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becoming more visible

Finding a practical comfort zone as a transgender person is not simple. Even if we say to ourselves that we should just not care about what others think we do because we are human. We seek approval and want to be loved and accepted; ideally while being able to present in a way that we are comfortable.

The world naturally and viscerally rejects the concept of a transgender person. Why? because it is confusing, to some visually disturbing and a foreign experience to most people. They simply cannot relate to the feelings that have always been part of our lives.

These constraints force us into a situation where we must literally ignore what people think of us because (simply put) a lot of people are going to disapprove of you. Many in your own family and circle of friends will not understand why you are doing this to yourself (and to them).

Therefore what is going to need to happen is that enough transgender people live openly thus becoming an unavoidable fact of life. People need to see us day in and day out and eventually realize that we don’t form part of an evil conspiracy. We go to our jobs, we see our friends and we want the same things out of life that they do.

There are enough activists out there now that the tide has truly begun to turn but I think it will take at least another generation before we are accepted as part of the fabric of society. To be where gays and lesbians are now will take at least that long.

In the grand scheme of history that is not a very long time at all.

I am doing what I can at my age while realizing that I am towards the tail end of a career that has seen me as a male for its entirety. However I don’t care if I am recognized on the street by someone who knows me and would be happy to explain. I don’t deny myself the right to go anywhere with the exception that in either mode I am not likely to go clubbing at 1 am. It’s just not the type of person I am.

When you get to an internal comfort zone you know it. It’s a peaceful feeling that you are honouring you right to present yourself in a way that you feel comfortable. If that method is to live partially as a male and partially as a female then so be it. No one has the right to define that for you.

In the province of Quebec you can now change your gender marker and name to reflect your own sense of identity without necessarily having undergone HRT treatments or reassignment surgery. The government has recognized that gender identity is less about plumbing than about how you feel and how you wish to express yourself.

No most people won't be lining up to make these changes, but for the little fraction of the population for whom this is important, it makes all the difference in the world.


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