Xray the Enforcer

LGBTQ+ 5 -- Now With More Gender Outlaws

354 posts in this topic

@Dr.Pepper

The thing I focus on is this.

Quote

She said I could never understand the stress of having to worry about blending in and passing. 

First, that is an expression of fear,  And I think from your description of where you live, it isn't an unrealistic.To understand where she is coming from, ask yourself this.  What would happen to her if she was outed?  While I might handle the situation with her friend a bit differently, I have to admit she is putting herself in the last place anyone would look for a trans woman.  Second, Her interactions with people she works with are critical for many reasons, including financial survival.  If her friend from work is the only one she engages in this type of talk with, then it is a fair bet that she sees that person as critical to blending in at work.

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13 hours ago, Robin Of House Hill said:

@Dr.Pepper

The thing I focus on is this.

First, that is an expression of fear,  And I think from your description of where you live, it isn't an unrealistic.To understand where she is coming from, ask yourself this.  What would happen to her if she was outed?  While I might handle the situation with her friend a bit differently, I have to admit she is putting herself in the last place anyone would look for a trans woman.  Second, Her interactions with people she works with are critical for many reasons, including financial survival.  If her friend from work is the only one she engages in this type of talk with, then it is a fair bet that she sees that person as critical to blending in at work.

I'm not fully buying this. She may be bigoted like her friend, she may be doing it as a survival strategy (going to this length seems quite paranoid, though.) Hateful speech is always wrong (if it's anti-gay speech, for example it could lead a closeted co-worker to self-harm, I probably don't have to explain that here) There's got to be another way to navigate her workplace. I don't think we can let stand the dynamic "I can do bad thing x because not doing bad thing x could lead to my being outed".

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17 minutes ago, Weeping Sore said:

I'm not fully buying this. She may be bigoted like her friend, she may be doing it as a survival strategy (going to this length seems quite paranoid, though.) Hateful speech is always wrong (if it's anti-gay speech, for example it could lead a closeted co-worker to self-harm, I probably don't have to explain that here) There's got to be another way to navigate her workplace. I don't think we can let stand the dynamic "I can do bad thing x because not doing bad thing x could lead to my being outed".

Since we haven't experienced what living in her locale, or being in her workplace is actually like, I'd don't feel comfortable with the idea of saying to her, her actions were unnecessary, and therefor, wrong.  Yes, her actions could potentially harm someone, as your example pointed out, but that's a hypothetical.  What we have, for certain, is one person, who if outed, could be subject to emotional, economic, or even physical harm.  For that reason, while I'd hope she was able to use a less intense method of keeping herself safe, I'd have to deter to her judgment.  She knows more about the environment in which she lives, than I do.

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Posted (edited)

 

 

On 5/17/2017 at 3:16 PM, Robin Of House Hill said:

Obviously, one's public persona is is heavily influenced by environmental forces.  It is unlikely to be the same, at work, with close friends, family, or strangers.  That factor isn't restricted to LGBTIQ.  

Agreed.  

@Weeping Sore,

I had a young trans woman living in my house who DID NOT TELL ME she was planning to start transitioning.  At the time there were 4 other people here in addition to the asshole kids (mine).  The first I heard of this was when one of my housemates mis-gendered her, repeatedly.  At moving in, she preferred "they" and I just called her by her name.  I resolved that situation (which was just awful, the mis-gendering idiot was a 50-something cis-white male who was here temporarily on a work trade.  He got put out.).  Thing is, all of the early transitioning women I have had any close encounters with go through a fast forward adolescence.  I was in NO POSITION to keep a teenage girl safe and happy in my house at the time.  Calendar year, she was mid-late twenties, but once she started to transition it was straight back to 13.   She found a better spot to be and is doing wonderfully, although still not quite grown up  Two years later I peg her around 19-22.  I am an old fart.  To me, "grown-ups" read around 30.

My point is, at that close of a proximity, I literally watched her go through the same types of transformations that I went through at that age as far as public presentations go.  It is VERY HARD to find a woman's presentation that matches your personality and influences the society around you in the "right way".  Someday I will tell you all about my 20 year experiment on Hair Color vs. Personal Space vs. "bitch-factor tolerance".  It's a 3-D plot.  (sighs).

 For more insight on this, ask @Theda Baratheon.  

Theda, you are closer to this "discovery" process than I am.  I went through that so long ago for the first time.  I settled on "high femme".  Today, I am going for Billy Idol.   Shit, I am in my 40's and STILL change my presentation completely every decade or so.  

