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Author Topic: Guilted for not being 'out'.  (Read 1607 times)

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Offline Mouse

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  • Om nom nom.
Guilted for not being 'out'.
« on: March 25, 2008, 02:50:48 PM »
I recently got into an argument with a genderqueer individual that I know on the fact that I have made the decision to, for the most part, in regards to the fact that I'm transsexual, live entirely stealth.

They argued that they feel as though a trans person living as stealth is ultimately detrimental to the transgender community due to the fact that I fail to give trans people a human face or speak out about the issues enough to bring about any sort of social change. They find it irresponsible for me, as a trans person, to not openly and consistently tell people that I'm trans.

I feel as though it's bullshit, for a number of reasons, many of which I'm sure some gay members of this site can relate with me on as it wasn't too long ago that being out as gay was considered both literal and social suicide. I live stealth because of safety, because I feel as though I should have the privilege of living my life as normally as anyone else and because I rightfully would like to avoid the nearly inescapable issue of having people constantly inquiring about my body should they know it is not what they expect it to be.

There are still many gay people who are not 'out', perhaps they live in an area where it would be dangerous for them to be out, or being out would perhaps cost them family, or friends, or community.

Being trans is not a facet of my personality, a part of who I am, or an identity of mine anymore than liking other boys is. Thankfully I live in a time and place in the world where it being commonly known that I like boys does not hinder how other people see me as a male, or effect my employment situation or keep me from having friends or securing a place in my family. Unfortunately, we do not live in a time where you can be open about your trans status and still feel as though these things are safe.

I would like to be able to educate people more than I do now, as it IS difficult to speak about these things and still continue to keep people from knowing I'm trans - despite the conferences I attend, the protests and events locally that I try to help organize and advertise, there is still that barrier of people seeing me as just another person that has about as much experience personally with the issue that they do. They are less likely to take what I say to heart because they don't realize I am a 'real flesh and blood' tranny. The problem is that there are so few of us, and due to these issues, an even smaller number that are willing to be open about our condition, that we may as well be unicorns to most people - mythical, legendary beasts that you may occasionally see in a movie or Maury or something but have ultimately very little impact on real life.

As far as I know I'm the only active trans member of this forum, but I'm sure a bunch of you can relate on other issues. Any thoughts?

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Guilted for not being 'out'.
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2008, 03:26:39 PM »
I'd probably agree that, at your present age, you may find that you have enough to deal with living simply as an "out" gay individual.  The trans part is an whole other layer to add on maybe right now, which of course doesn't mean that you will always decide on that route.  And of course, being HIV+ is another layer as regards being "out" about that subject.  Do these people also expect you to be an Out Gay HIV+ Transboy?  The whole nine yards?  On a fundamental theoretical level they are right -- being totally out removes the stigma, but there are practical things that come into play.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline BT65

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Re: Guilted for not being 'out'.
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2008, 03:41:18 PM »
Honey, you have so many things going on in your life right now, being 'out' might be a bit much at this present time. 

Here in Hoosierville, there are support groups for people that include a gay men's support group, a trans support group, a youth 'out' group, and an HIV support group.  There used to be a gay women's support group, but trans individuals started attending it, the ladies didn't feel comfortable, therefore the women's support group no longer exists.  There are prejudices everywhere baby, everywhere. 

Only you can decide when you want to make your revelation to the world.  You'll know when the time's right.  I revealed my HIV status years ago on a local news show on World Aids Day.  I pretty much though stay to myself and people who share the same concerns I have (HIV, bisexual, recovering addict etc).  I have a wide range of friends, not saying I purposely exclude people.  It's just easier to not be around a lot of 'normies.'  I don't know if any of this makes sense. 

