If you wish for your blood pressure to remain relatively stable this morning, do not seek out the latest thread on transsexual summer on the UK military’s gossip board, ARRSE.
(And if you clicked and are now mopping coffee from your screen, don’t say i didn’t warn you).
Revolting. ALthough probably not as hate-filled as the language suggests. Bear in mind: these are army soldiers, young, testosterone filled and possibly a tad unsophisticated.
One comment strikes home. Someone calling themselves “llech” writes:
As with most TS/TG they are wholey unconvincing in their gender(every time one of the kids seen one out and about they would just look bemused and say “Thats a tranny!”, still if you knew no-one else would find out…..
Does llech have a more than average acquaintance with trans women? He (?) does not say…so we shall speculate no further.
However, the comment is not untypical of a lot of what gets said about trans folk…and highlights perfectly an irony that emerged in a Trans Media Watch discussion today. Which is: how come there aren;t more trans men and women visible in the public view.
To which my answer is: how would we know?
I was saddened recently when one (trans) woman who had been instrumental in my own decision to transition cut all ties. I understand: she has transitioned, is fully stealth, and the last thing she needs is a bunch of half-transitioned folk hanging around. Still sad.
Then there’s trans summer itself. How much further can TV shows go. The reason the papers so focused on the humiliating before and after shots of trans women, espesh, is that its a story in which change is noticeable…plus some degree of previous lived gender.
Trans summer is not as bad…though it maintains the interest. Because these are half-formed transitioners still. Some may realise: others not; that there are significant changes still in the pipeline.
At the end of the day, not all will pass. I remain sceptical that i will…but day by day i am faced with the most bizarre evidence that maybe i am wrong: maybe i am already passing to a significant part of the population.
So, sure: the twittersphere has a go at trans summer’s Sarah – but most of those making cruel comments almost certainly don’t understand how far she has to go still on her journey.
Out-takes? First, I am wondering at what point the public appetite for trans stories will fade. As long as those in the spotlight are still recognisably “in-between” there is interest. But after a point, where is the spectacle value in focussing on a bunch of men and women who, er, look exactly like men and women?
Trans summer, yes…But trans autumn may be a long time coming.
Second, that all impacts on visibility. On the thread in question, one poster asked why trans folk weren;t more visible. Er, maybe the answer is in the question itself.
For are we, perhaps, one of the few – maybe even the only – minorities whose end aim is NOT to be visible?
The further down the transition road i travel, the less visibly trans i feel i wish to be. If i am a success at my career(s) i will be in the public eye as a journalist, as a writer, as a commenter on sexuality and relationships…as a feminist, perhaps even as a lesbian.
Less and less as “a trans”.
Which is the problem in a nutshell. Those of us that the public spots are, by definition, those who are visible. What they do not get – maybe would be very worried if they understood better – is that the more successful we are at transitioning, the less likely we are to be seen at all.
Invisibility, here i come!