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.

Jillian

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  1. Wow, you are very right about this. I have been in my transition now for 6 months as of next week. It has been a difficult and emotional process so far, and something that I doubt will change perhaps ever, but I am hopeful. But reflecting on the months since coming out, I have explained myself, my situation and apologized to more people then I care to count. And it hasn’t done anything in helping myself any. I do hope that it has helped the people that I have explained it to come to a better understanding and acceptance of me. For a time I felt like I was a walking talking pamphlet on transgendered issues as I face them, as I am by no means an expert in the field so can only relate to it as I have experienced. And sometimes I feel that I have said to much, or something that has somehow offended there personal beliefs, and end up apologizing for it. But you are correct in that I shouldn’t have to do such a thing. And in hindsight, has perhaps slowed the acceptance process down because of it. We are who we are, just as they are who they are, and they don’t apologize for being open-minded; racist; bigoted; kind or empathetic, so why should I apologize for something that I have even less control of then there moral belief system?

    I do hope that one day, society reaches a point where we are not scorned and shunned everywhere we go, and that laws are put into place to help further protect us. That is one of the ideals that I hold in my heart and fight for as best I can. That is the future that I would like to be a part of.

    Charlotte

    • Véronique
    • October 15th, 2010

    I commented on her original post how wonderful this entry was. Thank you for cross-posting it!

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