On the issue of well-meaning allies

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.

About Deanna Joy Hallmark

I am a post-op transgender woman who has now completed transition and living my life as the woman I was born to be. I have been writing my blog, now titled "A Spy in the Enemy Camp - A transgender woman’s perspective from having lived as a man among men" since December 2011. Originally a record of my process and feelings in transition, last summer in 2013 it took on observations from both sides of the gender binary and now will also be looking at my past life pretending to be the man I never was and how it finally brought me to where I am today, the beautiful intelligent woman I had always believed I should have been since I was little.
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5 Responses to On the issue of well-meaning allies

  1. Kira says:

    Sometimes it is the unintended words of others that can do the most damage.
    No, this person didn’t think she was “outing” you, it just never crossed her mind because she has never had to think that way. Just as you never thought about “outing” your former partner, it just didn’t cross your mind at the time.
    It is something that happens every day in a million different ways, it isn’t until it happens to us personally that we begin to think about it and adjust our behaviors.

    • Thanks, Kira. Your comment is another fair way of looking at the checkout incident and I couldn’t have said it any better than you did. Unfortunately, with my former partner, as she put it, my remark was compared to my cutting off her arm that she could never grow back and ended any further possibility for intimacy as we had once shared. It was a costly lesson and yet I have forgiven myself enough to share it after her need to live alone to handle her health issues finally cost us our marriage. On the other hand, this tragedy has also become my greatest gift, as our separation provided me with the needed space to give birth to my fondest wish, and here I am. As the late actor Dennis Weaver used to say in his TV role as Marshall McCloud, “There you go!”

      • Kira says:

        I the song “Firework” is the line. after every hurricane there’s a rainbow.
        I know that the end of any relationship especially a marriage is painful, but as you said, it allowed you to become who you are today.
        Everything happens for a reason, even when we can’t see that at the time.

  2. Lyric Kali says:

    Loving you – you brave, brave soul sistah!

    • Lyric, I thank you for your love and calling me brave. Still I wonder if being happy and comfortable with who I am rather than being unhappy and miserable with who I am not is really about bravery or more about fulfilling my soul’s desire, at any cost.

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