It’s been Transgender Week of Awareness, how aware do we want to be?

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    Topic
  • #134014
    Lauren Mugnaia
    Participant

    I have a question for all of you girls. We are all transgender women and on this forum and all at various stages in transitioning. How “out” to the world do we wish to be. I’ve been reading about how important it is that we make people aware of being transgender, as the general public needs further and correct information on the topic.
    So, for me. I work in a very public environment where many of my co workers are aware that I’m a trans woman, and I am accepted as such. The other staff are not aware and to them I’m just “the lady at the security desk.” I ride public transit to and from work and getting around anywhere else. Sometimes I know I’ve been “clocked” but most of the time I believe I’m passing. I have some badges that I ordered that feature transgender slogans like “This is what trans looks like.”, “Trans is beautiful”, “I’m a girl” and “She/Her”. So the question is this, do I advertise the fact and let everybody know I’m transgender or keep that to myself and they can remain remain in blissful ignorance?

    Let me know what you think.

    Thanks, and great big hugs,

    Ms. Lauren M

    4 users thanked author for this post.
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    • #134038

      Well, it’s just my humble opinion.
      I came out and just decided to fully run with it right out of the gate.
      And I for 1 don’t blend in or pass and probably never will be that lucky or blessed.
      So there is no way to hide the fact of being transgender. And first and foremost I would never want to hide that fact. I am very proud and blessed to be transgender and be able to freely live my dreams and discover all that life has to offer.
      Almost everyone has been able to see that I’m transgender and many people have started conversations about it with me. I may not go out of my way to go around trying to broadcast or rub it in others faces, but I also don’t try to hide anything.
      I’m free, out, happy, and alive.
      And as to the question of fear from others…no not really, I just try to keep a level head and carry myself with confidence.

      Shiloh Rose 🌹

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #134042
        DeeAnn Hopings
        AMBASSADOR

        What you said is exactly what needs to happen. We have to embrace ourselves. If we cannot do that, sadly, life will be miserable. Further it sends a message to others. If we are war with ourselves and don’t respect ourselves, no one else will either.

        Passing is an interesting thing. I’ve seen MANY postings on various forums about unhappiness because people feel that they don’t pass. It is one of those things where we can only do the best with what we have to work with. It is all we can do; short of surgery.

        For me, on the negative side, I have Don’s voice, which used to be a tenor but now is sliding a bit towards baritone. At 73, I suspect the slide will continue. The other is damaged skin due to ~60 years of shaving. On the positive side, I know that I am put together better than MANY who are AFAB. The proof is the compliments that I get. We realize, as well as those who are AFAB, that very few of us actually turn out to be Halle Berry or Ann Hathaway or Penelope Cruz. That is the simple truth of it. The task is to learn to live within ourselves and effect change on that which is under our control.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #134036
      DeeAnn Hopings
      AMBASSADOR

      I retired close to 7 years ago and have been essentially living as DeeAnn for that time. There are some rare circumstances where I present as Don, but that is no more than 2% or 3% of the time. In all 5 organizations where I hold office, and another 3 where I am a member but hold no office, DeeAnn is the person of record. The vast majority of people that I know here have never met Don and would have no reason to.

      The 5 organizations are a city commission, a car club, an LGBT Democratic organization, an LGBT community center and our local Pride organization. The others are the Society of Automotive Historians, Your Women’s Circle (a local lesbian social and professional group) and OLOC (Old Lesbians Organizing for Change). These are all things in which I have a clear interest, whether it is personal or advocacy (which technically is also personal).

      In terms of passing, probably not within 10 feet. However, I am ALWAYS nicely dressed in a stylish manner with makeup, jewelry, significant breast forms, hat and heels. Every now and then some decides that they have to address me as sir, but usually it is Ma’am or Ms. Hopings. I have several pieces of jewelry in the trans or non-binary colors and I wear them on occasion. I also sometimes use transgender related ZOOM backgrounds.

