Passing? Not really. Blending. Maybe? Acceptance, even better!

Reprinted from my personal blog.
PART 1
Hey Everyone!
DISCLAIMER: As most of you know, I do not place a large importance on pictures. Admittedly, I do have a few scattered around the web. I keep them as a way to review my progress over the years and to work on different looks. This blog will deal in part with pictures, I apologize up front and I am in no way condoning the inflated status pictures seem to take in our community. Enough with my disclaimer, here goes!
I get a few less than genuine e-mails now and again, and most of them end up in the delete file. I got one the other day that at first looked like a delete candidate (in fact I did delete it), but after thinking about the meaning of the e-mail I had a change of heart. The e-mail was in response to some pictures I have over at Flickr. The e-mail was one sentence and it read “It took me a few pictures but I finally figured it out.”
After thinking about it for a good while, I had two thoughts. First, that was a nice thing for them to have said, and two, that statement really describes the most a CD can hope for. No matter how well you feel you “pass” most CD’s will be “read” if they are looked at long enough. Pictures are much different from going out in public, but the premise generally remains the same. When I am out or when someone who does not know I am TG sees my picture they will most likely never give it or me a second look. Why you ask? Rest assured it is not because of my looks! Most folks are just too busy in their own lives to give me a second thought, much less actually notice or look me over. Others look, but only casually and without scrutiny and they see exactly what they expect to see….a woman (meaning I am dressed like a woman and acting like one so they take it at face value that I am one). Those 2 groups account for about 98% of the general population. The last 2% will look you up and down and check out every mannerism and feature. Those are the ones that figure it out. It has been my experience that if they are looking so intently that maybe they are a bit understanding or compassionate or are maybe a bit curious. About 90% of the above mentioned 2% fall into one of those categories. It is the remaining 10% of the original 2% that is a TG’s worst nightmare. The good news is that these folks are few and far between. I have had but one or two unpleasant experiences in my time out and about. What can we do to help ourselves when the inevitable happens? When you are read, and it will happen I promise, how YOU react to it will determine how the other person reacts. Smile at them and make them feel at ease. Engage them in conversation if the setting is appropriate and they want to. Until you show them that there is nothing to be “scared” of you will be a mystery to them. Do your best to remove that mystery. By the way, you will be doing your unofficial, but all important, job as a TG ambassador (Thanks KC) to the general public. What could be better than that?
Peace
Shari Williams

PART 2
Hi Everyone
After posting my blog about passing or blending I have received numerous comments and I also had a nagging feeling I had forgotten something. The comments all pointed out essentially the same thing; that is we all get read and some point when we are out and about so you have to deal with it. That being said, if you are going to go out you then you need to learn to deal with it. How you deal with it is your own choice, but if you can think of it as “the cost of doing business” then it becomes much easier to accept and deal with. Sure every now and again it can be painful, maybe even down right depressing, but remember you are out there infemme and that is a major accomplishment itself. Walk proud, and hold your head high with confidence and most folks will, if for no other reason respect you for your projection of confidence. The second thing I neglected to say was that there may be another reason that we may feel we seem to pass or blend at times….acceptance. How was I so blind to not see that! Maybe, just maybe, we are getting to a point that a TG individual walking down the street is accepted as a person like the rest of us. Maybe, just maybe the acceptance many of us have been working toward over the years is coming to fruition. On of my blog readers, who is a married non–TG individual, spoke of just such an event when he and his family saw a CD during a family outing. No snickers, sneers or staring, just simple acceptance for the TG individual being themselves, nothing makes me happier than that! Thanks everyone for keeping me honest and for reading my blog in the first place. And hey, let’s keep working together for more acceptance of our community. Remember, put a human, compassionate and caring face on the TG community and you will have done your part in furthering acceptance for us all!
Peace
Shari Williams

Comments

Dee Femina said…
Well said Shari.
I often go out and being around 6' without my high heels, I don't exactly blend in and definitely get read. But I am always (well almost always) accepted and that's because I act like the normal person that I am and act with a quiet confidence. Exposure to us TG folk while we're out and about behaving in a normal manner, just like everyone else, will over time show society that we are normal and part of society the same as everyone else.
Alexis Rene said…
I feel this is a very clear and concise way to address things no matter what stage one may be facing the world from day one to been out 'n 'bout for years. As well I could not agree more with your sentiments about standing up for your accomplishments, absorbing those aspects and tasting the moment. As icing, it kinda makes for a little barrier against that .002 nothing percent who may take issue with lifestyle presentation.

As you mentioned, things could be dangerous in a wrong time, wrong place sort of setting, but we all must take note of our surroundings no matter how one may present. I have noticed that if I am out in larger more metro locales the general public could really care less who I am, much less my clothing choices according to gender aspects, assuming as mentioned the clothes are mainstream cues with what others may wear on a given day.

Besides the politics of deception are too complicated & people starved for the truth have long lost the will to over think these things!

Awesome mental guideline set forth Shari! :) R & L, ~A~

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