Recently, a curious thing happened to me at a local office supply outlet. The store had few customers and I was the only customer within earshot of a checkout girl who “outed” me as transgender and asked me how long I had been out at the same time she showed me her rainbow colored nails. She then asked me if I had participated in any “Pride” events and I said no but that I had watched some, was involved with LGBT advocacy online and had many gay and lesbian friends.
At first, I felt like I had a new ally and at the same time I don’t feel that it is currently my intention of presenting myself as anything other than being as female as the next woman. What the incident brought up for me, as discrete as it might have been, was in some respects, my past behavior coming back to haunt me like that about which karma is supposed to be.
I live in medium sized community which has a “living wage”, which keeps many national retailers and restaurant chains from doing business here and effectively reduces my choices in patronage and yet where being “out” is often not regarded as a big deal. It is a community where even the local United Way chapter doesn’t forward money to the local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America because of their somewhat vocal opposition to the notion of being LGBT as legitimate lifestyle choices.
In my opinion, I probably couldn’t have chosen a better place to “come out” because all of the things that I have accomplished in the few short months since my transition began. It is a community where it was possible to commence laser hair removal at a local spa and be addressed from moment one by my chosen name and pronouns of my chosen gender, where legally changing my name was no more difficult than that of any one else wanting to change her legal name and where starting hormone therapy was a simple as a few blood and urine samples and a prescription for both estrogen and a testosterone blocker with follow-up visits from a doctor who just so happened to have treated other TG patients in the clinic she shares with my primary care doctor, to whom I first revealed my “medical condition” and which is officially diagnosed as “transsexualism.”
I had actually never considered the possibility before that incident and coupled with a conversation on another blog titled “14 Reasons Why It’s Not Okay to Out Someone as Trans – A Public Service Announcement From Your Friendly, Neighborhood Trans Person”, that people I consider to be my friends and allies would ever intentionally “out me” without my permission.
Yet here I am now considering the possibility of non-intended disclosure of my status by people no different than I, who has in the past, revealed private sexual behavior between myself and a former partner without considering the selfish nature of my revelations or the impact those “innocent” revelations might have had on my former partner.
Still, even this consideration is no more frightening to me, as yet, as the thought of having to travel by airline with two titanium hip joints that could single me out for additional unwarranted scrutiny by the TSA.