      I believe that visibility is important and it is something that I can do. I am retired and I have the time and energy to be active in these organizations. Sadly, many trans people have nothing left over after just trying to live every day. The other thing is that trans people (speaking more of trans women) tend not to have a good reputation in society at large. Often we are seen as sex workers (which too many are forced into), air heads (Caitlyn Jenner), people who purposefully decieve straight cis males and worse. Many seem to remain ignorant of Janet Mock, the Wachowski sisters, Laverne Cox, Dr. Maggie Stump, Bryne Tannehill, Chaz Bono, Caroline Cossey, Ian Harvie, Dr. Lynn Conway, Charlie Martin (UK), Stephanie Battaglino and many others who have come to notoriety in recent times.

      I think the only way to counter the BS narratives and outright false “information” put out by conservatives is that we have to be visible and functioning in society like anyone else. I don’t see any other alternative. When need be, it is important that we share our stories. Mine was in print about 5 years ago and the video of a speech from this past March. Sometimes I have been told that what I did was really brave, but I have never looked at it that way. To me, they are just things that I need to say…

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #134041

        Thank you so much DeeAnn for your thoughts and input. In terms of being visible I seem to pass most of the time as a woman. I’m only 5’6″ and 170 lbs so not much bigger than the average North American woman. One advantage I have is that I have a feminine speaking voice that I’ve been told is “very sweet”. I take a bus each day to and from work and am often sitting very close to the person next to me, often a conversation will start with them commenting on my nails. So it is obvious that I pass much of the time,
        but there are times when I will be clocked and it is usually a young teenage girl. I’ve had women ask for my contact info saying they’d love to do coffee, and at that point I often let them know I’m a trans woman. So far that has always resulted in them wanting to know more about being TG. So I have this opportunity to be a successful ambassador for transgender people, showing them that we are ordinary people leading extraordinary lives.

        Hugs,

        Ms. Lauren M

        • #134045
          DeeAnn Hopings
          AMBASSADOR

          This past weekend, I attended 2 of the 4 nights of the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival. I felt very relaxed when striking up conversations with unknown people who were sitting next to me.

          Today my wife and I attended a fundraising event for the Palm Springs Air Museum called Props & Hops. They roll out some of the planes in one of the hangars to make space and bring in craft breweries. They give you a miniature stein that holds 3 or 4 ounces and you buy tickets. You trade a ticket for a sample of someone’s product. I initiated conversations with people I didn’t know while we were sipping our latest acquisition. I talked and laughed and had a good time.

          In the context of this thread, in looking back on this, I wasn’t trying to be anything. Typically I don’t as it seems to require too much energy on my part. I tend to have a much better time just being myself and welcoming fellow travelers on our journey. We are more alike than we are different, but those differences are the things that we find interesting.

          Be real, don’t be afraid to share your story, have fun and smile (a lot!!). While we don’t know how someone will process a piece of information, what we can guarantee is that we give them the truth…

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #134024
      Barb
      BRONZE

      Good Q, Lauren!

      Well… hmm… Sometimes I think announcing anything about me is just an invitation for others to question and criticize who I am. It’s kinda like asking for someone’s’ approval. I’m not looking for approval, just some decent and mature respect and acceptance.

      For me… I claim the mantle of “non-binary” as a way to gently draw-in anyone who asks, “What are you?” Every day I look feminine – long hair, make up, plus sunny-smiles for everyone I meet (most days). So, no matter what I wear, I get lots of quizzical looks.

      Interestingly, everyone I’ve met on the LGBTQIA+ world always asks what my pronouns are. Not many cis folks yet do, assuming they’re cis, but I never ask. I like They, Them, She, and He in that order and my path is leading towards the female side-of-life permanently. One day I will drop the He altogether!

      Our Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil is tomorrow evening in Barrie, Ontario and I plan on being there.

      Hugs, :Barb

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #134021
      Carly Holloway
      AMBASSADOR - EDITOR

      Stimulating question, Lauren.   I had to stop and think about this one before responding.

      What I wish is to be out and unconcerned about it.   What I do is be out, with some some concerns about it.  Similar to Jasmine, I consider my safety in as much as where I choose to go.  I believe that I have been okay and accepted for who I am in my daily life.  At the same time, I believe that I am usually clocked as a transwoman:  I do have an exceptionally feminine body or face.   My personal experience shows me that  almost everybody takes me as is without fuss.  Whether I am talked about, or laughed at behind my back doesn’t concern or hurt me as I am not aware of it.

