what to do

Emma’s comment to my post about having coffee with Leila made me reflect. We as trans people have an interesting dilemma sometimes in dealing with how much to come out to others. If we blend in to the extent that we are taken for cis females what is our obligation in revealing that we weren’t born that way?

Many older transwomen chose to transition in stealth and for good reason: society wasn’t ready for them back then and the backlash would have been dramatic. Because of this early transition, many were spared the effects of prolonged testosterone exposure which means that they were able to blend seamlessly into society and, in some cases, even marry men who knew nothing of their history.

Today this is virtually impossible, but we do have situations where many of us can pass for genetic females and have some people know and others not. When we meet new people, we must decide to what extent we want them to know our history especially if they are not close friends. There is no simple answer here.

I do not think that our decision not to tell is about deception but rather our natural desire to protect ourselves from the prejudice we are used to hearing about all our lives. Our impetus to fit in and be accepted on the merits of more than our gender is what is behind our hesitation.

As my life as Joanna has expanded itself I have been faced with this dilemma and I will continue to take things as they come and decide on a case by case basis what I will do.


  1. Hi Joanna, you're to be commended and complimented on all that you've done. I envy trans women who're automatically gendered as a female. What a relief that would be!

    That said, I'm good friends with Marlo Mack —who has the podcast "How to Be a Girl"— and her 11-year old trans daughter. Marlo and I have talked about how her daughter will always be seen as female and the unique challenges she'll face as she lives her life as a woman. Thank goodness that transwoman misogyny seems to be increasingly anachronistic with younger people.

    My comment arose from my recent awareness and acceptance that as much as I'd prefer to be automatically gendered as female that I prefer to just be seen and witnessed as a woman (trans or not) who carries herself with pride. I hope that a side-benefit to this is that the cis people I meet will hopefully be able to remark to their families and friends that (surprise!) I'm just a normal person.

    1. You are indeed just a normal person Emma but unfortunately there will always be forces in this world that wont let us be because of their small minds. Makes the need for self love and a thick skin all the more pertinent.


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