Don’t get all excited, this is not another story of one of my public speaking “opportunities” where I get caught in the face with curve balls and manage to sweat through a suit coat. I’m sure further instances will arise, and I promise, fingers crossed, not to share. I know that made little sense, and was just a taste of what it’s like to have to hear me stumble through a PowerPoint presentation, and you guys are not even a hostile audience for the most part. I’m talking about being transgender and living a life less private.
The question popped up over in PinkEssence where another blogger was contacted by a person purporting to be a documentary maker who wanted to ride the wave of trans chic and make one about her life. There was considerable debate about whether this is a good idea from a personal perspective. I don’t remember how it ended up. They have these infuriating Adobe Flash ads all over the place that lock up my browser every time I go there and try to be social. Technical difficulties aside, I had to think about what I would do in such a situation. It’s not an easy question.
I spent my first 30 some years living as private a life as possible. I had reasons I wasn’t super jazzed about being looked at too closely. I hated attention, the limelight, lights that were not citrus based at all, and became adept at throwing distractions over to the side for people to look at instead of me. I even advised my boss I hated any sort of personal recognition. Seriously, who does that? Now everything has changed. In a building where I preferred to think the majority didn’t even know my name, I became a water cooler discussion topic over night. Amazingly, it all turned out not to be the end of the world. Yes, I still like to just live my life and do my job, but it is a little flattering when people take an interest. Who knew that could be a good thing?
The reality that all my reasons for being secretive are now gone. On top of that, I went and published all the details to boot. One stop shopping in case I ever decide to run for president. Don’t give me that look, I’m almost rocking the Michele Bachman haircut now, never mind that outdated old Gravitar over there on the right. I might even get further too, with my sensible ideas and correct first name spelling. Don’t hold your breath. The point is that it doesn’t get much more public than this. As of now, everyone I’ve ever know who is still in contact with me has one stop shopping to discover everything I ever found mortally embarrassing and I don’t even care. I’m good with all that.
So yeah, I think I would do it, not that I’m expecting anyone to ask. So what if strangers are suddenly privy to the details of my life? I already have zero interest in what they think anyway, so no reason for that to change. On top of that, I’m not really so interesting that the majority of people wouldn’t flip over to a reality show about hillbillies trying to make quiche after a few seconds. The whole concept of fame is an illusion anyway, and I’ll just never be that girl who cares if her name is in the paper. Worst case scenario is that it’s cleverly edited to have me come off as Snooki’s dumb ass cousin or something. Ugh. Fucking Snooki.
Making the grandiose assumption that anyone else thinks like me (aside from my twin in Scotland), I have to make the statement that even if it makes no sense personally, and assuming further that there is nothing to lose, I don’t see the harm in getting the exposure. For me it would be a zero sum game, but the possibility exists that it could help someone else. People like Jenny Boylan, Chloe Price, and Caroline Temmerand put themselves out there, and when I was still struggling, hearing these stories helped me a ton. A population of pre-transition trans people lurks in the unspoken periphery of the world, ticking away, and just waiting to really manifest full steam in the shittiest, most inconvenient time possible. If we can make it easier for them, we should. If we can make it easier for their friends and loved ones by giving them something to read or watch about someone they don’t give much of a crap about, even better.
Long story short, if we can and the personal cost isn’t so onerous, I think we should. To me it just seems like one of those doing more good than harm situations, and let’s be honest, when we are struggling, we sure are glad others looked at it this way too.