@Robin Of House Hill, I quoted you because I couldn't respond earlier to tell you something.  It was truly a great pleasure and honor to meet you.  I was sooooooooo nervous that I would be a disappointment and a waste of YOUR time.  

@Dr.Pepper

My heart goes out to both of you.  I am very familiar with being afraid. :(  Everything you posted about her situation sounds like justified fear.  So sorry.

In happy news, the hardest part of my term is over and I am going to Pride for Memorial Day Weekend.  My lovely lady will be working her ass off.  I am going to pack the fridge, cook the dinner, make the backrubs :leer: and enjoy the show.   Right now, I am going to go to the Confederate Monument takedown party.  New Orleanians are so funny.  They are having a regular festival over there with lawn chairs, unicyclists, a band and food trucks.  

I love you all.  

 

Edited by Lily Valley

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@Lily Valley - 

Not sure what insight I have really! But as a 23 year old woman, not straight and partial to androgyny I am constantly frustrated with templates for women and how we are supposed to look. I am always trying to change "my look" and it's an ever shifting process. These days I'm into looking like a shining elf LMAO I take enough selfies but it's all part of the fun of documenting looks. 

I do worry sometimes that I look straight. :lol: I don't want to. I dont want to look like a straight woman. And I realise that's a sort of luxury on my part, even though where I live is not the most absolutely accepting of places. I don't really know how I want to present; if I was being myself MOST of the time, had lots of skills in making costumes and makeup and had plenty of money I would basically look how i imagine a movie set woods witch; couture dark sorceress, elven princess would look HAHAH. Sorry not trying to seem like I'm taking the piss. How I look to the outside world is something I think about a lot and anyone who follows me on facebook or instagram will be all too unfortunately aware of that hahahahahhaha. I just want to look like a shining queer pixie but I'm pretty happy with my makeup-less semi androgynous look half of the time 

A cute cool looking girl who was sat wit some dude caught eyes with me and smiled at me yesterday in a cafe and I was totally flustered and thinking about it for half of the day LMAO 

God sorry to go on suffice to say that @Weeping Sore like Lily said it's frustrating and difficult to find a womans look to connect to but . I'm lucky at the moment because I work in a record and DVD shop where I can shave all my hair off and get a thousand tattoos and it wouldn't matter but I'm constantly worrying about getting a "real job" and having to look boring and just not how I want to :(:( 

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Theda, that was PERFECT.  That is exactly what I am talking about.  XOXO.  We love your selfies.  I am a LOT more "butch" now at work because I can get away with it.  I used to have to rock a "corporate helmet".  I also get fussed at all the time over my professional wardrobe.  I have had to have my boss explain that I work in a LAB.  If they really want me to crawl around on the floor all day looking for dropped batteries and electrical outlets in a skirt and heels.........ok.  :evil face:

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10 minutes ago, Lily Valley said:

Robin, I quoted you because I couldn't respond earlier to tell you something.  It was truly a great pleasure and honor to meet you.  I was sooooooooo nervous that I would be a disappointment and a waste of YOUR time.  

 

Would it surprise you to learn how much time I spent thinking up ways to get out of that lunch, without offending you, because I was convinced I would be the disappointment, because behind that armored exterior my online persona projects, there isn't anything  anyone would find remotely interesting.  I enjoyed meeting you, tremendously.  My online persona is reflected by all those sword bearing armored women that show up on my Facebook page.  My usual public persona is to not be memorable, which is as close as I can get to being invisible.  After I was outed in the 80s, I realized that having face-to-face friends with whom I was with routinely, was simply too much of a risk.  For me to drop the personas takes an amount of effort you wouldn't believe.

I've said too much, here, but I could not let the idea that you were a disappointment or a waste of my time, stand.

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Just now, Robin Of House Hill said:

 

I've said too much, here, but I could not let the idea that you were a disappointment or a waste of my time, stand.

I love you too, my friend.  <3  

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19 minutes ago, Lily Valley said:

Theda, that was PERFECT.  That is exactly what I am talking about.  XOXO.  We love your selfies.  I am a LOT more "butch" now at work because I can get away with it.  I used to have to rock a "corporate helmet".  I also get fussed at all the time over my professional wardrobe.  I have had to have my boss explain that I work in a LAB.  If they really want me to crawl around on the floor all day looking for dropped batteries and electrical outlets in a skirt and heels.........ok.  :evil face:

Lol good! And yeah I am also volunteering in a museum and I'm getting so anxious there recently I don't like how I look at all in what I'm wearing I'm so uncomfortable and I'm worried that if I get a proper adult job somewhere I'm gonna not be who I want to be lOL  but I know I've gotta suck that up I guess 

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So I was unexpectedly outed as trans to my roommates by someone I've met for 15 minutes, and the best part is I was not present for the conversation!

