That Moment When…

That moment when… You’re in a class and although you assume you’re “visibly trans,” you have to decide to say “as a trans woman” because there’s a point that you can’t really make without outing yourself.

Again this is where being “out and proud” is different if you’re T vs. LGB — for latter it’s telling people who you really are, but for transitioning trans people it tends to focus attention on who you were (or at least who people think you were).

One of the things I enjoy about burlesque and BurlyCon in particular, is that it’s been a space where I’m accepted as a woman in the company of (almost exclusively) women. Last year’s BurlyCon was marred for me by some transphobic incidents — both the incidents themselves, but also that by calling attention to them I by necessity had to call attention to myself being trans.

Now I’m not one of those transitioners who plans to disappear into the woodwork post-transition. I’m proud to be a woman who’s trans. But there’s just some days where it’s just… nice… to have that not be the thing that defines me. To be just another woman.

Today wasn’t something that needed calling out. I didn’t have to raise the point I raised, it was just offering an insight that was a bit unique.

(It was a class on eye contact and one of the exercises was for everyone to walk around the room and hold eye contact far longer than normal as they encountered people. For me, I initially had to stifle an automatic defensive reaction, because “the stare held too long” is the reaction I get from people who are displeased by my gender, or at least are trying to figure out my gender. And while I don’t let that bother me anymore, it does mean I go do become much more watchful of whether the person staring poses a potential threat. At this point it’s more of an ever-present, almost unconscious continual threat assessment, just likes he ones I do without thinking as a woman being out in the streets at night.)

I raised this because I thought it would be a useful bit of gentle consciousness raising, especially apropos now.

But yeah, it’s complicated…