Usually I don’t give it a thought. I generally don’t worry about how my being transgender affects those around me. I often feel it is good for the person who finds out to know someone who transgender whether they accept me or not. It is my stubborn belief that this somehow changes the world in some way, at least within the bubble of people who know me.
The reality is that this little fact about me is something that I can’t change. I didn’t choose it. I did the best I could to avoid it and not deal with it, but in the end reality won. I extend that to the rest of the world. The reality is that I do exist, and if people are uncomfortable with that fact they can avoid it all they want, but the denial doesn’t change the reality. So yeah, if my existence causes someone to think about gender in a way that maybe they haven’t before it is a good thing as far as I can tell. It is not my problem if someone takes issue with another person because they are different. It is for them to deal with; I already dealt with it myself.
So if mom is forced to learn how to respect pronouns, even if it takes ten years, it’s a good thing in the end. If your bigoted uncle can’t accept it, at least the information is rattling around in his brain in a way that it never had before. Even if the outcome of their processing this knowledge doesn’t end with our desired result, I still see it as a positive. I am no longer willing to not be who I am just to make others comfortable. If someone has a problem with me being transgender, they should really get some help for that.
"THERE WILL BE MOMENTS IN THEIR LIFE WHEN THEY WILL EITHER HAVE TO EXPLAIN THAT I AM TRANSGENDER TO SOMEONE OR FIND THEMSELVES IN THE UNAVOIDABLE POSITION OF HAVING TO DEFEND ME."
For me, there is one big exception to all of this, when it comes to my kids. In their case, I do care about how my being transgender affects them. There will be moments in their life when they will either have to explain that I am transgender to someone or find themselves in the unavoidable position of having to defend me. At some point there will be a situation in their lives where my being transgender will affect the course of things for better or worse. Though it is just a plain reality of life, I still feel bad that my existence puts them in that position at all.
Recently, one of my daughters started dating someone new and she seems to really like this person. She had already told him that she had two moms (my wife and I), and he didn’t even flinch about it. He sounds like he is a pretty open minded guy and that is a great thing to hear. After all, it is obvious that we are both women, and at some point if he were to meet us he would eventually figure it out. There is another part to the equation however that may or may not be so obvious, the fact that one of those moms is transgender.
So my daughter came to me and asked how I felt about how she should handle the situation. It was not that she was embarrassed about who I was, it was that she didn’t want to just out me without my permission or knowing about it. From her perspective it is a part of who she is, and she wants to be with someone who cares about her for who she is entirely. At the same time she doesn’t want to hurt me. She wants to be honest, but also feels it is my business whether someone needs to know.
"I ESSENTIALLY GAVE HER FULL PERMISSION TO OUT ME IF IT IS RELEVANT TO HER EXPERIENCE."
My first feeling about it is that I am incredibly lucky to have such an amazing daughter who would care about me enough to even ask me how I felt about it. My second is that I feel bad that this is something that she even has to think about. My third feeling was that I trusted her to handle this information how she saw fit. I essentially gave her full permission to out me if it is relevant to her experience. I trust her fully, and if she felt the need to disclose this information, I know she would do so in a way that was respectful to me.
It would be disappointing to hear that someone would not want to date my daughter because one of her parents was transgender. I guess that is why I feel bad about all this. My being transgender puts my children in a position to be judged by others for something that that maybe they wouldn’t have if I didn’t exist. I know they don’t feel that way, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t worry about it. Even though they wouldn’t want to date someone who has a problem with transgender people anyway, I still feel bad that it is something they have to think about at all.
When people give someone who is transgender a hard time, they are usually thinking about how it affects them and not the transgender person. That is why I generally don’t worry about how my existence affects them anyway. They are already thinking about that. I think that is why I see it differently when it comes to my children. In their case they are thinking about me, and I am thinking about them, and for that I may just be the luckiest trans girl in the world.