Sunday, 19 July 2015

The real world and my/our place in it

The transgender elephant has once again walked into room and is becoming harder to ignore with every visit, The recent emergence of Caitlyn Jenner onto the world stage has made the world sit up and listen once again, even if they don't embrace Caitlyn's action they are discussing the transgender phenomena.

But is all this publicity really doing the trans community any favours or are we just becoming a royal pain in the backside to the normal world just like the gays were back in the 1980s?

Manchester Debenhams
It seems at every turn someone is jumping out of the closet and hitching a lift on the trans band wagon! not that I have a problem with all this publicity but how does it effect the lives of the thousand's of everyday trans people in the world.

Clacton on sea Essex
I know amongst the trans community I am part of the girls feel the Caitlyn Jenner circus is viewed with somewhat disapproving eyes because she hasn't it seems, been through what the average trans person goes through getting to the point she is now at. Lets face it having your first public outing on the cover of vanity fair is hardly the tentative walk around the block at the dead of night while wearing the most non descript outfit you can find.
Our own Kelly Maloney is another example of a trans woman who all of sudden appears has facial surgery and starts to become the voice of the trans community. At lest Kelly hasn't got a multi million pound publicity team behind her and as such she comes across as one of us.

So have these two women made my life any easier can I do more today than I could two years ago? I am not so sure they have.

The people who have made it possible for me to sit in the middle of Debenhams having a makeover are those unsung T girls who braved the law back in the 50s and 60s without those brave women the next gender bending generations ( I love that term gender bender) would not have been able to step out The gender fluid stars from the glam rock scene helped push the gender envelop further still with Trans related songs hitting the charts. The Beaumont society also did and still does help to promote a positive view of our community.

I have been lucky to meet some of the early pioneers who are now in their 60s and 70s. these women cut the path though really tough times. they tell tales of secret meeting places. a flat rented by a number of dressers so as they had a safe place to dress and express themselves. Being arrested for breach of the peace and being put infront of the judge and jury wearing the female clothes they wore and not being allowed to shave or makeup for the appearance. How things have changed.

So can we safely enter the real world without getting abuse, beaten up or treated like freaks?

It all depends on where you are and how you look! by how you look I don't mean you are a super model or 100% convincing I mean how you dress, talk and interact with the surroundings. Dress in a maids uniform, walk like a man and wear a rubbish wig while doing your Tesco shop then expect a little bovver.
I am lucky I live in the UK and for the most part it is safe to be whoever or whatever you want to be.
Above are a few photos of how I typically dress when going out and about. I try to look right for the task I am doing and not stand out for the wrong reasons.
Being 5ft 11in makes it a little hard to blend so rather than hide I tend to try and look as good as possible, walk talk and look the world in the eye. So far this has worked for me. Talking is another issue and something we all will have problems with. you might look stunning be short and totally passible but one you speak the whole world knows the truth. This is the one big problem area because up until now you have passed. What is that shop assistant going to say how will she react what about the people around me. Most people don't care just as long as you stay calm talk a little lower and move on. In fact I have found once I have been read the ice is broken and I talk more freely with people and they respond the same way back. Its looking promising so far isn't it maybe we do have a place in the real world.
With every outing I push the boundaries so much so that I can do pretty much everything a woman can. I use public transport, go to mainstream bars, use changing rooms and even use the ladies restroom. In all the times I have been out I have never had a problem. But then I don't look out of place.

Being accepted looks to be very possible, In the high street, some bars, restaurants. shops and most public places we are accepted and in reality not really noticed that much.

Do you think a trans Woman or Man can find work out in the big wide world? I do know of a few trans women with a mainstream job but that has normally been because they transitioned while doing the job they currently do. It might be easier for a trans man to get employment mainly because jobs for men tend to be invisible while jobs for women tend to be more public facing. How would you react to a trans nurse? I think we still have a long long way to go before we start seeing trans people in the workforce in any great number. This is one area where we are not viewed favourably.

We do have a place in the real world but we have to work for and not demand it. We need to be seen as normal and to be viewed as such, we need to look and behave like real women. we need to be seen as fitting into society and paying our way. the big thing we need to do is to give a positive impression of who we are. show the world we can be compassionate, caring, gentle yet strong when we need to be.
I have a good feeling about the future. sure a number of people will hate but most won't.
We need the Caitlyn's and Kelly's in our life to give the headline stories so as we don't fall out of sight. But most importantly we need to keep putting ourselves into the public domain so as the public get use to seeing a transgender walk past them.

In all truth I just want to be able to be me and me can be whoever I wake up as in the morning!

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