Friday, March 20, 2020
The question is: why do some people accept me as female when others cannot?
I am who I am and the perceptions of others don't change that. I've been this way since birth and my condition will never change. I know in my heart and soul that I'm female as surely as you know you're human and not a dog.
When meeting new people, some are able to see and accept me as female; others cannot. Why?
Is it the depth of their empathy? Their prior life experiences? Their contact with people who are different? Their understanding of gender? Their tolerance of social deviance? Their emotional intelligence? Their awareness of gender-diversity?
I honestly don't know why some of you are able to see my true nature and be open to becoming my friend while others write me off instantly as incomprehensible. This matters because, to the extent possible, I'd like to be accepted. If I can learn what the common reason for acceptance/rejection is, maybe I can consciously deploy that knowledge to convince strangers to like me or at least perceive me accurately.
P.S., Thanks to Megan for the beautiful drawing.
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Just be the best you that you can be. That way, should someone feel they can't accept you, it's their problem - because you will have done everything you could really do. Cis people can't possibly know what it's like to be trans because their own sex/gender are congruent and aligned. All I can answer to that is that my sex/gender identity is different than theirs, but still as natural to me as theirs is to them. It is who I am, and not what I do - and it's definitely not something that I do to anyone else. As Flip Wilson's Geraldine Jones used to say: "What you see is what you get." I would take that one step further with: Who you see is who you might get to know (if you can give me half a chance).ReplyDelete
Thanks for the feedback. Good luck.Delete
Personally, for me it was easier to see you as your true self when you presented as female. I wrote a while ago that personal packaging is important, it communicates information about us to the world without ever having to speak. When you present as male there is a disconnect with your exterior and your interior and it is confusing for others to connect the two.ReplyDelete
That's a good point. The problem has been that for most of my life, presenting as female simply wasn't possible. At all.Delete
In my view much of your answer can be found in your post. Why we are the way we are is in large measure incomprehensible. It has taken my a good part of my life (many decades) to reach a sense of peace with my dressing and even now I am now really sure about many things. It is more than a monumental task to think that others can comprehend why we are the way we are and why we do what we do. If you cannot understand it and comprehend it you are left a bit at sea.ReplyDelete
Being trans is simply not something that everyone gets and if the do not get it the are at a loss as to how to react. Some folks like to ski, or golf or ride motorcycles or fish or whatever. If you are a skier or golfer or rider or fisherman you will get it...if not skiing, golfing, riding or fishing may remain incomprehensible.
That makes sense. Thanks for the thought.Delete
I agree with Suzanne - I've never been in person with you when you're presenting as female, but I do know that after just a few minutes in person with you, and I'm immediately in "girlfriend mode."ReplyDelete
I think that you can't dwell on how other people perceive you, Ally. Some are going to be more open-minded than others; some need time to get used to it (it took me a few days when my transwoman coworker told me; I had to just adjust my perceptions). Some will never come around - their ways of thinking are just too entrenched.
We can only control ourselves ultimately. Hugs to you, my dear!
*sigh* You're right. I was just hoping to find a magic pill to give others to make it easier and more frequent.Delete
Although I have never met you in person, I've always accepted you as female, because that's how you're presenting yourself on your blog. Full stop. I think that only people of the narrow-minded and emotionally unintelligent kind cannot accept you as you are, and I think it's their loss. xxxReplyDelete
I'm too incoherent to say something insightful right now, but I agree with Polyester Princess - if that's how you you want to be perceived and accepted then that's it, and there's really no other reason other than small-mindedness if people consistently refuse to see you as female. I guess some people might be initially confused when they meet you, but they should get over it quick and accept you for who you are regardless. I wish people would be more accepting...especially since it doesn't affect them at all!ReplyDelete
Exactly. How does my identity matter to them?Delete
I've rewritten my response a couple times, but here we go:ReplyDelete
I think you're such a COOL person, Ally. You are a creative, generous, inquisitive person. If you tell me you are a woman, I'm going call you by preferred name and pronouns with the same respect a guy named William might go by Bill or a girl named Margaret may be called Peg. Because their name is their identity, just like your gender and your name are.
I wish I had better advice for getting others to accept you for who you are.
I can say if it's someone close (family/friend) that from watching my FTM high school best friend deal with a disapproving family, they may act out of perceived "grief" over losing who they THOUGHT was you.
Many versions of ourselves exist in others minds. But truly the most important mind - is yours.
When meeting new people, we do read the person based on certain coding. What we're taught in our life experiences, societal stereotypes and education.
I agree with Sheila that we can only control ourselves. I prefer to be an open and accepting person. I find this gains me more friends than enemies, but there are still people who dislike me! Sometimes there's just no getting around hateful people.
I find it much more exhausting going through life negative and hateful. But some people literally cannot be kind. I find it very sad.
I hope you continue to find people who support you. I hope you continue to have the opportunity to live a life that feels authentic to your female self, surrounded by people who love you.
Thank you, Megan. I've given up hope on being able to change the way people who've known me a long time view me: they can't make the shift; my male gender is deeply engraved in their minds. Which I accept.Delete
My interest is with new people, strangers. Why can some of them accept me and others not? What makes the difference? I honestly don't know. If I could learn that information, I'd use it.
I'm fine with myself. Most readers misunderstood my question. I'm not seeking peace with myself; I've found it. And I don't need the approval of others; I have lived without it for decades. I'm just searching for why people are the way they are. Some -- a precious few, like you -- have open hearts and minds. Others have closed minds which I haven't been able to pry open. *sigh*
Ever since I first knew you through here, I knew you to be honest, kind, genuine, intelligent and generous- how I could I not accept someone like that! You don't judge, you share your good fortune. I always want to like people and accept them. Sometimes, I have met people who I do not trust or like but I still make an effort with them. I think that is important too.xReplyDelete
"Is it the depth of their empathy? Their prior life experiences? Their contact with people who are different? Their understanding of gender? Their tolerance of social deviance? Their emotional intelligence? Their awareness of gender-diversity?"ReplyDelete
It's all of those things. All of them, and at the same time, none and only their stubbornness. I won't rewrite what so many have already so eloquently said. But do want to share that the experience of trans-identifying individuals with adults is radically different than with children.
My step-children (soon to be 13 & 15) are completely non-plussed about gender identity: whatever the individual presents themselves as, is what they assume them to be. There is no questioning of motive or history. A so.close.they're.like.family friend recently self-identified as a male. And that was all it took for them: the self-identification. They refer to them by their preferred name, and continue on with all of the same activities and love for that person that they had before they were told.
My husband will often remark that in his lifetime (he's only 50 :p) he has seen a remarkable change in the way LGBTQ+ individuals are accepted and treated, and that he has hope for the future. He tells stories of kids he went to high school that were deep in the closet because they knew that if they came out, they would be immediately beat-up and shunned. Whereas, the kids' friends are publicly coming out in their early teens to love and full acceptance.