Being a Part Time Girl in a Full Time Culture

SeleenaK_2011-10-21-14.38.17In society, we all live part time existences.  We spend part of our time as parents, part of our time as friends, part of our time as employees, part of our time as activists, part of our time as lovers.  And no matter where we sit on society’s cruel totem pole, we spend part of our time doing everything.  And that’s considered acceptable; maybe even “well rounded”.

But in the transgender world, this is not the case.  Girls who are girls part time are at the very bottom of the pecking order .. on the bottom rung of the ladder.   And this especially applies to those who are unwilling to permanently alter their appearance to any degree if the enhancements would compromise their appearance when in the “other mode”.  Permanent hair removal, pierced ears and, most certainly, hormone replacement therapy would fall into this category.

Would you like to move up a rung on that ladder?  Laser hair removal will take you there, as well as bring congratulations from your peers.  Hormone replacement therapy gets you an even bigger “congrats!” and moves you up another rung or two.

Start living full time and you’re almost at the top of the food chain .. regardless of the carnage in your wake.   Necessary carnage maybe , but the carnage and tears are all too real.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t believe that anyone has any of these procedures, or changes their life entirely, for the purpose of climbing the ladder, but it is most certainly a welcomed side effect that brings a feeling of pride to those who go in that direction.

To those who need to transition,  it is a vital as coming up from the bottom of the swimming pool for a breath of air.  And it appears, in my opinion, to be something non-negotiable.  It simply must happen.  To make a person “whole”.  To fix what’s broken.  And I would never question that.

But what I do question is why making something “right” moves a person up on the scale, higher even than someone who was (luckily)  born that way.  Is it perceived bravery?  Overcoming hardship? Possibly, but I don’t think it’s bravery that causes a person to leave the bottom of the swimming pool for a breath of air so vital to their very existence.  Maybe it’s the decision, and,  subsequently, the necessary actions needed to get on with life as opposed to ending it prematurely, as so many do.

But I still don’t see how that puts someone “above” anyone who is able to deal with their own gender dysphoria in a less catastrophic way.  And who I believe is equally worthy of congratulations for the life long balancing act they choose to endure.

Although I never think of myself as a crossdresser .. I think of myself as a two-spirited person .. that’s  SeleenaK_5110s_HDRwhat I’m considered to be by most in the TG world.  So I sit on the bottom rung of the ladder.  

I’ve hurt no one.  I’ve alienated no one.  I’m able to be what loved one’s need me to be.  I’m able to “be there” for them always.  I’m successful.  I’m reasonable affluent.  I’m “civically” responsible and I give to charity.  And I pride myself in being able to live in either world reasonably well, without causing  any embarrassment and without making anyone feel uncomfortable.  Yet I sit on the bottom rung of the ladder. 

Luck, life, or my own discipline and fortitude, allows me to travel through time with little or no personal, relationship-destroying baggage.  And a mis-used pronoun won’t ruin my day nor the day of those around me.  Yet I sit on the bottom rung of the ladder.

“But I’ve got nothing against crossdressers!”  Well, thanks sweetie but looking down from your lofty perch,  you just put two very negative words in front of the label you just handed me.

So to those of you teetering on the top of that ladder, please know that I, and a huge number of others just like me, are down here on the ground, both feet firmly planted on terra firma, with balance and stability that’s rock solid.  And because of our large numbers, and the fact that so few of us need financial help, we contribute financially in a very big way to the events, gatherings, foundations and societies you call your own.

Please remember that we might be the EMT that puts you back together after a tragic accident, or the “dude” that intervenes when a hate crime is being perpetrated against you, or the doctor that performs your gender reassignment surgery, or, at the very least,  the “guy” holding your hand when you awaken from that surgery.

But you won’t recognize us, will ya?

3 thoughts on “Being a Part Time Girl in a Full Time Culture”

  1. On Agugust 06, 2013 Kristilynne commented: Omigosh, honey. This is SO true! Thank you for having the courage to point this out. I spend so much time feeling like I’m somehow not trans* enough for people. Is it really that difficult to see that I’m a woman just like you?

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