Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Visibility

    The other day I mentioned that I spent last Saturday afternoon at my local Gay Pride, in the company of a few other local t-girls.
    I was there as bloke, due to my wife's comfort zone. She doesn't feel comfortable with my going out en femme this close to home. I think it's an embarassment thing, for which I don't blame her. I'm a girl with presence. No problem with that, presenting as female is fun but I enjoy the company of trans people in exactly the same manner no matter what I look like. Same when someone organises a trip to a restaurant, there I am, the rather large bloke usually accompanied by his wife.
    As a day-to-day bloke, I have the ultimate "stealth". Damn I do it well! Bloke and then some! But am I really less visible when in the company of my trans friends?
    If you read this blog, you'll know by now that my size defines me whether I like it or not. I've lived in and around this town for most of my life so I'm part of the scenery. Business owners, shop workers and other long-term local residents know me by sight. I must be "Big bloke" to them, in the same way as there are local characters I recognise such as "Beardy bloke", "Scooter kid" and "Bible lady". If you live in my town, you'll probably bring those three to mind too. Hell, you probably know what I look like! So by going out with my trans friends I bring my slightly enhanced visibility with me and instead of being the drab one fading into the background of the restaurant alongside the slightly more flamboyant among my companions I stand out as someone people know by sight. And sitting there in the Pride field with my shoes off in the heat I think few who noticed my toenails painted in preparation for my support group meeting would be in any doubt that yes I was part of the group I was sitting with. Bizarrely had I been en femme with wig and makeup I would have blended in, I may be a large girl but I'm not as er... daring in my presentation as some.
    Does this bother me? Not particularly. Having decided that my aim is to be openly transgendered I can hardly complain if someone identifies me as such. In fact if someone does so then good, I'm out, there's one less place I have to hide.
    Of course, it's easy for me to say this. I'm large and loud, I kick the arse of life. Nobody's going to give me grief for it, even the thickest of chavs is going to figure out that's going to hurt. Maybe someone more timid wouldn't be able to. But if by being large and loud and visible I make it easier for someone less confident in the future to go out in drab in my town with their trans friends then I reckon I've achieved something. And for that the minor regret of not going out en femme is worth it.

10 comments:

  1. Jenny
    This is so close to a lot of things I've been thinking about. To stand up and say, if the situation demands, that we are transgendered but not transitioning because of [insert your own reasons, timescales and caveats here...] is perhaps one of the most powerful statements anyone in our community could possibly make to help normalise what others perceive of us. Most of the red top press can make fun of the transgendered or describe them in freakish terms only because we are so invisible right up to the point of transition, and then for perhaps a few months or so until passability is enhanced.
    Of course such a statement is so powerfull it may be impossible for many of us to make.
    Well done you for doing your little bit and be assured we all look up to you [no pun intended] for this

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  2. You are so much braver than me. I nearly went to meet my t-friends once in the pub en-drab, but I only got as far as peering through the front window, I couldn't go in.

    I know that they wouldn't have cared what I look like, but I knew I did not look right and did not feel comfortable. I know that they are my freinds but I could not go in a pub as Bob.

    I take my hat off to you for being able to live in both worlds.

    Suzie x

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  3. Oh Jenny, you are indeed a wonderful girl!

    It's so hard for us who are 6 feet plus! How many natal girls do we know who are over 6 feet tall? My youngest niece is just about 6 feet tall, but she weighs is in at under 150 lbs., has absolutely no male pattern baldness, and absolutely no masculine body or facial hair! She had to have breast reduction surgery, because she was too well endowed! She is unmistakably female! I on the other hand, am just two inches taller, but many pounds heavier (I have no intention of revealing just how much heavier!), and have to wear a wig to conceal my bald pate, along with a thick slathering of concealer, and foundation to conceal the few remaining dark facial hairs left in my predominantly white beard. While I have some fairy decent breast tissue due to a hormone imbalance twenty years go, I still have to wear breast forms, to properly fill out my bra.

    I have never appeared before my support group in male mode. In fact I never even considered it until a couple of week ago, when we had our picnic, and the temps were soaring up into the unbearable range. I thought about showing up in drab, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Other than here on Blogger, my support group members are the only people in my life who know me only as Melissa.

    Melissa XOXO

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  4. if by being large and loud and visible I make it easier for someone less confident in the future to go out in drab in my town with their trans friends then I reckon I've achieved something

    i love this attitude, jenny!

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  5. Wow, I do seem to have hit the spot with my random musings.

    Being open about it came about as a bid to get rid of tht Big Secret that was stressing my wife by rendering it no longer a secret. I suspect if everyone in my position did the same it would become no big deal, so I guess someone has to plant the flag. It does help that for me this has always been about my mind first rather than my body so appearing as bloke isn't a dealbreaker.

    Melissa: I know quite a few women over 6 feet tall. Oh, you meant ones I'm not related to... :)

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  6. hi Jenny
    I think you write very well.
    I hope that you can express and live youe life as you want to.
    For us trans people the world can be a scary place, but a better world for it and people like you.

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  7. Not sure I'm as brave as you, Jenny, but I am often in the company of trans friends. I'm the one who is always drab and therefore can tend to stick out like a sore thumb.

    Our DRAB-Gab lunches, however, are the exception. Just 12-14 girls around a table all dressed as blokes.

    Calie xxx

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  8. Thanks both.

    Another take on this of course is that all this is simply the path of least resistance, scruffiness requires so little preparation! :)

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  9. Really interesting stuff. We had our Pride Saturday, and I wasn't there. I can't afford to be seen. Maybe next year will be different.

    I went shopping with my friends once. Three girls and bloke me. I tried to explain to my wife that I will be more readily noticed and recognized as a male in the company of trannies, but this was out of her comfort zone, as you say. They treated me the same as ever (well, maybe a little pity), but I had a grand time as I was Leslie in my head.

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  10. I suspect I'm lucky, my wife's comfort zone is not averse to my being trans per se, it's the idea of my being out dressed where someone she knows might see me. In that particular Pride field I think I would have had to make a serious effort to be the one that was noticed! :)

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