No matter who or what you are, there are some particular challenges associated with this aspect of your existence. While true, I don’t think anyone is tuning in here to have me go on about the crushing trials and tribulations of artisan loose leaf paper makers, or were clinically disabled from huffing the hole air coming out of freshly cut Swiss cheese. Those folks likely have hundreds of blogs devoted to their mass culture problems. This blog is about trans stuff, so I’m going to stick with that. No, no, this isn’t an “everything sucks” post, so save your Kleenex for more joyful exudations. Ugh, I’m being gross again, but so are you for understanding.
Most of you reading this are either transgender, or at least know someone who is. Congratulations! You are rare. There just aren’t that many of us out there. Kind of. Let me qualify that just a bit. Yes, the transgender umbrella is pretty wide covering the transsexuals, cross-dressers, drag queens and kings, the intersex, the gender-queer, the two-spirited (of which I suspect are technically one of the above), and of course various media personalities such as 80’s era glam rockers in particular. Yeah, that’s a lot of folks, and we don’t really have a good count. I think the cross-dressers are the post populous, but also the most secretive as well. You might be a Peter Griffin and still dress like Lois on the weekend, and I’d never suspect. No, I’m talking about trans like me. We who have published name changes on public record (or will) and had to give up the idea that some questions are too personal to ask, at least for the time being.
It’s an old joke in any type of minority community that someone of the majority, whatever that may be, will immediately attempt to demonstrate a connection by mutual acquaintance, like the person knows very Latino or gay person in the tri-state area. The sad thing is that this has happed to me, and I generally do know the person they are talking about, and can usually identify them even if the person asking doesn’t know their current name. If a trans person appears on TV or another media outlet, even if I hadn’t met them, we are probably Facebook friends or chatted on PinkEssence. The pool is pretty damn small.
A small global pool means a really tiny pool of people You consider to be friend who stand a chance of really understanding the nature of your existence. Yes, the majority of us have mainly cisgender friends who are understanding and deeply supportive, but there is a critical difference between someone being understanding of you and actually understanding you. Explain away as we may, it’s no more possible for a cisgender person to really for surely understand us than it is for a man to be a woman and vice versa. You know, I sat here for like 10 minutes trying to come up with a good analogy (A cat a dog? A banana a grape? A Studebaker an old timey Cadillac with the big ass tail fins?) and there is was right in front of me. Who knew? Anyway, it’s nice to have lunch with people where we are all, “Yeah, yeah, we all get it, how about them Bills?”. OK, I never talk football, but you see where I’m coming from.
While it’s wonderful to have friends you don’t have to explain things to, I does kind of suck that there isn’t exactly a huge choice. I’m pretty lucky; Buffalo has a very vibrant trans community, and aside from one person I never see anymore, I’m fortunate enough to like everyone and enjoy seeing them. I don’t think most trans who live outside major metropolitan areas have it quite so good, or perhaps even members of my circles who may secretly hate us all but feel stuck, so they don’t say anything. Just on the basis of statistical probably, if you live in a smaller town, or happen to still be in high school or a private college, chances are it’s trans population: you.
Thankfully today we have the internet and all the goodies that come along with it, like social networks, PinkEssence, TransAlliance, and of course blogs. I’m clearly one of the people jazzed about all that, because I keep going on about it, like you all don’t know where you are reading this. I’ve made many good friends this way, and have had the fortune to correspond with very like minded individuals who not only mutually understand the whole trans thing, but understand it the same way I do, which is a whole order of magnitude cooler. Today I’d like to give a shout out to Becky over at ‘I Hate Roller Coasters’.
Becky and I are not only on the same page about everything, but have fallen into the habit of taking turns tackling subjects and publishing mere moments before the other was about the do the same thing. Although I’m always momentarily frustrated when she does this, every single time I can freely admit that she said it better than I would have, so it can be counted as a blessing. By the way, she published her own version of this post over a month ago, around the time I thought up this one, so I held off because damn it, I was going to say my bit this time anyway.
My point is that in a very small pool, I’m glad to have found so many sisters, and very glad to have an identical twin as well. Yes, she’s technically just a teeny tiny bit (like a microsecond) older, from a completely different northern cheese producing state, and now eats haggis and blood pudding for breakfast, but still my sister from another mister. If you are a reader and getting tired of my little jokes and long meandering to get to the point and want to hear the same perspective told better, check her out. Even if not, do it anyway; you won’t be sorry.