Where Do I Fit In?

 

N494 Am I Really Included Blog

Ok…I am just going to be blunt as I start this post.  I don’t like Pride Month.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with Pride Month.  I am not saying it shouldn’t be celebrated.  But I will be honest with you too.  Since I first started disclosing the fact I am transitioning, I have not received much support from the LGB population and so, during the month of June, I stay away from pretty much any Pride celebrations unless I am with a group of friends that help me feel safe.

I am trying to think about how best to lay this out as I have some pretty visceral emotional responses over this.  I also think it is important to me  to each of you that I don’t believe that you all would try to make me feel uncomfortable during Pride Month.  Part of it is just the nature of the beast being transgender.

As with everything in life, perspective makes all the difference in the world.  Now, I will say that I fully support the LGB population and them having June as their month to celebrate.  Remember the Stonewall Riots.  Remember those who have been assaulted and murdered for expressing their sexuality.  Celebrate living in a world that has become more accepting of those of us with different sexual identities.

The problem is…where do those of us who are transgender fit?

Since the start of the Pride movement, transgender individuals have basically been “lumped in” with the LGB population because, for lack of better terms, no one knew where to put us.  But honestly, I don’t feel we have, until the past three to five years, received much overall support from the lesbian, gay and bisexual community.  There have been, of course, people within the LGB community who have supported us.  But on a larger scale, as a whole, the LGB community never took a truly strong stand for most issues relating to transgender individuals until after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage.

I know some people are either rolling their eyes or grumbling about me right now.  That’s ok.  I’m not trying to be mean here.  I am just sharing my experiences and the experiences of others I am close to who are on this path.  I am also sharing my experiences being in the Mid Atlantic area of the US.  Here is a good example…

There is a friend of my brother’s who transitioned about ten years ago.  She works in the Landover, MD, area and that puts her pretty close to Washington, DC.  Shortly after her transition, she walked in the Human Rights Campaign National Office in DC.  She took the time to make some introductions, share about herself and meet a few people there.  After about an hour of conversation, she asked to speak with someone so she could volunteer to help work on campaigns for transgender rights.  She was told they had nothing in the works.  They told her that because the transgender population was such a small portion of the population, they weren’t putting any focus on transgender issues except to post a web page on their site discussing how transgender individuals should be treated.

I still shake my head thinking about that.  I mean, I know we can’t fix everything at once and we have to prioritize issues…but here you have someone willing to help start something for you and you basically turn her away.

And for me, personally, I hate to say it but I get some really brutal questions and borderline bullying from the LGB population.  There is a bar here in town.  It was known as the lesbian bar for years but has moved to become the main LGBTQ hangout in the city.  I won’t go there anymore.  I can’t stand it there.  Why?  Why would I hate going to a bar that is supposed to be accepting of people like me?  Why would I refuse to walk into this place that should be a safe haven for me?

That would be because almost every time I go there, I get confronted, bullied and leave there feeling like just as much of a loner as I can feel walking down the street at two in the morning.

Last June, following the city’s main pride celebration, I went to this bar with a gay male friend from home.  Now this friend has been super supportive and actually does a lot of peer mentoring with transgender teens.  He introduced me to a few of his friends who joined us.  We were all having a good time.  And then…then it got bad for me.  As people overheard me talking with my friends, I started getting hit with the question/statement that upsets me more than anything.

“You know you’re just a gay man and refuse to admit.”

And it just got worse as the night went on until I finally had enough and left to go home.

Sadly, that has been my primary experience with Pride Month in this city for the past two years since disclosing.  So again, I ask…where do I and others like me fit in?

Even my cousin who lives in Washington, DC, and is gay, agrees with me.

He and I talked for the first time in a while back in February.  His mother, my aunt, had shared with him that I was transitioning.  We had a great conversation and he shared with me how he had never heard me so at peace in our entire lives.  We talked about his own fears in possibly upsetting me by misgendering me or using my old name.  We discussed how his mother is horrified that she might do the same.  I spent time answering his questions and helping him understand things.  And then, he surprised me by saying…

“I am so sorry the gay rights movement hasn’t supported you and people like yourself like we said we would.  I don’t think you every really belonged with the gay rights movement.  You needed a movement all your own.  But when we ‘took you in,’ we failed you miserably.  We got so focused on gay marriage rights and things tied into that that we never thought about ensuring your civil rights were protected.”

Here is this gay man, masters level education and working to support the entire LGBTQ population…and even he can see that the transgender population is lacking a true support and advocacy system still.

I want to reiterate that I don’t hate the gay rights movement, LGBTQ as a whole, or any one individual who identifies as LGB.  I don’t.  So many of you have been so amazing to me personally.  I am, however, very disappointed with the movement as a whole for failing to support us after we were put under the umbrella of LGBTQ with LGB.

So yeah, June is a weird month for me.  I have bad memories from the events I have gone to and I just choose to stay away from the Pride Month celebrations.  Its just emotionally safer for me that way.  I don’t want to leave another event wondering if I fit in or not.

As for all of my friends who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual…know I love you and support you always.  And I am so blessed for your support.  Thank you for helping me feel like I fit in. ♥

See it on Flickr.


What I’m Wearing
Cae – Trinket Necklace Long
*elise* – Erika Bento Rings
NOIR – Amelia Bracelet
OSMIA – Blake Denim Jumpsuit & T-Shirt [@ Uber]
Stealthic – Paradox

Body
Body – Maitreya – Lara
Head – LeLutka – Korina
Shape – Custom
Skin – Glam Affair – Renee 08

Pose
Foxcity – Lounge 3m

Location
Private Sim

One Comment Add yours

  1. *hugs* Cuz going through all the therapy, surgeries, and hormone replacement is easier than admitting your gay? For someone to say you’re just a gay man afraid to admit it…is as ignorant as suggesting that being gay was a choice they made. Seriously, no matter what community we go into, there are ignorant people everywhere. I personally think you need your own month just for being AMAZZZZINGGGG!!!♥

    Like

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