God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes/’Cause then you really might know what it’s like to sing the blues What It’s Like Everlast
Let me tell you right here and now that I am happy with being me. I wouldn’t switch places with anyone, not that I could anyway. My life is full(over full some days.) I am loved. I get along with most everyone. But as a very open transwoman, very disrespected. This is a result of our society’s transmisogyny
Misogyny, and transmisogyny in particular, can come from pretty much every source possible. It has been my experience to be having a conversation and it suddenly turn in to a situation where I have to defend myself from awful comments or opinions. It has been my experience, like most women to be disrespected by men, but often my disrespect comes from other women or members of the LGB and even the T community who question my authenticity.
I do not mind educating people but I never like it when they demand that I educate them, which I have had happen many times. No, it is not my job to educate you. If you want to know something about trans people take a class, or attend a seminar, or for god’s sake at lease read a book.
When ever I do speak to a class, like Tom Collins’ Sexual Health Class that I am speaking to on Monday, I always say that no question is off-limits(that only goes for me.) That is the time to educate someone not while sitting at the bar with friends and a stranger demands to be educated.
The questions that I get when I speak to a class or in front of a community group vary widely. I’ve been asked just about ever question imaginable: when did I transition, if I had sex with my wife, when did I know that my gender was different from the one I was assigned at birth, if I’ve had surgery(or as the question was asked “did I have my penis cut off”), and a variety of gender and sexual questions that I have never turned away from. I usually tell the group that I am speaking to that a question needs to be asked in a respectful manner and not in an aggressive or accusatory manner. I say, ” please ask a question as if your mother was sitting next to you or how would you feel if someone asked your mother that question.” Even after I say this I still get questions ask in a very aggressive manner.
Recently I saw where someone posted a list of questions that a professor ask his class. They were the same questions that I often get asked about my gender or sexuality. Take a look: What do you think caused your heterosexuality? When did you decide you were a heterosexual? Is it possible that your heterosexuality is just a phase that you may grow out of? Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality? Why can’t you just be what you are and keep quiet about it? Why do you heterosexuals feel compelled to seduce others into your lifestyle? Have you considered therapy to change you heterosexual tendencies?
Even though those questions are asked about sexuality, you could modify them to have them correspond to the questions I get asked about me being me. So next time you are feeling confused or undereducated about someone who tells you that they are transgender or any other part of the LGBTQ community stop before you say anything and think it is their duty to educate you anytime any place. Even if you ask a question in the appropriate venue make sure it is a respectful. How would you feel if someone ask your mother that question?