Monday, May 29, 2023

Megaphone

As the number of people who don't know my history increases, I continue to just let things flow naturally and use a "don't ask, don't tell" approach. If someone suspects I am trans they can go ahead and ask me. People who  assume I'm a cis woman are not corrected but if they ever asked I would freely admit I am not. My intent is to go on a case by case basis.

There is no shame in being trans, however it is not owed information. My friend Sherry, who transitioned in her twenties, helped sell me on this idea. We are not obliged to trumpet it anymore than we should our orientation. After all, we aren't concealing anything when we present as ourselves.

In recent years, some trans people have come out when they didn't need to because of their desire to do advocacy. Here I think of transwomen Geena Rocero and Teddy Quinlivan who lived in complete stealth and chose to support other trans people by being role models even if they are more privileged than most in that they almost represent the ideal success story.

In the end, there is no perfect formula and had I not been blessed with some degree of passing ability my approach would of course have been different. Many young trans people perhaps rightfully despise the term "passing" (see recent video I posted) and might go out of their way to stand out proudly. But I grew up in a time where it was so scary to be discovered that I did my very best to blend in so as to fall under the radar. As I grew older and more confident in my identity, increasingly being mistaken for a cis woman by those I met became an accidental happy side effect especially once I had developed a working voice.

Maybe one day everyone who knows Joanna will know her history and that will be completely fine by me, it's just that for the moment I am not going to use a megaphone to do it.

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