Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Summer of Outings.

Apparently, this is just going to be the summer of outings for me. First I got outed to my summer employer, then to people at Luther, then to my grandmother, and now by my employer to another friend.

I ran into this friend of mine on Thursday night outside of the Haymarket. It's Nordic Fest in Decorah, and he was back in town visiting. It was one of those awkward conversations where he had heard that I was transitioning and brought it up right after he said hi so I didn't even have a chance to tell him myself.
He also used to work for my current employer. He looked after her son when he was younger and he also worked in catering. He had apparently stopped in to see my employer at her job and visit and say hi. All nice, polite, normal things to do, though this visit included her telling my friend that I am transitioning. And really, that part is ok with me. I would've told him if he hadn't heard already, and it's not like I'm deeply in the closet, or in the closet at all about being trans. The part that has me a little upset is what her comments to my friend were.

Apparently her commentary on the situation was something the lines of "so you're rebelling by becoming the status quo?"

That really hurt. It threw me off for the rest of the evening, I ended up leaving and going home after that and thinking about transitioning for a few hours. Hearing comments like that are difficult for me, it makes me doubt myself. It's similar to the argument that I'm less of a feminist for transitioning, that I'm conforming to the system and all that. It's the same message I get from my parents, from some of my friends. That I shouldn't have to transition if I really believe that gender isn't real, that what a "real" queer would do is live without transitioning, or that I'm somehow a better person and a better activist as a female. That I'm selling out. It makes me scared, that maybe I am selling out and being less feminist by transitioning. When did feminism become about policing others choices, bodies, identities?

And now my dilemma is that I don't know how I'm going to feel when I face my employer again on Monday. I know she respects me as a human, but I want her to respect my transition even if she doesn't understand it. On the one hand, I don't want to perpetuate any cycles of gossip so I don't really want to confront her with what my friend told me. One the other hand, if that's how she feels, she could have the decency to tell me, and she could then have the decency to listen to me instead of writing me off. Her kid gets it better than she does. And he's six.


Quaking Aspen said...

some people just have small minds, or small ranges of experience, or both. and some people are just stuck in the social paradigms of the 1970s. Sorry though.

Mugsie said...

Can I punch people for you? Please? Pretty please? I don't like it when people make you feel shitty.
If your reason for transitioning were to get male privilege, or because you felt to be a girl/woman you HAD to be a certain way, that would be one thing. But we both know those aren't your reasons. The idea that you're going against feminism/wtfever by becoming male just perpetuates the idea that all men are evil/incapable of being progressive/feminist/not part of a horrible cycle of violence. That's BAD. Please continue to be my living proof that (at least queer) men can be decent human beings too, k?

Dylan said...

I'm trying Z, I am trying