Trans day of Visibility

Tomorrow, 31 March, is Trans Day of Visibility, which is the opposite of Bi Day of Visibility. On BDoV, lots of people with opposite sex partners say “I’m Bi, actually” (and some of their partners go, “What?”) On TDoV, a few trans people say, “I’m Trans!” And everyone says, “We know”. It’s also a double-dare to trans people who pass, who the gender psychiatrists would be hard-put to read as trans, to come out. That can be frightening. One trans woman I knew changed city and job, only keeping two friends who had known her as male.

Everyone who knows me knows I am trans. It could be the wig or the jawline, more likely it’s the voice. And that is mostly OK, most people who know me are OK.

Or the day is for trans people who tweet or blog about other things to come out. Then their followers will see, and perhaps feel more positively to trans people, and only the haters will unfollow.

It is a day to celebrate transition and the liberation that brings. The world seemed to change from monochrome to colour for me. Before, I hated my body. Now, I love my body. In the journey of transition, I got to know myself, and released the control which I needed to pretend to be male. I cannot imagine my life if I had not done it.

It is a day to celebrate being trans, and the gift that is to the wider community: a particular set of experiences leading to a different perspective. The difficulties of transition can produce a deep wisdom in people.

Possibly, it is a day for someone who has not yet started transition to begin to come out. You know you will have to do it. If you come out at work, in Europe and the US you are protected under discrimination legislation. Still be careful. That being said, I found most people accepting. If you come out to loving parents, siblings, partners or children, they may already know.

You can’t tell from what people have said how they will react. People who have said thoughtless, prejudiced things, if they like or love you, may accept you. People who say the right, non-discriminatory things may harbour secret prejudice. I lost a friend, when I transitioned, who was a cross-dresser.

Coming out is part of becoming yourself. Presenting your assigned gender, you are hiding. In fear, we hide ourselves and try to be what we think others expect. This is stunting and limiting. Coming out is scary, but necessary for self-respect. People need to be able to be ourselves with others. If we cannot, we are completely alone.

Stonewall has posters for schools showing trans people and their achievements.

Alec Salmond continues to build his disreputable Alba Party, with convicted perjurer Tommy Sheridan, antisemite Neale Hanvey, and two women who support the tiny but well funded hate group Four Women Scotland Limited. Why would they join Mr Sleepy Cuddles? It goes to show transphobe haters give up all feminist causes when they start campaigning against trans women. Alba stands for “All Ladies Be Aware”.

9 thoughts on “Trans day of Visibility

  1. I have not lived one day, in the last 36 years, when I have not been reminded that I am a trans woman. I’ve come close a few times, though. Even if nobody else recognizes it, I will, before the day is over. I don’t aspire to be a trans woman. Instead, I see myself as a woman who grew into womanhood through a trans experience. I’m waiting for the day I can simply be a woman, without the reminder of how I got there.

    When I was a child, I would hope, dream, and pray that I would wake up the next morning a girl. The concept of transgender never entered my mind. As I grew older, I thought that I would just move away when I became 18, and start my life over as a woman. At 17, though, I realized the futility of such foolishness, and accomplished the great feat of suppression, which lasted for the next 17 years of my life. It took another 17 years of closeted feminine expression (I don’t believe I have ever been a cross dresser) before I could start to be visible to everyone else. The process of coming out wasn’t so difficult, but coming clean has taken much more effort. I don’t think I was ever really visible to anyone – including myself – until I came clean, in full honesty and clarity.

    It’s not that I want to be invisible, but I will celebrate the day I wake up in the morning and realize that I hadn’t been recognized as a trans woman the whole day before. Better yet, I would never realize it again. Of course, that’s as likely to be as were my childhood hopes, dreams, and prayers. Oh well, whatcha see is whatcha get! 🙂

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  2. My daughter is focussing on passing, which seems to me somewhat sad, but l hope she will come to a time of greater courage (& being less scared of a return to episodic abuse) when she can come out and truly celebrate herself. Currently however she has few friends offline and only 1 (to my knowledge) from her school days as a male. It’s a tough road for her, not helped by all the current anti-trans rhetoric all around and legal clawback of trans rights!

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    • Facial feminisation surgery goes a long way, but a lot of work on voice is needed, and then there is still hip to waist ratio. Passing might have been easier when trans women were barely thought of. We have to come out. We can’t just transition and stay at home all the time. Having said that, I went out and got “sir”ed this morning.

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      • I reckon she’ll get there, but it’s not for me to rush her. It took you, Connie, My friend, Jenna and others time to get there too. I love that seemingly many of the young teens (& pre-teens) coming up today have more support than a generation or two back had, but she hadn’t the ability to tell anyone until she was virtually an adult and life hasn’t been any easier since then.

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        • Thanks for mentioning me. I guess that fulfills my Visibility obligation this year! LOL. As I wrote above, by seventeen, I felt that I had no option but to suppress. Male puberty had given me the body of a strapping young man, so I tried to be one. Although I have no regrets for becoming a husband and father, I only dug a deeper hole for myself with the inevitable resurfacing of my gender dysphoria . At least, your daughter will not have to climb out of that hole.

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            • I narrowly escaped being drafted, and a certain trip to Vietnam. It would have killed me, literally, I’m sure, as I would have surely gone into my Overcompensation Mode in the face of the enemy.. I’ve always laughed to myself about the possibility of being given the troop formation command of “Dress Right, Dress,” though. HaHa.

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      • My FFS has always been a “Fast, Friendly Smile.” Keeping it, after being “sir”ed, may be difficult, but it is my default reset. I’m fortunate in that I haven’t been “sir”ed in years, though. 🙂

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