Monday, September 9, 2013

The Reality of Perception

"I have breasts, hips, and will soon not have a penis. When I have a vagina will I still be a transgender woman? Am I a transgender woman now? Am I transgender only when someone doesn’t recognize me as a woman, and misgenders or harasses me? Do I only think of myself as transgender when I remember I’ve been male-identified most of my life? Trans and cis gender categories are tedious, hierarchical caste categories I would happily forget about completely, and which I’m finding less and less relevant to my self-conception."

This is a quote from Leela Ginelle on the PQ site called ID Check: It's Not Me, It's You.

It's safe to say "reality is only in the mind of the beholder". It's also easy to say body parts should not dictate your identity. In essence, Leela makes that point well.  SRS or not,  the public's perception of you equals reality- no matter how you label yourself..

In my case, Saturday was an excellent example of perception equalling reality with me. As I have written here in Cyrsti's Condo, I have not considered SRS, have been on HRT and feel comfortable identifying as a transgender woman. Around the home front, I basically just go to places where people have known me for awhile. Saturday though,  I ventured out of my comfort zone. My girlfriend and I watched football in a neighborhood tavern close to Cincinnati. Perception of my gender by the tavern clientele only became a potential issue when it was potty time. Both trips during the game...no issues but I never take my restroom pass for granted.  I can only wonder what a problem the potty would be if after SRS you were still hasseled?

Selfishly I only had two goals. (or three) Enjoying time with my gf, judging public reaction to my new hair style and watching the Buckeyes win. I went three for three.

Not long ago, ironically, a friend of mine and I took basically this same perception/reality discussion to a whole different level. He has an unwavering view that no male can truly ever transition totally to a woman and it's a myth gender is primarily between the ears.  He cross dressed years ago and purged never to go back so in all fairness to him, he is stuck in that mindset of judging a world which has changed from his past.

Of course you know I don't believe in any of his ideas and in a future post I'm going to pass along more of the discussion.  I know where he wants to go but gets lost doing it.

In the meantime, following up on Leela's comments, if she has a vagina or not, the only reality she has to consider is how she perceives herself. The world will follow...or not.





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A Life in Gender Flux