By Lisa Wilson
We all want to be accepted, right? Of course, we do. Over the last 30 years of being out in public I’ve seen some drastic shifts in how we are viewed. Believe me, it’s much easier now than way back then, with a few exceptions. For the most part as a community, we are more accepted than ever. But that’s not really where I’m going with this. I am talking more on an individual basis, let me explain.
This applies to anyone on the Transgender spectrum. Whether you are an occasional Crossdresser, or living as a full time post op MTF girl. The level to which we are accepted will vary drastically depending on each individual situation. You might be in a relationship with a very open minded person, or work where they are very open to you presenting as female at work. If so, I think that’s great and hope it stays the course.
But in reality, most of us go through many years of battling over where we are in the TG spectrum. We might change our opinions of where we are headed numerous times. I know I have and have talked to countless others that have as well. The part I think most people in our community miss is how our decisions affect others. Many just don’t care what others think. But think about this, if it took you 10-20 years to finally decide that you are transgender, how is it fair to expect others that have known your male persona for years to instantly accept you for who you now want to be. The same could apply to coming out as a crossdresser to loved ones. We must be prepared to be patient with acceptance of others, usually it’s not instant. Many will never accept you and you must be prepared for that.
I’ve talked to many girls who are totally depressed that their family will not accept them as a girl. It’s sad, but not surprising. Many times, although over a period of 2-5 years, the family and friends will become more accepting. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s unrealistic for us to expect acceptance instantly with our decision that might have been 20 years in the making. [Editorial comment: it took me almost 50 years, so this point is VERY well taken!] I’m not saying in any way that you should not come out to friends or loved ones but be prepared for any result. Please do not let others talk you into coming out to family, make that decision yourself. Every situation is different. Many girls have had no problem and feel everyone else will have the same experience. For example, the fact that I’ve been going for years with almost no issue, doesn’t mean you wouldn’t have an issue your first time out.
I’ve also encountered a situation lately with some friends that do live and work as a girl. Their employer was very accepting and allowed them to work as a girl, but the clients were not always as accepting of the new you. If you work in some commission based situation, it can be tough. The clients may not tell you why, nor do they have to. They might just move their business elsewhere. You can say it’s not fair, but it’s real life.
So, in closing, I’m not trying to be negative on coming out. What I want everyone to do before they make these decisions, is to base it on your situation, not someone else’s. You might get a great response from those you come out to, and I hope you do. But be patient with acceptance if it does not come right away.
I am very pleased that Lisa chose to share with us and welcome her back as often as she wishes. Also, I want to remind all, if you have something to say, a story to tell, the door is always open!
Lisa – this was a great, and thought provoking, piece.
One thing that’s demonstrated day after day here is that far more acceptance is achieved by those who seek to earn it than by those that demand it. As you quite rightly say, adjustment takes time for all concerned and it’s not by conincidence that those in the former group always seem to be a lot more contented with life than the latter group.
I hope we get to hear a lot more from you.
I will share more things as time permits. It think one of the advantages of becoming more seasoned in life (older), is the life experiences we gain. I think for me it’s really help to understand how people think and react to certain situations.
I agree general population acceptance does seem to be getting better, even with those who don’t really agree with us being T.
I go out just to grocery shop once a week and most of the time I’m en fem. I enjoy it very much and I’ve never had a negative experience while doing so.
I’m just a girl getting her shopping done.
Ok now I’m a 6”2 girl but hey there are tall cis girls right
So yes it’s possible to be out but indeed our family and friends may not accept it and well that’s there loss in my opinion
Thanks Rachel. Biggest thing is acting confident when you are out.
Yes their do seem to be more tall cis girls than ever, and that does help. But anyone tall will still get noticed, but don’t let that bother you.
Glad you are getting to get out a shop.