers and admirers (God that sounds stuck-up) across the various social media platforms that I am active on. Sometimes the comments and emails (and offers and requests) I receive cross a line that I am not comfortable with and I worry about someone becoming obsessed with me.
Again, this is sounding so horribly egotistical. Some people get obsessed with celebrities and I am absolutely not equating myself with a super famous movie star by any means. Please know that I am flattered or… hm, bragging that someone may be “into” me. Obsession on any level is potentially dangerous.
I believe paranoia protects us. I do my best, and this is absolutely intentional, to be vague about where I live and the work that I do and other details of my boy life. I also very rarely post about what Hannah’s plans are in advance. The only exception to this is when I announce that the MN T-Girls will have a booth at Pride. This is the only time I am public about where I will be and the details surrounding my future plans.
Pride is a huge event and there are a ton of fabulous people there, and I am with the other MN T-Girls so I feel a little safer about disclosing this information.
And again, I am not saying that someone is obsessively poring over every detail that I write about in the hopes of meeting me. But there was an incident at Pride a few years ago that made me very uncomfortable.
I know some people think that I might like, or even invite attention. After all, I post a lot of photos and have a bit of a social media presence. But again, I am not flattered or feel validated when someone shows an… interest in me. A nice comment or a compliment is one thing, it’s entirely different when it’s an email that talks about wanting to be intimate with me or asking to meet.
“Well, that’s what you get for posting pictures of you in lingerie”. NO. Full stop. There are no excuses for any sort of behavior or comments regardless of what someone is wearing.
Secondly (I bet you forgot there was a second reason), I don’t think anyone really cares about my boy life. I suspect most of you are similar when it comes to “his” life. I work a normal office job, I have a lovely wife, I do normal things like pay bills and do laundry and run errands. Same as you. It’s a boring but a wonderful little life.
No one comes here to read about HIM. It’s like, who cares. I think readers want to hear about Hannah getting her makeup done, going to the mall, and experiencing the world en femme. No one wants to read abut how I went to work, had a meeting, took the dog for a walk, and had dinner with my wife. Another way to look at it is that no one cares about Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, but people are interested in Lady Gaga.
(Not that I am comparing myself to Lady Gaga, mind you.)
People visit this site for different reasons, whether it is shopping advice or something I wrote that someone finds relatable. I suspect that everyone visiting this site all have THIS side to us or close to someone who does. It’s comforting and essential to know that there are others like you and others like myself. I love writing something and seeing comments and emails from readers saying they understand and feel the same way. I love being reminded that I am not alone, too.
But why not let Hannah’s life spill into HIS life? Why not come out to others in HIS world?
Identifying as transgender is usually very nuanced. Mention the T word to most people and they may think of Elliot Page or Laverne Cox. What do these fabulous people have in common? They have both transitioned. Therefore it’s not a surprise that most people associate a transgender person with transitioning, hormones, surgery, and changing one’s legal name. Identifying as transgender can but doesn’t necessarily mean taking those steps.
It’s important to me that I am understood as much as I can be. I don’t expect everyone to “get” why I wear what I wear or why I am the way I am. No. What I would like people to understand is my gender identity and presentation can change from day to day and that I don’t feel I have to choose one for the rest of my life.
It sounds so simple to say it like that, but this statement would likely come with people in my life wanting to know WHY and wanting to know MORE. And really, that’s fair.
And really, there’s no WHY. There’s no MORE to explain, even though I could talk for years about gender identity. I think some want to know the specifics of why I feel and think the way I do. And really, there’s nothing more that needs to be said, or can be said, beyond this is just who I am. I was born this way.
Is it genetic? Is it biological? Is it psychological? Is there something unique about my chromosomes? Sure, maybe? But even if there was a chemical reason for who I am, it still comes down to being born this way.
Most of us have had The Talk with someone in our lives. Most of us have experienced the questions, the explaining, and the changed dynamic between two people this revelation can bring.
And it’s exhausting. I don’t feel like having that conversation with every single person I know. And it probably WOULD be with every person I know. Coworkers, family, friends…
I know I don’t HAVE to have The Talk with everyone I know, but there’s some overlapping of my professional life and personal life and coming out to one group of people would eventually spill over to another group of people…
Coming out also impacts my wife. She would have similar conversations with the people in HER life as well. And really, I don’t want to put her through all that. We have our little world, our little secret, and are both in a quiet, understanding about who I am, and who Hannah is. Why rock the boat?
If I was in a position where I felt that living full-time was right for me, then of course I would come out to everyone, but I don’t feel that living full-time is the right decision. Again, I don’t feel I need to choose one gender to present as or identify as for the rest of my life.
Would I be accepted? By most people in my life, yes. I wouldn’t associate myself with people if they were not accepting of the LGBTQIA+ community. BUT you can’t necessarily choose your family members or your co-workers. There are a few people in my professional life where my gender identity would very much matter to them and it would make things… unpleasant.
Of course, this isn’t right (or legal in some states) but the legality of something doesn’t always influence on whether or not someone will do or not do something.
From time to time I do feel the desire to be out to more people. It would be nice to go out for coffee en femme with some people from my boy life. But when I think about the potential changed dynamics, the potential fallout, and the likely exhausting conversations that coming out would bring, I feel the appeal and desire diminishes.
But of course for some people the “blending” of their two lives is nothing but a wonderful and positive experience.
We all have different lives, different family members, co-workers, and relationships. There are topics that just simply shouldn’t be brought up with certain people in our lives. It would be nice if people weren’t racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic but I don’t think anything I say or do will change the minds of some of the people I work with or am related to. Perhaps this is a defeatist attitude but for some it’s just not worth me putting in the effort.
At the end of the day, I am content with my separate identities. It’s a wonderful thing to be content in one’s life and I am blessed beyond belief to be content in two.