I know it’s been a while since I wrote anything about being transsexual.
A lot of shit has been going on recently, especially since the new year started. But the past week or so has gotten me thinking, living life as both a man … and as a trans man.
I’m white, “cis-passing”, straight, post-op. grew up Christian, pretty much I’ve attained all kinds of “privilege” (as in, my entitled benefits). I changed my name (again) and medically transitioned to live my life as a man without hassle or discrimination.
I face pressure from both sides. The mainstream, more conservative side of society assumes that, having underwent my sex change, I now (or at least should) assume the attitudes, views, and social role of “the average American man”. As a man, since the day I came out and began living as one, of course I experience the same thing my brothers, cis or trans, does as a man. Yet as someone who’s transsexual, there’s expectations and pressures from the LGBTQ community to continue the fight that community, to “check my privilege” at the door, to cater to identity politics.
I walk a fine line between two worlds that rarely play well with each other anymore, a walk that too often takes a toll on my mental health. It’s also demanded of someone like me to build up a “coping bank” should I feel burn-out, to take breaks so I can continue “to fight the good fight” for longer endurances.
I’m not participating in any “protest” that’s denounces the continuing inequalities in our culture. The covid pandemic makes such events super-spreaders, I can’t afford to take time off from my job, I don’t want to risk being in something that could turn into a riot (and throw me in jail), and because I’m not a social person. I could go on and on the reasons why I don’t, but I’m not going to.
The news, especially with what’s going on in major cities, leaves me fearing my safety and life. I understand the criticisms of armchair activism (a.k.a. slactivism), and I know that most protests are actually peaceful. Pride events, which are usually celebratory, leave me drained after only a few hours—the added stresses a protest incur would only burn me out sooner, leaving me ineffective.
The mountains I live in allow me to shelter myself, to take refuge, from the growing craziness the outside world experiences, while the Internet allows me to continue watching from a distance, wondering why my sex change now means I have to be an activist.