Friday, May 20, 2016

I Know It's Personal But...?

I really believe most people out there are good people and do not dislike trans men or women simply for who they are. Most people don't care what's between my legs or what my name used to be. Still not everyone understands that some questions are just really personal and sometimes we don't want to answer them. It's kind of ironic that many times when they ask us questions they are framed in a way such as "I know this is a personal question..." or sometimes even "I know it's none of my business...", but still many people ask. I don't personaly think most mean any harm, its just trans people are myterious and misundetstood. In fact if I think it will help open a discussion I may go ahead and bite simply to help someone understand. In this case I almost always frame the answer in a way that highlights why most trans people would not answer or even be offended.

I've been asked all sorts of questions related to my old name, my surgery, relationships, and everything that you can think of in between But the most frequent one for me has always been my old name.

I used to tell people that I don't tell people at my old name was because its frame is me as that person and Katherine is simply a Persona on top of it. Well to some extent this is still the case I don't really think that holds true as much anymore since most people who know me now never knew the person I used to be so that reference is really not there, it's simply just a name. Still to me it's irrelevant information and I try to convey that point if I do discuss it. What does it matter what my name was? Steve, Chris, Bob, Tony, Aaron? How is that relevant to who I am as a person now?

We've all seen posts about me how to be a trans ally and what are and are not acceptable questions, but people still ask.

What are some of the crazy things that you've been asked? Have you answered these questions?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure it this is the right place to post my comment. In a nutshell- my ex- Joe- wanted to be a woman. We got married in 1980- and he told me in 1981. All I knew about this was a Newsweek article. I didn't know where to turn. I did try counseling, but that didn't work. My spouse (my best friend, and the father of our 4 children} did his best to be a good father. We did our best to raise our 3 sons and daughter while divorced. It was tough for me= I had the kids 95% of the time. He drank alot, and missed alot of their growing up. Once the boys graduated from HS, they went to live with their dad. (all three sons realized that their dad was "different"- but Joe never told them) Joe taught at a community college, so the kids could go there for free.
Our third son moved in with his dad after graduating from HS. A sensitive artistic kid, he wanted to take care of his dad. His dad- my ex- was a brilliant guy- he knew alot about art, history, science, politics, society= you name it, and he could talk about it. But Joe was a big drinker- and we all worried about his health. His coworkers were worried too. Joe and I and talk about this the weekend before he died.
Our youngest son killed him after ingested LSD 6 days prior- he told me that God told him to kill him, and that his dad was in a better place. He killed him with a baseball bat and a knife.
My kids and I are still struggling. It's been almost 7 years. My son has 20 years more to serve.
Today Joe would have been 64.
Jo- he was working on renaming himself.
Joe told me 35 years ago what he was- and all I knew about transgender people was from a Newsweek article.
I am so happy that this generation has support. You have support from science, from politics and from everyday people.
I am thrilled that transgendered people are getting attention and support from our laws. I only wish that my ex- "Jo"" could be alive to have benefitted.