Monday, September 19, 2016
Sometimes Being Out Is a Responsibility I Don't Want
Is it easy to be out or in the closet? I think this is something that many of us part timers ponder. I mean if you are facing certain transition, then the question is moot. You're not going to transition to the other gender entirely and spend your time sitting in a closet all by yourself. Life couldn't possibly get done that way.
For those who are just an occasional cross dresser, then again, I think the question is easily enough answered, you can stay in the closet, and who is to be any the wiser? I mean many cross dressers simply throw on a few bits of girliness, have a few kicks while sitting in the privacy of their own home, and why should they tell anyone and everyone, that they enjoy that? Many crossdressers will state that life is far easier without anybody knowing, even if that includes their own spouse. Who am I to say that is wrong of them to do? Nobody. I am nobody to say that their choice to remain hidden is wrong.
But now me, how about me and how I choose to live my life? I don't see myself as your average ordinary crossdresser, in fact I think of myself less and less as a crossdresser as time passses. What do I think of myself as? Transgender probably best, and easily, sums it up. But, do not mistake me, I have no intentions of transition to the other gender. I may continue slowly meandering towards more of middle path, but that is not the point of this post.
The point of this post is the reality of being transgender, and being out. By being out, what I mean, is that I live my life, all of it, my personal life, my family life, my friend life, my work life, LIFE!!! as an openly transgender person. I do not always state it. I don't carry around a large blinking neon sign, proudly claiming my TRANSGENDER status. But I do me, openly, and freely, for anyone looking, for anyone that cares to see, and to anyone who cares to ask.
Recently at work, a coworker made me pretty uncomfortable. He has commented before about the things I choose to wear, like my painted nails, my iPad case, my choice in clothing, specifically socks and shoes. It has all been fairly innocent and friendly. But recently, it crossed the line. He came into a common worker area and stated quite loudly, "hey man, you and your choice of shoes and socks, just throws me." Or something to that effect, after which he began laughing quite loudly and walked up to another staff member, shoved him in the shoulder and said "hey man, did you get a load of this guy's socks and shoes, and mean really." And continued to laugh and encourage the other staff member to do so as well. The other guy sort of looked at the first guy as though he was crazy.
So..... while I choose to not be open about the profession I am in, I will say, it is a HIGHLY protected one. One where we are mandated to have training on harassment. And the guy who was harassing me, guess what one of his roles is? Union representative. Uh yeah, so that just happened.
Which of course led to me sitting in the Human Resources Director's office today discussing that I consider myself to be transgender, and relaying what this colleague did. He informed me that it would be handled appropriately and that it should not ever happen and that if it continues to, that further disciplinary action will result. I thanked him for his time and left.
But afterwards, I felt down about it. I suppose I felt down because there are times when I don't want this responsibility. What I really want is to be able to do my job and live my life without the fear of ridicule from others. Which is exactly why I HAD to go to HR and report the situation. I HAD to go and tell them, openly, and frankly, that I am transgender, and YES this coworker made me feel uncomfortable and it is beginning to be closer to border on harassment.
I wish people could understand others better. I knew I had to go to HR, I didn't want to. But I HAD to. I know that I am strong enough to do it, even though I didn't want to. But I knew I HAD to, for all of you out there who are not strong enough. For all of you who want to be out of the closet but are afraid because of the potential of ridicule.
But sometimes it is a responsibility that I don't want.
What is that Spider Man line? With great power come great responsibility. Geesh, I don't even have mediocre power let alone great power. But still, I've got the responsibility.
As of late, I have had some TS people kind of dismissing me because I suppose I am not trans enough. Hmmm..... trans enough yet people?
Love and hate responsibility.