I do not know exactly how to explain Quora if you not already a subscriber. It's self description goes like this: "Quora is a question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited, and organized by its (Quora) community of users." It is like an intelligent version of YouTube where you can bounce for narrative to narrative and literally kill hours of idle or productive time.
I am one of the community of users in that I get notices and can comment on others questions or comments. A little like the early bullion board systems (BBS) where there is a stream to thought going and any member can jump in. There sees to be in inordinate number of question in aviation, religion, politics and being transgender.
A few days back I found this question on Quora:
If you're a transgender person who passes easily, when, (if at all) do you typically tell people you're transgender?
|Emily L Rizzo Counselor|
LCPC, LPC, NCC
"First of all I'm starting to think that using the term passing does me more harm than good. It is not fair to characterize myself as passing if my goal is to look like what I'm supposed to look like, right? I think a more accurate description is to say that I look feminine.
So here is the thing, if I look feminine (and just to be clear that is my goal) and being feminine speaks to the heart of who I am as a person and people who interact with me accept me as such then why would I want to confuse them?
And let's not kid ourselves the general cisgender public gets confused about transgender people. We're not confusing or confused mind you. But nevertheless people still get confused at the mere mention of the word transgender.
So I'm beginning to think that it's not me being transgender that confuses them it's the actual word transgender that confuses them. People understand gender and gender roles so when they hear trans and transition and add that to gender well they draw a reasonably understandable conclusion that I'm someone who switched from being male to being female and I can't say I blame them for drawing that conclusion.
If you know nothing else about the word transgender other than the meaning of the prefix and it's word then what else are you supposed to think? But I'm not proposing to call myself something else entirely.
I'm excited about finally having a label to describe how I've felt my whole life. This label has put me in contact with countless of other people just like me. It's let me know I'm not all alone so I'm not giving it up.
What I propose is a careful education of the cisgender people that I interact with everyday. I want them to understand what it means to be female, what are my expectations of them as they interact with me. I, just like many other women in my position have no desire to give my medical and psychological history to every Tom, Dick and Harry that crosses my path. It doesn't concern them and it doesn't benefit me either.
However for educational purposes I'm not shy or ashamed of who I am and of my experience as a woman so far, so if the situation arises that I can elucidate on the transgender confusion and create a teachable moment then I will not hesitate to lay myself bare on the alter of knowledge.
But let me be clear I will not allow myself to become the entertainment for close minded bigots and transphobes!"
Thank you so much Emily. Very well said!
Very helpful Rhonda. Thank you for sharing.ReplyDelete