13 February 2011

Another Disappearing Tranny?

My relationship to my past is changing.  I've been thinking of moving in with someone who's not a lover or relative.  And I notice my circle of friends and acquaintances is changing.  What's next?

Well...This may not be a change, really.  Well, it is, except that it has more to do with me than with circumstances.  I suppose the same could be said about the other changes I've described.

Anyway...I'm starting to become one of those post-op trans people who "disappears."  In other words, I'm living as a friend, neighbor and co-worker who just happens to be trans.  Some know about it; others don't.  I wouldn't mind if fewer people knew.  

Until recently, I've been willing to talk with people if they asked, or if they were willing to listen.  But I've gotten tired of it.  I know I could help to educate people and all that.  But I have had growing doubts about how much educating I'm actually doing by being open about what I am and have been.  Maybe some who've accepted me are more accepting of, or more willing to accept, trans people.  But I think they were and are willing to accept people who are different from themselves anyway.  

And now I find myself less motivated to be an activist.  Yes, my awareness of a number of issues--most of them not directly trans-related--has grown.  This has been causing me to question some ideas and notions that formed my outlook.  As an example, as much as I don't like lots of regulation and big government, I understand that "hate crimes," by their nature, have to be defined.  That doesn't mean they're more important than other crimes; rather, it means that those who arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of such crimes need to consider their bigotry.  Why else would, for example, someone who kills a trans woman take the trouble to stab her after shooting her, or to cut up her body and leave the parts in dumpsters all over a city?

I also have complicated feelings about laws intended to give us redress when we're discriminated against and the issue of same-sex marriage.  I think that, too often, the laws are doors that are closed after the horse has bolted from the barn.  Plus, discrimination cases are notoriously difficult to prove.  For every one that ends in a settlement for the victim, there are many others that don't end with a settlement for the victim or that the victim doesn't even report, for a variety of reasons.

Part of the reason I don't feel I could be an activist is that my views aren't in lockstep with the vast majority of LGBT activists.  And, quite honestly, I feel that I'd rather help individual people than to stage or participate in a demonstration.

If you're hearing echoes of disillusionment, you're hearing right.  It seems that every time I get involved with an organization, people in it try to turn me into some kind of activist.  I'd wanted to start a support group and perhaps a counseling service for trans people aged 45 or older.  I approached an organization for whom I've done a bit of volunteer work.  That was a mistake:  What they really wanted was for me to go to conferences and other gatherings to rally the troops.  

Maybe living the rest of one's life is incompatible with that sort of thing.  Of course, I never would have known that if I hadn't tried to do both.