iQueer - Walk me through it
by Phillip Eugene Zee
I just read your column in the November Gayly. It's a really good issue. It spoke a lot about transgender issues - since it was transgender awareness month.
Here's my “come out for the holidays” story...I'm transgender (male to female). I do not know exactly how to tell my family, but the time has come and I owe it to myself. No more secrets. I honestly think some of them must know because of the feminine side of me, but then again, who knows what they think. Maybe they think I'm “just gay” right?
I don't necessarily need to tell them over the holidays, but I read your column and thought now would be a good time to write you. I would like to do it then - like a Christmas present to myself.
So Phillip, put yourself in my shoes and walk me through it...please.
My name is Jenny.
Hi Jenny, thank you for reading and writing in. I first must say, this will be my first column where transgender is the topic, so thank you for giving me this opportunity. What a strong and brave woman I believe you to be, I could only imagine the challenges in which you find yourself in just telling your story.
What I see here is a request for a little guidance and I hope that I can give you that. So setting your gender and your sexuality aside for just a second, I would like all my readers to know that Jenny is transgender which has no relevance to her sexuality, whichever it might be.
I think for myself, education is always the most important topic when it’s your turn to be the speaker. If that be in front of your family, peers or strangers, I think for you the very first step is to bring a wealth of knowledge and support for your family. We are in a world where anything and everything can be labeled, but where I believe we lack in all communities is the truth or facts of the label.
What I am saying to you is, before you have your big “coming out,” you need to promote knowledge of what gender identity is, and how transgender is determined. The term coming out is such an old school saying that made a bunch of sense when we lived in a private world inside night clubs and bars where we were accepted. Coming out was a way for us to say hey – this is me, and I don’t care if you accept it, because this is me, then we could run to the Lime Light NYC and live, free.
Today when we are walking down the streets and seeing two people of the same gender holding hands, it’s accepted by way of question, rather than hate (mostly everywhere). So, now that we have gender equality on the agenda, let’s create a platform of learning rather than coming out.
I am extremely passionate about my LGBT community, and if I put myself in your shoes, this is how I would approach my gender with the family. Now, I don’t look for that sweet opportunity to be like, hey I am gay…now I teach people the definition of a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, which is a family of individuals who are diverse, and explaining how one doesn’t come with the other.
To go further in depth with you, I would want to know if you are sexually attracted to men or women and since you are transgender from male to female…how are you identifying your sexuality? Are you straight or are you gay? Having the answer to this would, for me, determine my next educational lesson of my story (or coming out) to my family.
p.s. Your shoes are too big for me – Boom!
The Gayly - 12/11/2015 @ 12:06 p.m. CST