NOTE: This post may not represent the views of the rest TransEpiscopal group as a whole. The views herein are mine, and mine alone. Should there be agreement, so be it. There certainly exists dissent.
(Originally Posted 30 April 2007)
This past week, Mike became Christine, Bishop Robinson announced he and his partner would wed in New Hampshire, and I was told I could pursue HRT whenever I feel like it. This week the National Center for Transgender Equality is ramping up for ENDA Lobby Days. And Susan Estrich is wondering why one person's struggle to come out makes others squirm in their seats.
I wonder that too.
I have not come out yet to my co-workers. I likely won't until I have too. I have not come out yet to many in my family. Or to most of my fellow parishoners. Why? While fear and rejection are certainly part of it, another part is more based on the reaction of my surrounding colleagues, church-goers and family: their fear will likely result in a lashing out to me, or worse, to my spouse or children. What I feel I must do, the process of transition, aligning my body to fit my mental image and identification, affects on the whole no one else aside from me and those closest to me: my wife and children.
Does my coming out make you feel less secure about who you are? Do you suddenly feel the need to fit your gender stereotype all the more to make up for my 'switch'? Do you feel that I have been lying to you before I came out? If you are lashing out now because of my admission, can you justly argue why I should have come out earlier?
We are who we are. I am biologically male, but mentally female. If I could have rectified this dichotomy earlier in life, I would have. But we could play the 'If..." game forever, and nothing would change. Like Christine, I struggled for decades. Most trans folk do. As we must deal with ourselves, you, John and Jane Q. Public must likewise do soul-searching and realize that my decision, however you feel about it, is mine. I am here to stay. And I deserve a crack at happiness just like you do. Take your insecurity, your bigotry, and feelings of angst, and turn it into something constructive. Educate yourself. Try to imagine wearing my shoes. Ask questions. Or go into yourself and keep your negative feelings to yourself. I would hope for the former. Either way, deal with your fear and leave me to my happier existence.
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