A recent event, of which I’m not going to go into too much detail here, led me to understand that to some of the willfully ignorant, my transition is something of a hobby. Really, it’s true! For some reason it never occurred to me that someone would think that, so I was very surprised when verbally accosted when least expecting it. It didn’t help that the venue was such that responding with any real oomph would have escalated the melee and ruined everyone’s good time instead of just mine. I know, I know I can sense the outrage from a distance, but I ask you trust me that I did the right thing for the situation. Really, you had to be there.
Yes, I used ‘willfully ignorant’ on purpose because this person has known about my transition for a solid year now and apparently hasn’t even bothered to take the 5 minutes to look it up on Wikipedia to gain a rudimentary understanding. It’s fine if people simply don’t want to know, but another to speak to it as if in possession of anything other than silly prejudice. In case you can’t tell, I’m still just a tiny bit riled. No worries, I will not be caught unaware again.
I have to wonder, however, how prevalent the opinion is out there that transition is some sort of hobby or whimsical pastime? It makes sense I suppose to those who have a very murky understanding of the difference between transsexuals and cross-dressers. If one is aware though that we are undergoing a second puberty, growing breasts, being shot in the face with lasers, and planning to undergo some major remodeling in our genital area, one would think common sense would prevail at least to some point. “Wait, could Michael (gotta love it when people refuse to call you by the right name as if it will change anything) possibly be doing all this for reasons other than giving me a hard time?” Sadly, this rarely occurs.
Clearly the bloody discomfort of all of this is nothing more than an attempt to get her goat. “Remember that time you insisted I make you coffee even though I was ass deep in a muddy project out back? Zing! Gotcha!” For some if it’s not about them, it can’t possibly be about anything. I believe the condition is called ‘low differentiation’ wherein if it is not true to their own experience, it can’t possibly be true to yours. “I’m not horribly uncomfortable with my gender, so I can’t fathom why you would be. Why must you punish me by pretending the world might be different than I think by your presence? Can’t you understand it is far more unpleasant for me to have to see you than you feel being stared at like a freak?” Yeah, that was pretty much the take away from that conversation.
I would like to imagine that any ill feelings were born from a sense of outrage regarding the consequences to a well loved family member who is affected the most by this. Feeling mad on someone’s behalf is a very human thing and can be very empathetic and beautiful. If, however, the aggrieved party is no longer upset, any righteous indignation a supporter feels is then about them, not the original aggrieved person. Make no mistake about it. If they let it go, and you feel the need to get upset on their behalf, that’s all about you. It’s perfectly fine to have negative feelings on your own, but attempting to mask them by saying there is no problem but for this other person is pure bullshit.
OK, this sure was one of my rantier posts, but needed to vent a little bit. Please don’t trouble yourself by feeling pissed on my behalf, I’m over it now and came though just fine and better armed for the future. As a college friend used to say, I’m not bitter, just vindictive.