Transforming Public Opinion by Angie
DICLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING IS JUST ONE TRANS-WOMAN’S OPINIION ABOUT WHAT IT IS TO BE TRANS. OTHER OPINIONS ARE AVAILABLE – AND RIGHTLY SO!
Many years ago, two words were commonly used to describe what I am. Transvestite and cross-dresser. These words are now frowned upon as they focused on what we do rather than why we are what we are. The word ‘trans’ is better as it covers a wider spectrum, encompassing many sub-groups and specific desires and needs.
If life is a journey, then I have almost reached my final destination. It is still out of sight and around a few more bends, but I am getting close – I can feel it!
As a child I was fascinated by all things feminine. From clothes, shoes, makeup, perfume etc, but also to emotions, feelings, sentiments and reasoning. All the above were things the male sex were not supposed to give a damn about. Males were – and are – strong, aggressive, powerful, tough and cruel. All of these went against how I felt inside. It was a losing battle. Of course, to feel feminine in any way indicated weakness and should be knocked out of my tiny girly brain. I conformed – or tried to – but it never left me – I started to fight back!
If people think being trans is about just dressing the part – they are mistaken. When I dress, I feel different. Sometimes sexy, pretty, desirable but also relaxed, at peace, gentle, kind, caring and loving. The clothes and makeup are just an outward sign of the inner ME and how SHE feels. There is more to Angie than fabulous legs, sexy undies and stilettos I can assure you!
So, what is the general public’s opinion about trans people. They do what they always do – categorise, stereotype and pigeon-hole us. It is easier for them to compute if they can label us – and then judge us of course! I will not insult any other segment of the trans-spectrum by having a view on them, either their motivation or their lifestyle. I can only explain how it feels to be ‘Angie,’ so if nothing of what I say applies to you, then tell us your story! We are all unique and special and deserve a voice if only so that society DOES realise we are all different and are not to be grouped together for THEIR convenience!
The commonalities are obvious – we all dress as women, we all admire women, we can see the strengths women possess but thereafter, our chosen paths diverge.
If I could wave a magic wand – what would I change to pursue my goal of femininity? Tricky question! Would I lose my male ‘bits’ and gain lady ‘parts’? Would I want periods, PMT, mood swings, pregnancy (bit late for THAT I think!!) Would I want to actually BE a woman? One argument frequently thrown at trans-women is that they only want the GOOD bits about being a woman! They may not actually be wrong! We DO like the glamour, the sexy things, the girly stuff etc. We are not so keen on discrimination, sexism, misogyny, violence against women – but then again – who is? I can not defend this case, so I won’t! I only wish I could truly share the bad things about being female – if only to live their experience. Society has finally grasped the fact that gay men and women exist, are visible, expect equal rights (please note I said equal – not preferential!) and are not feared. Trans-people are a bit trickier – although we have always existed, albeit in our closets (literally!) for most of history. In an ideal world, everybody should be who, and what they want- regardless of race, colour, gender, sexuality or appearance. But it is not ideal – oh bugger!
The best I can do is try to be who and what I can be and hope for the best. Up to know I have had no negative experiences as Angie, but I haven’t really pushed the boundaries as yet. I have not been clubbing at night or in a pub in an evening. I have not been to a LGBT event but would love to – so that makes me a scaredy-cat I guess!
I have heard several tales about kids talking about a child in class who identifies as either gay, trans, non-binary, gender fluid etc with absolutely no comebacks! This one thing fills me with hope for the future – and THEIR future!
So, please be kind to anybody who is a bit different, a bit brave, who doesn’t care what others think – they could be a relative or a friend or a neighbour. Just smile and think “good for you darling – be yourself!”
If you would like to find a trans support group in your area, check out Trans Unite website here.