As we have recently discussed around here in Cyrsti’s Condo, often a gender transition is a peak and valley experience. In my case, the climb out of the valley of gender dysphoria was long and often painful. Quite possibly one of the top two or three people who have followed or been around me over the years has been Connie. I can’t quite remember the transgender discussion site we met on so many years ago. I just remember Connie’s sharp wit and sarcasm when she “discussed” a topic with one of the many “trans nazi’s” who tried to rule the site. These were the days before being “transer than you” became fairly well known. Back in those days, many transgender women thought the amount of operations you had endured made them an entitled class of people within the community.
I remember well, engaging in many not so pleasant discussions with the ultimate…a transphobic trans woman. I remember also making a conscious effort trying to mold my emerging new person in a different direction, away from being a bitch. In a recent comment, Connie was kind enough to mention my efforts. And in a new comment mentions it again. Plus builds upon it:
” And, here, I was hoping you would have, first, picked up on my comment about how you could be such a bitch before transition. 🙂 I did say that I was willing” to give up my male privilege. I can’t say that I totally lost it by transitioning, however. Nor will I ever be able to enjoy the totality of the privilege of being a woman. In a sense, we end up in No Man’s/No Woman’s Land.
We bring with us all that our male privilege had gotten us before, and we try to immerse ourselves in womanhood with hopes that we will be granted some privilege that comes with that. Symbolically, a man can open a door to a world of privilege, while a woman may just wait for a man to open the door for her, so that she can enter one room. Of course, it’s much more complicated than only that, but having lived with the privilege of a man’s world gives us a unique perspective.
I’ve thought that the old joke about a man refusing to ask for directions kind of sums it all up. The picture that plays in my mind has a man and a woman in a ’57 Thunderbird, top off, stopped at one of those old gas stations along a deserted highway. The man is in the driver’s seat, of course, and it’s probably out of dumb luck that he came across this gas station with only a mile’s-worth of gas left in the tank. He’s lost, but he won’t admit it, and the woman is frantically studying a road map – which the man assumes she can’t read. In fact, he’s even annoyed that she opened the map, in the first place, because he thinks she won’t be able to re-fold it properly when she’s done with it. As the attendant is replacing the pump handle, the woman is saying, under her breath, “Ask him, just ask him!” The man hands the attendant a five dollar bill (more than enough to fill the tank of a ’57 Thunderbird in those days) and, while the attendant is fumbling in his pocket for the change, the woman, pointing to a spot on the map, blurts out, “How do we get HERE?” As the man sits in silent embarrassment, the attendant takes a quick look at her map, and then drawls out, “Well, y’all can’t get there from here.” No Man’s/No Woman’s Land.”
Excellent! You have come a long way too my friend!