18 April 2012

No "Outing" Today

Today I rode my bike to work. On the way, I stopped at a diner to use the bathroom. (I shouldn't have had that second cup of tea before I left my apartment!)  Anyway, on my way out, I heard a snippet of conversation between two seemingly-heterosexual young men.

Anyway, it seems that they saw the panel discussion I mentioned the other day.  One of them found it "interesting" and "educational" and said that cis people (He didn't use the term, but he was referring to them.) "really need to understand more about [transgender people]."  His friend, on the other hand, still seems ill-at-ease with the whole idea.  I wasn't upset with him:  After all, being "in the closet," as I was for most of my life, is an expression of such unease.  And, in spite of the rejections I've faced and ignorance I've encountered, I still hold out hope for young men like him.

But I found myself in a dilemma:  Do I "jump into" their conversation and try to shed a bit more light on the topic? Even if that act didn't by itself arouse his or other people's suspicions, I probably would have outed myself for no other reason than I probably would have found it impossible to argue with someone like him without mentioning my own experiences.

Although I would like for people to understand why we make the sorts of choices we make, I also would like to live in peace (as much as that's possible in this world) as a woman.  I can't even remember the last time a stranger gave me a suspicious glance or addressed me as anything but "Ma'am" or "Miss."  And, yes, that is what I have always wanted. 

I didn't get involved in the conversation of those young men.  I rationalized it with the fact that I was on my way to work.  Time wasn't an issue:  I was actually running a bit early.  I simply didn't want to "out" myself, even though I didn't sense that doing so to those young men would have been dangerous.

And, the one who was expressing his unease may have been on his way to greater understanding. Or so I hope.

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