What Next?

| Aug 31, 2015
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The last 12-18 months have seen unprecedented exposure in many local, national and international media about all matters T.

In fact, an explosion of awareness about us T people.

We’ve had news items and articles and opinion pieces. We’ve had talk shows and interviews, sitcoms and films. All focussing on Ts, albeit mainly on their fascinating physical transformations but, to a far lesser extent, on advocacy for T rights and addressing some of the challenges we actually face (from the mundane, i.e. changing names or driving licence details to the fairly major, i.e.. the “bathroom issue”).

But, hey, all publicity helps; all positive news about T people helps erode away at prejudices and discrimination. Lets people know that we are, indeed, real people with real lives.

On both sides of the Atlantic we’ve had T personalities come to the fore or make news, mainly as a result of their transition. Who hasn’t now heard of Caitlin Jenner or Laverne Cox in the U.S.? Or an up-and coming famous teen T person, Jazz Jennings, with her own TV show? Then there is Kelly Maloney (ex-boxing promoter) and also Stephanie Hirst (nationally known DJ) from the U.K., both of whom transitioned in the public eye. Of course, how can we overlook Andreja Pejic who was already an internationally known model famous for her androgynous looks before she transitioned to female?

Weighing in to help Ts, we have also had the Obama administration appointing T personnel to senior positions within the government; the US military discussing the issue of serving Ts and so on.

So, have we reached a tipping point for T people in general acceptance from society at large, and a major reduction in Transphobia hatred and vitriol? Have we reached a position akin to the status our gay cousins have achieved [think: same-sex marriage; employment benefits available to same-sex partners; or even generally a so-what shrug of the shoulders if someone mentions: Oh.., so-so is gay?

Probably not.

Can we get there in the short term? In my view, probably not.

As we all know, there are gay US Ambassadors (i.e. to Vietnam); gay CEOs or senior executives within several major MNCs; internationally famous singers, pop-stars and other celebrities all of whom are gay.

But can we honestly expect to see, in the next 5 or so years, T people filling similar type positions (yes, I know there are 1-2 T people famously heading up major departments of certain corporations, but so few they can be counted on the fingers on one hand)? Can we really expect the public at large to take T people to heart as they have gradually come to do with gay people?

To most of mainstream society, gay people are, well, gay. T people, on the other hand, are strange, even weird individuals. They think we’re all people who want to emasculate themselves, wear the clothes of the opposite gender and portray themselves 180 degrees differently from their apparent gender. That’s even without thinking about the sexual preferences of the concerned individuals. Most of the public simply don’t understand or want to understand that being T does not equal being gay. Most others also don’t understand that there are degrees of being T; namely that some males like to be feminine for a short period of time without any permanent alterations, whilst others simply have to change full time to present as their correct gender as soon as they possibly can (i.e. pre puberty).

In short, the umbrella term Transgender embraces so much diversity in characters, from the part-time crossdresser on one hand to the fully transitioned Transgender person on the other, that even within the “T sub-set” we confuse ourselves.

We defy accurate definition.

And it may be this which keeps many of us on the fringes of mainstream society, keeps us from emulating other minorities. So, despite the plethora of good and great news about T awareness in the recent past, I am still left to pose the question in the title of this piece: What Next?


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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Politics

Christine B

About the Author ()

Christine has written numerous (at least 150) articles, columns, op-eds, features & stories for well known T magazines, websites & e-zines; she also works as a part time fiction editor for Club Lighthouse Publishing, and is a co-editor of an award winning T-girl Magazine. In addition, she has written 8 adult books mainly in the T sub-genre which have been published by Club Lighthouse Publishing, for whom she has been the best selling author for the last 5 years.

Comments (1)

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  1. KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

    > I am still left to pose the question in the title of this piece: What Next?

    What’s next?
    Trans folks need to stop talking about being trans and get some work done solving the world problems.
    Talking transition is about as interesting as talking gay sex.
    Cox, Jenner, Jazz, are all intellectual dead-ends.
    Break free from the nonsense and impress the world with your brain.