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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Transition vs Presentation


Social Acceptance


2018
I embraced the term transgender many years ago. It just seems to fit (pun intended) although the action of cross-dressing was what I was doing. I always felt my gender identity was much more complex than just dressing up. Of course, there was an erotic component during my teen years but during that time in any male’s life, everything has an erotic component. As confusing as being transgender is, I managed to grow up well adjusted accepting situations as they arose - dyslexia, schooling, career, marriage, family - while being transgender.

My level of comfort at being feminine was an added complexity and still is. Being feminine felt natural and fit. When time allowed it, minutes as Rhonda, became hours, days and extended times. People accept her, like her and my own level of comfort expands. Rhonda fits in so well at times, she scares me.

Friends that know me within our community ask, “When are you going to transition?” And new acquaintances ask, “How long since you transitioned?” Did they know/see something that I did not? Am I rejecting the obvious?

Now as I shop and go into restaurants, I am c
onsistently greeted as female. Ma’am, what can I get you? Several people spoke up for me while in line just a few day ago; “This lady was next.” Chivalrous older men open doors for me and smile.  My feminine confidence soars. 

I have given up correcting when misgendered, in that action on my part just confuses the issue even more. Honestly, I am not making an effort to look female all the time. Other than being myself; longer white hair, a slight southern accent, and a typical Florida casual look. Maybe a slight bit androgynous. 

Back to transitioning: I am still not personally comfortable with the term. By definition: "Passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another". I have not and am not passing from one stage to another. If anything I have just evolved. I have learned to never say “never”, however transition is not a goal at this time.


For many transitioning is a necessity and I am not undermining it's relevance. Those that transition (M to F, F to M) are moving from one stage in their life to another. Rejecting the past and moving to one that they were to be all along. I am only speaking from my own perspective.   

As a transgender person, I like the term "presenting" to delineate my actions. Presenting: "Exhibit an outward or physical appearance". Thus in my case, presenting feminine through a deliberate or an ambiguous appearance.


So for now I am "presenting" as myself. If misgendered, which is correct? I will go with the obvious with no corrections needed; Social acceptance is nice


I love this recent quote by Hollywood transgender powerhouse, Lilly Wachowski:
To be transgender is something largely understood as existing within the dogmatic terminus of male or female. And to ‘transition’ imparts a sense of immediacy, a before and after - from one terminus to another. But the reality, my reality is that I’ve been transitioning and will continue to transition all of my life, through the infinite that exists between male and female as it does in the infinite between the binary of zero and one. We need to elevate the dialogue beyond the simplicity of binary.

       




2 comments:

  1. Rhonda you represent the complexity that being transgender is and it often is not just moving from one state to another in a flash. We morph as people with age and experience and we embrace all facets of ourselves and if that isn't a transition then I don't know what is. You are yourself and whatever that requires you do or don't do is unique to Rhonda. Nuff' said

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