Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Evolution, lesson 1

(by Arianne Travis)

I thought this title was appropriate. After all, this is the GenderEvole blog spot isn't?

Gender evolution... WOW!. I mean I feel like being philosophical here, can someone really evolve in his/her gender self definition? I'm inclined to think so. Wait, of course we do!. We all start somewhere and move somewhere else, right? Change should be constant. Whatever happens along the way makes us stronger, better, a bit like mother nature trying new recepies of life, new combinations, new sequences of atoms, etc... some are good choices, some are mistakes, errors, faults, erratums.

I do remember a lot of good choices in my "evolution" as a transvestite. Most are fashion related (Oh Tom, I LOVE YOU!!!) but are no match compared to the very few real friends that I now have.

Bad choices should especially be remembered also, I mean they have to. How can one evolve without making mistakes, right? Who hasn't made a bad choice of wig? or the wrong color of shoes? or the wrong day to plan an outing, LOL! Ah, what a joke.
Some of these mistakes involve people too, unfortunately. Deciding who will know and who shall stay in the dark regarding our little secret can be so trivial sometimes.
Of course, we're all humans.

Today was a day of such error for me:

"Thank you
Kind regards,
Arianne
"

Oops, pressed the sent button too quickly again.
Holly shit! (if there is such a thing) WRONG COMPUTER!!! LOL!!!
A simple signature in a work related email, destined to someone who would not and does not, and I stress the word NOT, comprehend at all, possibly exposing my deepest secrets.

Ok, panic button please!

Of course I saved the day with a lie, a diversion, a sorry ass excuse, hoping that this mishap is now long gone in history. But the fact remains that I made a 7 letter mistake. One that could have been a lot more serious.

Simple word of advice: Just be careful out there when the 2 of you are at the same place at the same time!!! Lol! ;o)

Lesson learned? I sure hope so.

I have evolved and will sleep better tonight.
Next?


xoxo
Arianne (yeah! I think this name is appropriate here...)

5 comments:

Michele Angelique said...

Arianne, thank you for sharing this. What you've written here, along with recent comments on Jenna's post, really served as a "wake-up call" for me. I speak of male/female personas becoming more integrated, allowing for overlap, two spirits living in harmony. This is all a beautiful dream, but today's reality does not easily permit. I hope that you will all have patience with me as I naively grasp at ideaologies, and know that I am willing to recognize the dark side too. This is part of my evolution here.

I am beginning to understand why most of you keep the yin/yang parts of you very separate and distinct, at opposite ends of the gender spectrum. Not because it is your ideal balance, but because you do not have the *freedom* to be you. For most of you, there is very real danger of dire social consequence if your secret becomes known. If something so simple as signing your name could be a catastrophic event, I can understand why you live in fear. We are not in the promised land just yet, and in today's world being outed could indeed be very painful. It is important to protect yourself, and "lesson 1" is an appropriate title here.

What truly rips my heart out is the fact that your secret is not bad, wrong or dirty... you're not hurting anyone, you're enhancing yourselves. I don't see you as having a "disorder"; I see your duality as a precious gift. I am shattered at the notion that you are condemned to an existence of hiding because people do not yet understand the miraculous creations that you are.

The fog of social misunderstanding surrounding transwomen is so thick, yet it only takes a single flame to enlighten an entire room. When I hear stories like Arianne's, it makes me sad, mad, sick, overwhelmed... it makes me want to fight against whatever ugliness in the world exists to deny your basic human right to "be".

For now, we have to deal with present day realities, and do whatever is needed to be safe in today's society. Perhaps we can use this discussion forum to collaborate on some good defenses to use in cases like Arianne's... what should a person do in such a circumstance? How can one react in such a way as not to arouse suspicion? What are some plausible cover-up stories? Let's share our ideas in this forum, so that if/when it happens to any one of you, you can each draw on the pool of experiences of your sisters.

My thoughts are this: unless you're seen en femme, most people won't jump to the conclusion that you are a crossdresser, unless you panic, over-react, over-explain something minor like a wayward signature. There are usually several different explanations to any situation, but it's a matter of keeping one's composure while thinking of the response, then responding calmly like whatever happened is "nothing". In a case like Arianne's, it would be a matter of explaining that a person named "Arianne" had used the computer and must have changed the settings. There would be no cause for alarm, no embarrassment, no real big concern. Just a little "oops", that's it. Just don't panic! Panic is the main thing that will evoke suspicion and cause the other person to question further.

Does anyone else have a story along similar lines? (where you were outed or almost outed accidentally) Let's share some ideas about self-defense tactics. I love you all so much, let's figure out some ways to be as safe as possible.

adarabeth said...

