This post is a rewrite of a story I spun a while back. The original story is now old news, but the point of the post remains important. I described a rather militant attitude expressed about an upcoming TG gathering. It completely underscored for me what I am all about and why change is slower than it should be.
Attitude is one of our problems, sometimes we are our own worst enemies. An “FU” attitude fosters negative impressions of us. Being “in your face” does nothing to change people’s minds about us. Being ladylike, giving, loving, being happy, that makes the right impression. I speak from rather significant personal experience.
We certainly have the same rights as everyone else. But to get where we are now and to eventually get to where we all want to be, we need to change people’s views and ideas about us. Many think of us as drag queens or caricatures. Not as the wonderful people many of us are, who simply prefer a feminine clothing style or presentation to traditional male clothing. Many of us (like yours truly) simply feel the pull to both of our genders.
Everyone that sees you is processing an impression of you. Many may be positive, but it is happening. It probably doesn’t happen when you are in male mode. When I am out, I am unique, I stand out, so that creates that mental calculation that those encountering me go through. It’s human nature. The real me would walk past someone without them probably even noticing. Kandi walks by, I am at the very least noticed. Often a head is turned or (so far) a positive comment said. There is very often some form of acknowledgement.
I use the ladies room. I do what I need to do and get out of there. I am respectful of others. I keep to myself. I’m not in there taking pictures and grandstanding. Blend in, act like you belong, but be respectful.
“Taking over the place” (in large groups of those like myself) again is not a solution. For me, going to a restaurant, acting like a lady, being treated like a lady and not being noticed by the masses is how we go about making changes. There is a frequent gathering called an “invasion”. The implications of that along with the militant attitude just leaves a negative impression, in my impression. For this reason (despite the fact that I can easily drive there) I have never been. To contrast, the annual Lake Erie Gala (also easily drivable for me) is done the right way. Getting together without sticking it in people’s faces.
We are quite often our own worst enemies. Being militant, being loud, being the center of attention only fortifies stereotypes. Think, please! It is undeniable that stereotypes exists and we must do what we can to break them down, not build them up. We owe it to those that paved the way for us and for those to come. When I make statements like this it is because I know, I am out a lot, hundreds and hundreds of times, in front of tens of thousands of people. I leave many with a very positive impression, so much so that months later I am told that they remembered me or that I was the best part of wherever I was working.
Walk a mile in my heels, see what I have seen and use your heads! Check the attitude at the door and act like a lady. Attitude feeds right into the public narrative. Kindness has served me extremely well. FU never really comes out well.
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