Wanted: TG Ambassadors to the World  

rm_JocelynRenee 56T
51 posts
1/19/2006 5:18 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Wanted: TG Ambassadors to the World

Whew, leading a double-life can sure keep you busy. Between work, home, and family there has been precious little time for myself lately, especially my femme side. That's OK though, I enjoy all (well, most) things related to work, home, and family, so it's not a bad proposition. I did, however, have enough time to discover a couple of great TG resources that I think everyone will enjoy:

I particularly enjoyed Gender Evolve as it publishes articles from volunteer contributors. I found the articles to be intelligently written and thought-provoking and I highly recommend the site to everyone in the community. The only quibble I have with the articles is the pervasiveness of the "society isn't fair/I'm not free to be me" meme that is so prevalent in our community.

I hate false memes. I hate the way they perpetuate myths, prejudices, and stereotypes; I hate the fact that they destroy free thinking; and most of all, I hate the way they destroy progress. The insidious part of all this is that once a group accepts some random bit of info as a fact, the truthfulness of the assertion is never considered. Instead, the "fact" spreads and is repeated over and over until no one dares to question it's validity, thus making it, for better or worse, de facto truth.

Take the following two statements:

"The other side of the coin is men, who are not allowed by society to modify their appearance at all."

I hope I live to say the day when I am free to dress the way I want."

You can't spend 5 minutes on any transgender-related site without seeing statements like these repeated endlessly. Not only are these two statements false, but buying into this line of thinking prevents many members of our community from living their lives to their fullest.

I don't know about you, but where I live it is not illegal for a man to dress as a woman. There are no signs on restaurants proclaiming, "Non-Transgendered Only." In guy mode, I've never been stopped by the police for having my ears or naval pierced or having long, painted fingernails. Oh, sure, problems do exist, and where they do, we need to ensure that our rights are protected by law. But these complaints are not addressing areas of employment law or access to housing, are they? No, these complaints are addressing the speaker's desire to be free from ridicule; to be be from feeling uncomfortable.

For all those hoping to live to see the day when you are free to dress the way you want, I have good news: You made it! Right now, there isn't a Western country on this earth where you can't throw on a dress and do pretty much whatever you want. Unfortunately, I've got bad news for those waiting for the day when everyone in society is 100% accepting of your choice of dress; it's never gonna happen. And please, let's not make it worse by trotting out another "phobia" with statements like this:

"Although I'm reluctant to dignify these negative cultural attitudes with a term, the one that fits best is "transphobia" (an irrational fear of transgendered people). Transphobia is, literally, a social disease; a malady of the culture."

Is it even possible to disagree with anyone these days and not be demonized, or worse yet, saddled with the dreaded "phobic" tag? Come on; being transgendered is abnormal! That's not to say it's wrong; I'm simply stating that we occupy a very tiny visible minority. It's simple human nature at work here; people in the larger group are not going to understand. So what; how many of us understand it? If you choose to go out into the world wearing a dress, some of the people you encounter are going to be perplexed by your choice. How does that make them transphobic? How about this; instead of telling everyone else that they are neanderthals running in fear of a man in 6" stilettos, why not meet them half way with a smile and a belief that they are capable of learning something new?

I'm mixed race, my wife is white, and to all appearances, so are my children. My brother has a similar situation. When we go out with our children, quite often people will stare. His reaction is always the same; they're racist! I see it a little differently. Sure, some of the people *may* be racist, but the more likely explanation is that they are curious and have some perfectly reasonable questions in mind. I generally say, "hello" and either a pleasant conversation ensues or they go back to whatever they were doing. My experience at being TG very closely mirrors my experience at being mixed race; a simple smile starts a pleasant conversation or the people go back to what they were doing before. There is one big difference, however, I can't hide my race. And that's the real problem here; we can hide being TG, and so we make a career of hiding, feeling shame, and transferring our negative self-image to the rest of the world. All the while we sit at home bemoaning the "fact" that society won't allow us to be free, and we perpetuate that hyperbole until everyone in the community nods their head in agreement. Then we start looking for scapegoats; suddenly it's the fault of the Christians, the small-town in-breds, misogyny, Bush, and society. No. No. No! The only person keeping you from being free is you.

I bought into this soul-destroying point of view most of my life, but I ain't buyin' anymore. When I started taking some tentative steps out, guess what I found? Most people simply don't care if I like to dress as a woman. Sure, some laugh; some may even get angry, but the overwhelming majority don't care. I've had conversations about a cute sweater with little ol' ladies. Waitresses have told me how great I looked. The most testosterone-soaked male friends you can possibly imagine have told me I look "hot"! And along the way I have become an ambassador for the TG world. The trouble is, the ambassador corps is a little thin; we need help. For the good of the community we need TG women out there living life with a smile, answering questions, and showing the world at large that we're pretty cool people to know. The job is not without risk, so it's not for everyone, but it's not nearly as dangerous as some would have you believe and the perks are tremendous. So, please, I'm begging you; stop spreading this nonsense about not being free. I'm free and I know lots of other sisters who are free as well. How about you?

rm_jackie40503 71T
1323 posts
1/20/2006 1:47 am


I couldn’t agree more. As you know, I only rejoined our minority a couple of months ago and therefore haven’t been molded by the stereotype feelings from either side. So for me even in this short period of time going from being completely straight to where I am now has not been hindered by any of these ‘facts’ or ‘truths’ prevalent in the community. I have already reached the point where I very rarely go out without being ‘dressed’. Shopping, going out to dinner, to the movies or out to a local karaoke bar for a night of singing, and as you say most don’t care or react in any fashion. I only recall getting a strange look from one person at a karaoke bar and when I smiled at him, he only turned away and went back to what he had been doing. I’ve been whistled at, given complements on my appearance by many more than have given me strange looks. So alright, maybe I’ve just been lucky so far, but I don’t care and will deal with what ever comes up when it happens but for now, I am just going to continue to be me.

I will say that as yet I have not presented myself to those I work for. Maybe it wouldn’t present a problem to them if they knew, but then again? I have a very good professional reputation that I’ve built up over the last 25 years, which I am reluctant to chance loosing at this point. I am a consultant in computer operating system design which is a rough field to even break into much less build the name recognition that I’ve achieved. So I am going very slowly in presenting Jackie to them, starting with a few close associates and we’ll see how things progress.

I’ve noticed that you receive very few comments to your posting which surprises me greatly what with the quality of your writing. I hope you won’t mind if I post an entry to my blog asking all my friends to stop by to read your entries here.

So you take care girl and keep up the good work we could use more like you.


1niceTgirl2try 36T
167 posts
2/22/2006 3:15 am

thankyou for writing this, I needed a reminder that just because i had time away from myself that it is no excuse for treating the world like it needs to be sheltered from alternative lifestyles! of corse my issues are actualy from a totaly different point of view but all the same they are just as invalid... I am in it with ya hun, because those of us who arent willing to live as we do for ourselves should do it for all the girls out there who need someone to look up to and wish someone had steped out before... it's time we show em how a sucessful social sister looks when she doesnt let the so-called rules become so believed rules!

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