As it happens, roommate A already knows. But his wife, roommate B, has not been to this point included in this particular confidence. So yeah.

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I hope the reaction of roommate B was positive.  Everyone knows my opinion on people who out others, so I won't bore you with it.

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ooooooof. Good luck with that situation, WinterFox. 

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Hope it goes well, WinterFox.  If you need a place to retreat, don't hesitate to hit me up.  

 

Thanks all for the advice.  I think I accept that gf has good reasons to not be outed herself and that she might need to take a lot of steps to make sure that doesn't happen.  Ultimately, I thought about what karaddin said and that it's ok for me to have my lines, and I just can't accept the line that's been crossed.  The dinner with the work friend wasn't isolated.  There are a lot of things I've shrugged off that I shouldn't have.  Like agreeing with some random confederate flag flying dude about something terrible.  I get the reason why, I'm still not ok with it.  Once my kids were there and I'm definitely not ok with them hearing someone they are supposed to trust say those things.

I'm so much more devastated than I thought I'd be.  Of course, I'm deeply upset about ending things with her.  I love her a lot.  But it's also that this was simply one of those perfectly perfect relationships that would be extraordinarily rare to find.  I'm asexual so I've always struggled with romantic relationships.  It was strange because she's highly sexual but things just always worked perfectly well with the entire set up and her lovers.  I'm actually good friends with one of her past lovers.  So yeah, it's not just breaking up with her that I'm mourning but also the fact that finding another workable relationship will be nearly impossible.  I found I really liked having a workable relationship.

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That really sucks Dr Pepper. I respect your decision and I think ultimately I'd do the same. Regardless of circumstances I can't talk the intersectionality talk without walking the walk, it's not much use of me if I simply fall back on the white privilege/cis passing privilege to not just avoid difficult situations but perpetuate the problem in order to make myself safe. Solidarity needs to be more than just words. Not speaking out would have been one thing, its the going along with it thats the line for me.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks all, and Pep you have my gratitude for the offer and sympathies for what's happened. It seems like you've already worked the situation out but since I just had a somewhat comparable situation I'll throw my two cents in.

My roommates, who are married and will for simplicity be referred to as Roomie-M- (Male) and Roomie-F- (Female) hosted an old mutual friend of (all) of ours from the army. I have not kept up the relationship with the friend, who we will call AssClown, because he's not really a good friend or person.

AssClown visited over the weekend and brought his new girlfriend who will be called SharpEyes. I did not plan on being around this weekend but they spied me leaving the house Friday morning on my way to my speech appointments at the VA and I was obliged to entertain them in the absence Roomie-M- and Roomie-F- as they were at school and work, respectively. I smiled and was polite to both, and reminisced about the 'old' days with AssClown and clued SharpEyes in to some of our more comedic adventures.

It wasn't too bad, I got out of there pretty quick and went on with my weekend.

When I returned home last night Roomie-M- immediately met me outside with a pretty convenient excuse of helping me avoid a downed branch in the yard and informed me that SharpEyes had said that I looked like I was in the middle of transitioning and seemed curious about whether I was transgender. She pointed out that I had long hair, boobs (teacups, really), an 'unusually smooth' face, and that I was feminine. Saying that AssClown's comment to me that "you look like your sister" immediately got her wondering.

SharpEyes' decision to make such a comment in my absence is a bit of an etiquette question I think, but not my focus here.

When the subject was broached AssClown (being of a weak and agreeable personality) allegedly said "probably. Faggot." (This from someone who is allegedly a friend)

Roomie-M- knows I am trans. He knows I am transitioning. And he knows that when I briefly met SharpEyes I was on my way to a voice feminization appointment at the VA. He admitted that he didn't know what to say, so he said nothing and just mumbled about 'not knowing'.

Roomie-F- does not know that I am transitioning. She is a good person, and both Roomie-M- and I think she would most likely be very supportive. But the overwhelming fear of what her reaction could be freezes my breath in my lungs. I am in a place far away from home. I am only barely financially stable. And even if she was not hostile but merely uncomfortable with the idea of living with a transgender woman, I would not be able to stay here and not have a nervous breakdown. I'm moving out in August. Either to Murfreesboro TN or out to Denver CO, and the idea that my status could have been exposed with potentially catastrophic results within sight of being independent again is horrifying.