      In this sense, being out serves as a public awareness activity.   At the same time, I do not initiate conversations about transgender awareness when I’m out.  I happily answer any questions and have conversations when someone brings it up.   The topic doesn’t come up very often am all.

      I think that just being me is a public awareness function as it is, and a passive invitation to talk about it, but I’m not going to go out there with the intent to educate the world or be a “poster child” for us.  I think my presence is enough to let others know that I’m a confident, valid and important human being.  And judging by public reactions I’ve received, I am successful at it.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #134020
      Laura Moore
      SILVER

      I have a question for all of you girls. We are all transgender women and on this forum and all at various stages in transitioning. How “out” to the world do we wish to be. I’ve been reading about how important it is that we make people aware of being transgender, as the general public needs further and correct information on the topic.
      So, for me. I work in a very public environment where many of my co workers are aware that I’m a trans woman, and I am accepted as such. The other staff are not aware and to them I’m just “the lady at the security desk.” I ride public transit to and from work and getting around anywhere else. Sometimes I know I’ve been “clocked” but most of the time I believe I’m passing. I have some badges that I ordered that feature transgender slogans like “This is what trans looks like.”, “Trans is beautiful”, “I’m a girl” and “She/Her”. So the question is this, do I advertise the fact and let everybody know I’m transgender or keep that to myself and they can remain remain in blissful ignorance?

      Let me know what you think.

      Thanks, and great big hugs,

      Ms. Lauren M

      Good question. Each of us does it on our own terms. I think If I were “out and about” as Laura, I would feel the way that you do, although I would rather that people just thought of me as a woman. Realistically, I would have a tough time passing and I hate that. I place a lot of importance on thinking and looking feminine. Maybe I have fallen into a trap and put too much emphasis on looks. Right now my sister and at least two of her friends know I am trans. My hope is that the next time I visit my sister I can socialize with her and her friends as Laura within the comfort and privacy of her home. I’m sure it would be fun to be one of the girls for an evening and that would give me encouragement to  take the next step. I don’t see myself though as becoming a trans-activist though.FWIW… I have been in counseling but am taking a break from it at the moment. My counselor suggested a book that I have ordered…. “Gender Euphoria”. I forget the author but you can find it on Amazon. I am looking forward to reading it and getting more of an insight into the experiences of other women like me.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #134015
      Jasmine
      MANAGING AMBASSADOR

      Ill likely regret say what I am about to say cause I haven’t found the right answer though the answer is simple. You should be able to express yourself anyway you want!

      I would love to include items that express who I am. But maybe why you wrote this post is you struggle with the same issue of wondering is it right to advertise who you are. And if you haven’t yet, is it cause you have the feeling that it would cause you negative attention.

      And if your like me, do you wonder why you feel that way?

      could it because the people who represent us haven’t fought the battle of equality with an outcome that makes us safe to be who we are

      or is it that we acknowledge that we are not equal and who we are is upsetting the balance of a normal way of life for cis people.

      I could go on and on with this, giving you all reasons why I don’t advertise I am trans, and its boils down to personal privacy for me. I don’t have time to fight a fight where it is one side and always in favor of the other persons beliefs, so respectfully I do not advertise, yet I accept that they can advertise how discriminatory they. Is it fair to me or you, NO, should I fight the fight, MAYBE, but the one thing that goes through my head and its not fair, can I be violently hurt, physically or emotionally? HIGH POSSIBILITY.

      like I said, I will likely regret saying that I feel weak and cowardly at times. But so far I come home to my family safe cause I am cautious in an unfair world. I tell myself I am the bigger and stronger person than they are cause I respect the rights of everyone different from me as long as they don’t hurt me or my family.

      I am going to break soon, cause maybe it is time to fight for our equality. I just know, I don’t think I represent the majority, and hardly a minority, but anything I say or how I represent as transgender no matter how quietly it done, is going to be loud. Am I ready for that? ALMOST, are ready for that? MAYBE

      well thanks for the post Lauren, sorry about the rant.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
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