Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Ups and Downs of Trainsition - Downs

But there is always a cloud with every silver lining.

I don't always 'pass' as perfectly female and there are still a few idiots out there.  A few weeks ago a member of staff at a small west country hotel at which I was staying, believeing that I was out of earshot, shouted along a corridor that 'she, he or it' had come to collect their room key.  Does being transgender make them think you are deaf? 

When I spoke to the hotel owner, she was mortified to find out that I had heard what the member of staff had said.  When I arrived back late that evening a very nice card of apology was propped up against a bottle of wine on my bedside table.  Full marks.

By contrast, having been through two levels of complaint at the BBC and now about to complain to the BBC Trust, this august public corporation thinks that it is OK for a character in a satirical show at 6.30 pm on Radio 4 to say that 'you should not call people 'it' unless they are transgendered or hermaphrodites and want to be referred to in a gender-neutral way'.  Crass idiots.

I was before, at least as far as the world knew, a white, middle-aged, middle class male.  Discrimination was something that happenned to other folks.  Interesting how your perspective changes.


Robin Moira White

1 comment:

Miss M. T. said...

First: i love your blog - very insightful and useful!

Second, I absolutely agree with you about how surprising it is to find oneself the target of behaviours that normally happen to 'someone else'.

I'm at a much earlier stage of the process than you are, and not sure whether I want to go all the way to transition, but the thing I'm really struggling with is when to use my girl voice.

I love speaking with my girl voice, and I practise it a lot when I'm on my own; BUT - when I have a guy over, I find it amazingly difficult to use it. There's a whole load of other social and cultural stuff that comes into play, and even though I'm all glammed up specially for him, I cant let go this last vestige of my male identity.

I think psychologically the thought process is: "If I use my girl voice, I'll lose all the cultural status I have as a male, and have to learn the much more passive and submissive role of the female - and then I wont have any means of controlling the situation".

And, of course, at another level that's what i want - but making it happen! Lord that's proving difficult!

What this struggle has brought into sharp focus for me is a comment that a work colleague made a few months ago - viz, that men don't realise that in their careers they have the wind at their back the whole time, whereas for women, it blows in the opposite direction, and you are forever tacking into that breeze.

This is a slightly more general point than the one you are making, but I experienced the recognition that such a thing - hitherto just a rumour, as far as I was concerned - is real! And it's going to make a huge difference to how I try to support female members of staff in the future!


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