We’re only thinking of you…

Its for my own good. Of course it is. I mean: BEING trans is a dangerous hobby. One i’ve probably not given much thought to of late.

So what i really need are folks, according to a certain “Sound of Music” ditty, “older and wiser”, telling me what to do.

They only have my best intersts at heart: but it still hurts.

OK. I am not going to say who or when or where or what (thereby breaking every journalistic principle in the book). Those involved know my feelings on this matter: so if they happen to read this piece, it adds little i’ve not said already. And i’m not going to add fuel to the fire by outing cis queasiness.

Way back at the beginning of my transition, i was aghast when a drama group – a group that claimed publically to be ever so edgy and just that bit gender queer – politely suggested i back away from performing with them because it “would be unfair to me”. Huh?

Unpacking that i got a bit more stuff about “time of stress”: and digging a little deeper, they were just that bit concerned as to how parents of young girls in the company might view their daughters acting alongside a tranny.

Yeah. Right. Twas all for MY benefit.

But still, most nastiness over the intervening couple of years has come pretty much as labelled. “Fucking tranny” is the obvious on-street insult, coupled with the occasional suggestion that the hurler of said insult would like to do something physical and violent to me.

Until a couple of weeks ago when – blow me! – the same old narrative surfaced again. Organisers of an activity that i much enjoy suddenly and out of the blue suggested i not help out. Why? Er, well: it was for my own safety.

Bizarrely: they had gone off and discussed the issue and my safety and the implications for all concerned because i might just be too embarrassed to raise the issue myself. Cause, you know, us trannies are just like children and we need grown-ups to take our decisions for us!

And when THAT particular argument didn’t seem to have me jumping for joy, there was the fallback. THEY have no problem at all with whatever i am doing (I particularly liked the “whatever”). But some people… OTHER people… might have issues, which could lead to nasty scenes in public that would be distressing for others in the group.

Still, i needn’t be too upset, cause i could still help out in ways that, maybe, weren’t so much in the public gaze.

Flabbergasted. Hurt. Very, very, very hurt. Because, of course, whatever the outcome now, i don’t see how i can go back to before. Not for a while anyway.

So cis “concern” for my well-being means i won’t be doing something i much enjoyed: won’t be helping a voluntary project which does need support.

And i SILL don’t think those involved totally get it!


jane xx


16 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Polly Conroy said,

    Did you ever discover who or what triggered this? Or why they thought you would buy into the “for your own good” schtick?

  2. 2

    A conversation with my son revealed that a trans-tolerant cis friend “feels uncomfortable” in the bar where she works, when a trans woman visits the ladies’. So much fear … of what?? The only response I can think of in the face of people’s fears is to refuse to accept it, and talk about it head on, asking them to voice what they really are uncomfortable about so they can see how thin it is.

  3. 3

    Being trans is a hobby? Interesting concept.

  4. 4

    Caroline said,

    Bigotry is endemic amongst the poorly educated…

  5. 5

    carolyn ann said,

    Oh, I always love it when someone tells me something for my own good… I’ve never failed to notice it’s for theirs.

    Chin up. Friends like that aren’t friends.

  6. 6

    Jenna Powell said,

    Its great when people make a decision that affects you but without bothering to actually discuss it with you.
    The bible study group I went to since it was formed did this before Christmas as they felt that they needed to support my partner who was also in the group. I’d not have minded if they’d discussed it with me.
    I was then asked to attend a different set of church services to the ones I was going to because some of the young mums didn’t know how to explain what I was doing to their children.
    I’ve since stopped going to the church and don’t plan to go back.
    What I’ve found really interesting is that of all the people that I was friends with two people have linked with my new account on Facebook and I’ve not heard from anyone else. That includes at least one person that used I used to have coffee with every so often and who emailed me regularly to see how things were.

    None of these decisions have been for my benefit but for everybody else.

    As Carolyn Ann said “Friend like that aren’t friends.”

    • 7

      janefae said,

      Very sad to read this, though i guess i have two thoughts about what is going on here.

      First, the fact that they have decided to exclude YOU in preference to your partner suggests, presumably, that relations between the two of you are no longer quite as amicable as they might be? If that’s the case – i am assuming, based on your post – then i fear part of this is not a trans thing but just the normal taking sides that happens when a couple begin to separate. Not even taking sides. People who have known a couple for a long time find it difficult to come to tersm with the fact they are no longer together…too embarrassed to deal with both…and therefore have to pick and choose.

      That’s sad – but if – and it is only an if, since i don’t really know your circs – then its not simply anti-trans sentiment here, but other stuff as well.

      Second, the “mums not knowing what to tell their kids” thing is disgraceful – though i’ve seen it used elsewhere. It is almost always an abdication of responsibility by adults. Like: i believe children should have information about sex at most ages. But ffs: such information always should be age appropriate.

      You don’t give a full-on biology lesson to a five-year-old. You don’t give teens a load of soft stuff that’s totally sanitised of any useful facts.

      When it comes to “telling children”, its very simple at the youngest age: just a basic explanation that most people are born girls or boys and are happy with it but some people have the wrong body (or whichever particular version you wish to promote) and that the wonders of medicine mean that those who are unhappy get to choose a little how to change and feel happier.

      Wahay! You could even make a fairy tale out of it…and i might even do that.

      jane xx

  7. 8

    alexkingsley said,

    It’s insulting that they would even think you’d buy their hogwash. I’m so sorry their small-minded attitudes are curtailing your obvious enjoyment in taking part in whatever activities you’d planned to be a part of.

  8. 9

    herr brockman said,

    Could it be that, “So much fear … of what??” is founded in the simple reality, that despite your diligent gender presentation, the perception remains what it is?

    • 10

      janefae said,

      Which is…what? In my own experience, most cis women don’t have issues with those they perceive as trans women. So its hardly a problem if the individual is not totally stealth. The problem remains around the perception of the individuals involved of what being a trans woman represents to them.

      • 11

        I wasn’t prepared for the degree to which my identity shaped others’. Suddenly, it seems, it made others feel insecure because I was living proof that the tidy notions of gender weren’t quite right, and too much is built on the foundations of what “a man” and “a woman” represent as opposites.

  9. 12

    Lucy Melford said,

    I’d be really annoyed that I hadn’t been brought into the discussion, and would probably insist on another meeting being called to consider all the ‘problems’ with myself present – and taking part. Then the uncomfortable ones would have to come clean about their personal bigotry or embarrassments. Or shame themselves by staying away.

    It would of course be a terminal confrontation, because I wouldn’t be allowed to stay on after such a showdown. But I can’t see what there is to lose, if the alternative is to go quietly, shooed away by an underhand decision. Might as well enjoy seeing people put on the spot, and certainly make whatever points I felt needed to be made; and then depart with a flourish.

    My goodness, I have become bold. I wouldn’t consider doing this in the old mode. But experience adds steel and stature.


    • 13

      Funny that isn’t it? I’ve never been so assertive about myself. When you’ve been to the end of the road as it were, nothing fazes you quite the same. Maybe it’s because you’ve faced fairly ultimate questions and found the sky doesn’t fall in.

  10. 14

    Shirley Anne said,

    Why don’t people cut to the chase and openly admit their feelings? I would appreciate that more than a veiled innuendo. Despite what anyone said I would have continued en femme anyway and let them come to terms with it!

    Shirley Anne xxx

  11. 15

    herr brockman said,

    “Which is…what”?

    Male privelege, perhaps.

  12. 16

    Shirley Anne said,

    No…female privelege, we are talking about women here not transvestites but maybe the principle should remain the same for everyone.

    Shirley Anne x

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