Guest Post: No Apologies
[Note: A dear friend of mine, Jillian Page writes a blog at the Montreal Gazette entitled Patent Pending: Reflections on a Transitional Journey. She posted the following Wednesday, and I wanted to share it with you. Reprinted with permission. - Mercedes]
Sometimes I feel that we transitioning people — and transgender folks in general — spend too much time trying to justify our gender situations to people. We tell them about our childhoods, and how we felt trapped in the wrong bodies. We tell them about the struggles we had over the years coming to terms with gender dysphoria. We tell them about the years of therapy we go through, and about finally reconciling ourselves to the fact that we have to transition to survive. We beg them to accept us, and we apologize if we somehow have disturbed their views of the nature of things.
Hmm. Sometimes we say too much. Sometimes we worry too much about what others think of us, when it is really none of their business.
We don’t owe explanations to anyone except for the people closest to us — our loved ones. Of course, a brief explanation to colleagues and friends is necessary when you are pulling a gender switch, as in: “I am a transitioning person (a transsexual for lack of a better word), so call me Gertrude from now on and refer to me using female pronouns.” Period! And, NO apologies. After all, do they apologize to you for their conditions, whatever they may be?
As for the rest of the world, it is nobody’s business how you came to be a woman or, in the case of FtMs, a man (unless you choose to raise trans awareness in a blog or some such thing).
As for those who purposely out us in attempts to discredit and hurt us (as opposed to people who do it innocently and by accident), there should be laws against that sort of thing — and perhaps one day there will be.
Meanwhile, make no apologies for your gender situations, and hold your heads high.