Response to Evolution by Arianne…

Thank you Arianne for this reminder… getting outed can have dire circumstances, but believe it or not those dire circumstances could also be your silver lining…
A few years ago a friend that I had known for almost 15 years was visiting me…being passionate people and not always seeing eye to eye, I was reluctant to let him stay at my apartment, but gave in because of my generous nature. Well, we ended up having a disagreement at some time during his visit. He left when I was out working without even a goodbye. Less than a month later at a get together another friend had planned for me he outed me in a less than flattering way… I wasn’t actually able to make the get together but eventually found out that he had taken it upon himself to go through all of my drawers and closets while he had been visiting. Needless to say, his discoveries were all the evidence he needed to roast me at an event meant to toast me. I regret not being there (I was working) as I lost 4 very close male friends that night. Later when I confronted him in person we fought. I was charged with assault and plead guilty (‘why play the legal game’ I thought since I was guilty – my lawyer told me I should have been more careful about who I had let in my home and what I had in my closet…) I got a record, he got to laugh at me.
But 2 of the other guys who were there did not abandon me. And I realized that my real brothers, who stood up for me when they learned of the events, did not care about my dual identity (despite the turbulence I felt existed as we grew up in the same house). My family wasn’t so disjointed after all.
The following month my second youngest brother met Adara – his comments were a bit startling (he said “Wow, you’re hot – I’d f**k ya (if you weren’t my brother) “… still shakin’ my head about that comment, but his heart was in the right place (and his typical male head in the other…lol…)
My point is a bit contradictory. Although getting outed is not a pleasant thing because you have no recourse but to deal with it head on, dealing with it head on also means you don’t have to deal with it anymore (inside you). You may lose something. But you also gain something. I now know who I can count on for friends for one thing. And having someone force me out of a closet means I evolve. If only Darwin could have had such immediate evidence to prove his theory…

Michele Angelique said...

FROM ALY:

Hi Adara,

I once got the "I'd fuck ya, if you weren't...!"
comment myself, so I know how disjointed the moment
can become...although to date I've never had to
physically defend myself for that reason. I am
saddened when I hear of one of the girls having to
experience that.

I hope you don't take this as an overt criticism, but
the evolutionary process you referred to was one that
Darwin observed within nature known as
micro-evolution...the adaptation of a species to it's
environment without changing it's basic genetic
structure, and he was aware of it as an irrefutable
phenomenon. What most people are concerned with when
attempting to explain the "Darwinian" theory of
Evolution is known as macro-evolution...the change
from one species into a totally new species, or the
concept of a species adapting to it's environment by
producing a unique physical feature not found in it's
predecessors.

Just wanted to clarify that, and to assure you that
Darwin was quite aware of the micro-evolutionary
events within the natural world.

*kisses*

Aly

Laurianna Payot said...

Dear Arianne,

We all live with a degree of anxiety about what can be our most precious source of strength, the natural _expression of our femininity and our celebration of beauty. I do so very much agree with you, Arianne, that we really can evolve in our gender definition. And I am thankful to the Goddess for the rich blessings that come with a feminine response to life. I am thrilled at last to feel free to embrace, nurture, and celebrate the feminine in myself and to celebrate and be inspired by the femininity of other trans-women and of so many genetic women who are so graciously ready to accept our homage and to respond to us positively as sisters. Although I have hardly begun to accomplish the beauty and grace that you have attained, Arianne, I have made progress within, and am in a sense constantly "outing" myself in the feminine taste of my home or in the feminine orientation of so many of my activities and in the deliciously evolving femininity of my behaviors. We can express our femininity in many valuable and honorable ways that are non-confrontational, ways that earn us tender acceptance.

We can all be our feminine-identified selves consistently, and can naturally interact in a graceful feminine way with other women and with the larger world, sometimes on our guard, sometimes risking rejection, but never seeking it. I am so sorry that you were cornered by a mistake in a situation in which the best of you was forced to seek cover, but I know that you know that what you felt compelled to conceal for every good reason is the best of you and in adding all our beauty and all our caring to a world that so needs both, we can all hope for a better day. I am so very grateful for your courage and for your example.

Love and blessings,
Laurianna Payot

Arianne said...

Dear Laurianna,

Thank you for the enlightening and uplifting comment. Indeed, a typical case of mistaken inner identity that could have lead to professional disaster, specially in a male dominated work environment where many of us are found. Fortunately enough this time around, all was diffused and forgotten.

Like many of us here and in the TG community at large and as very well stated by Michele and Adara's comments, there could be a lot at stake if our duality was exposed, either in the workplace or at home. I agree it is a shame to have to "hide" our most beautiful attributes sometimes but is there a short and sweet solution? I sure would like to know. I am happy that this little annecdote was helpful in your feminine evolution.

May I also take this opportunity to welcome you within our little group.

Hugz

Arianne