You know I only wish the best for you.  You need to make decisions based on how you feel.  Not a genderqueer, not even what we think may be right for you.  We can only offer suggestions; you go with your heart. 
  Luv you,
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline thunter34

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Re: Guilted for not being 'out'.
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2008, 04:44:20 PM »
Thankfully I live in a time and place in the world where it being commonly known that I like boys does not hinder how other people see me as a male, or effect my employment situation or keep me from having friends or securing a place in my family.

I'm still blown away just by this part.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Guilted for not being 'out'.
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2008, 04:53:57 PM »
I'm still blown away just by this part.

Something tells me that may change when he moves to western Pennsylvania.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Mouse

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  • Om nom nom.
Re: Guilted for not being 'out'.
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2008, 05:16:51 PM »
Something tells me that may change when he moves to western Pennsylvania.


Emphasis on time and place.

Offline Snowangel

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Re: Guilted for not being 'out'.
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2008, 09:38:09 PM »
Hi Mouse-
I think you have to do what is right for you.  If and when you are ready you can "out" yourself all the way, half the way, whatever.  It is easy for people to judge and decide what is right for you but ultimately, you have to be the one to do what you are going to be comfortable and able to live with.  I don't think it is something you should worry about right now. My personal opinion, you should get your education, decide what you want to do in life and become successful and then knock everyone on thier asses in a big way....when your ready  ;)

Just curious, how old were these people?  And are they "out"?

Snow
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Offline Dragonette

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Re: Guilted for not being 'out'.
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2008, 09:13:37 AM »
I can relate, b/c I feel the same whenever HIV comes up and I act as though it has nothing to do with me.
I really despise myself then.

But this is not a summary of your life so there are still things that could change. You might surprise yourself. Everyone needs to be in a place where they feel confident and secure enough in relationships and even physically to be able to come out as whatever is not socially acceptable at that context. I have a feeling you will one day... I can totally imagine a bestseller, something like My Pet Virus. But if not that's OK. The difference is, you might feel you have to come out and you're being dishonest if not but there are many many secrets that people don't come out with at first or at all. It only burns when you feel that you can't do it, but I think that you are making a weighted, sensible descision and that it can change, depending on the circumstances.
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline mjmel

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Re: Guilted for not being 'out'.
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2008, 11:45:36 AM »
When you're damn good and ready will be the right time for you. We do not live our lives according to other peoples timing or convictions. We contemplate other peoples politics and lifestyles--and "ooh and ahh". But, we travail by our own convictions and in our own timely fashion.
Mike

Offline Winiroo

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Re: Guilted for not being 'out'.
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2008, 01:19:03 PM »
Your being transsexual doesn't have diddly to do with a cause. Its who you are.
Until a time comes where you want to put your gender identity out there for the world to know, its not any of the general public's business.

Just like its not the public's business that I have AIDS or that I've had my tubes tied or anything else about me that is personal information.
There is no shame in wanting to blend in with everyone else. Not everyone walks around with a t-shirt or banner announcing to the world what makes them different than average, and that's ok.

Don't worry about what other people want you to be. Be yourself.


http://cmd.shutterfly.com/commands/pictures/slideshow?site=winiroo&page=winiroo&album=21
ďBeing powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.Ē Margaret Thatcher

Offline keyite

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Re: Guilted for not being 'out'.
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2008, 07:55:25 AM »
When you're damn good and ready will be the right time for you.

Too right. Yes, the more visibility, the better, whether that be trans, gay or HIV+, but we're not all alike. For some being out will be much easier, a necessity to existence almost, whereas for others it's just too overwhelming, painful or difficult. Doesn't make them lesser people.

I'm pretty much out to everyone with respect to being gay but there's still circumstances where I choose not to be. Sometimes because I fear negative reactions and don't have the emotional surplus that particular day to deal with it and sometimes because I just don't feel they or I have anything to gain from it. And sometimes because it's actually none of their bloody business what my sexual orientation happens to be. When it comes to my HIV status I control that information much more closely still. It may well not stay that way forever but that's how it is right now. As is my prerogative - and yours too.

 


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