I could be angry that Roomie-M- did not say something about AssClown's homophobic comment, especially as it was directed at me. But I am grateful that he had the presence of mind to keep his mouth shut and not potentially make a tenuous situation worse by inadvertently confirming or suggesting that they were right. Luckily Roomie-F- did not seem to be interested in these (multiple) attempts to broach the subject by SharpEyes (both Roomies think the weekend was a disaster) and the three of us went out to a normal dinner without the subject having arisen.

But if Roomie-M- had made disparaging comments about LGBT people in order to cover for me... I think I would be hurt, but probably still grateful. It's a terribly complicated thing for me, and it seems for all trans people. I know Roomie-M- has my back about this, and that his actions would always be directed to helping me. And so while whenever the transgender subject comes up with increasing frequency I always either avoid the subject or keep a neutral "hey, people have a right to live happily as long as no one else is getting hurt" if directly questioned, I know that Roomie-M- doesn't deal with my fear and doesn't think very often about what to do in such circumstances. I might be disappointed if he were to say something negative about me in the interest of helping me, for want of knowing what else to do, but I would understand his dilemma and motivation.

 

So, Pep, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I understand why your relation would say/agree with disparaging or hateful comments about her own interests and beliefs. The fear of being marked is strong. Not just because people have religious beliefs and 'values' that find me contemptible, but because the general anti-trans attitude is that being trans = being a literal pervert. I can deal with people hating me, I can deal with not being wanted, but the thought that someone could look at me and see something akin to a pedophile makes me want to curl up and cry. And I can understand why someone who might feel similarly might take extreme steps to avoid such a situation.

That all being said. I remember when the general anti-gay attitude was the same. Luckily that perspective seems to have shrunken to the extremists (from my POV) since I was young. And that only happened because brave souls like those who've been here above took a stand for their right to simply exist. Maybe in ten or fifteen years your friend won't feel compelled to make such comments. I hope so. All I can say is that I respect greatly your inability to bear witnessing hateful speech, and I sympathize with your friend.

If I may make a suggestion in my youthful ignorance. If you haven't spoken to her about these things, about how you understand her motives but cannot accept them, maybe you could consider having a conversation. She might want to change for you, but even if she doesn't it could at least provide some understanding and maybe even plant a seed for her going forward.

Of course I know nothing about the specifics of your relationship and whether that could be the right move, I only thought I could suggest it.

Hugs.

Edited by WinterFox

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On Invalid Date at 3:42 PM, Lily Valley said:

 

 

Agreed.  

@Weeping Sore,

...

My point is, at that close of a proximity, I literally watched her go through the same types of transformations that I went through at that age as far as public presentations go.  It is VERY HARD to find a woman's presentation that matches your personality and influences the society around you in the "right way".  Someday I will tell you all about my 20 year experiment on Hair Color vs. Personal Space vs. "bitch-factor tolerance".  It's a 3-D plot.  (sighs).

I'm probably most plausible as a low-femme, preppy basic bitch, maybe with some ex-jock in there given the height.

Is this the right time for me to note my increased attraction to ladies with a soft-butch look? Like Kate McKinnon as Justin Bieber? :lol:

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One of my old class mates from college who I was never especially close to but we did chat every now and again since college ended and I've always been quite fond of her just came out to me as trans and I feel quite honoured actually that she would chose to share this information with me and of course it wouldn't leave my personal chat with her but I just feel happy that I am seen as a trustworthy person to someone I was never close to in college but always did quite like. And I'm happy for her as well of course and I hope I can be a friend to her when and if she needs it 

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1 hour ago, Theda Baratheon said:

One of my old class mates from college who I was never especially close to but we did chat every now and again since college ended and I've always been quite fond of her just came out to me as trans and I feel quite honoured actually that she would chose to share this information with me and of course it wouldn't leave my personal chat with her but I just feel happy that I am seen as a trustworthy person to someone I was never close to in college but always did quite like. And I'm happy for her as well of course and I hope I can be a friend to her when and if she needs it 

Well, if she had to make that revelation to anyone, I'm glad it was you.

That said, if I live to 100, I will never understand why anyone chooses to reveal they are trans in today's social/political climate.

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1 hour ago, Robin Of House Hill said:

Well, if she had to make that revelation to anyone, I'm glad it was you.

That said, if I live to 100, I will never understand why anyone chooses to reveal they are trans in today's social/political climate.

On Friday I am going to tell two friends who have expressed interest in getting a house together that I'm trans. :)

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13 hours ago, WinterFox said:

On Friday I am going to tell two friends who have expressed interest in getting a house together that I'm trans. :)

I wish you the very best with that, and hope your experience with trusting others is far better than mine.

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