Its always interesting to see what comes across the Facebook feeds.
The other day, I was scrolling through and someone I know posted about someone who was trying to badmouth her to her other people. Now, this person, while I don’t know her well. She and I have only met once but she was incredibly kind to me. Additionally, she and I share several mutual friends and the fact that those mutual friends speak so highly of her…that tells me she is an honestly good person. I mean, it goes right in with the saying that you can tell a lot about someone by the company they keep.
As I read her post, I realized that I had a pretty negative interaction with this same person. And, based on all the comments that were made on the post, it seems A LOT of people have had similar negative interactions as well. This post kind of triggered some thoughts I have had for some time but have struggled to write about. Thinking about it all, I feel like I finally figured out how to get it all from my mind into words. At least I hope so. So here it goes.
The double standard that exists for certain groups of people will never cease to amaze me There are simple ones which I think most of us know. For example, the double standards between men and women. If a man starts expressing his opinion, especially in the business world, he is seen as confident and assertive. If a woman does the same thing, she is seen as a bitch. A man can have as many sexual partners as he desires and most of the world views him as a ladies’ man or a stud. If a woman does the same thing, she is considered a slut. And conversely for women, if she refuses the advances of others, she is seen as a bitch or an ice queen. These are basic ones that almost all of us know. Some of us perpetuate them and others of use don’t.
I know in a previous post, it was a while ago, I touched on some of the double standards pressed upon the transgender population, particularly as it relates to romantic relationships. If my memory serves me correctly, I wrote more about how we feel pressured to say that we are transitioning early for fear of being called liars and what not. I know I also discussed the increased risk of physical violence in real life when disclosing this fact. It makes dating very difficult and is certainly one of the reasons I haven’t attempted to find a real life relationship thus far.
I had often struggled to truly write about how deeply the double standard for honesty exists until recently. I was listening to my favorite podcast not too long ago and they discussed one of the greatest examples of how the double standard against the transgender population plays out and is perpetuated by many.
In this podcast, one of the participants was discussing this exact double standard. She shared the story of a writer who is fairly well known. In one of this man’s talks or writings, he wrote about and openly acknowledged that he is not honest with most women. He admitted that he would lie and bend the truth however he needed to if it meant taking a woman he found attractive to bed. He did this in a way which, if memory serves me correctly, many other men applauded. They took joy in knowing that someone else could dig around in a bag of lies and pull out whatever worked so that this man could have his sexual conquests.
In a later piece, this writer went on to discuss and attack the transgender population. After a visit he had to a region of the world where the transgender population is more open and accepted, he apparently was disgusted by the number of trans individuals there. He discussed how trans people are deviants and freaks who are lying to the world about who they are and that they will use any and all means necessary to deceive others. He talked about how wrong this is and how the trans population disgusted him by living such deceitful lies.
So wait…its ok for and encouraged for you to lie so you can get a woman you are attracted to into bed but if I were to not disclose to someone right out of the gate that I am trans, then I am deceitful and horrible person?
I think someone needs to take a long hard look in the mirror there.
I mean, do I believe that if I am romantically interested in someone that I need to be honest with them? Yes. But that does not mean I have to tell you right out of the gate about my life. And this life, which is not a choice, is not something deceitful or disgusting. It is who I am. And, in the real world, I will do what I need to do so I can feel safe and secure to walk down the street…to keep my job…or to keep my home and health care. Fortunately, I am able to be more open now but many are not so lucky.
The anger and frustration that many of us who are trans feel is also perpetuated in other ways too. And one way it is perpetuated was, for me, exemplified by this individual in the post I mentioned earlier. This person, as well as others I have encountered in my Second Life experience, once tried to use me being trans as a means of manipulating me. This person wasn’t the first to do it and they won’t be the last. These people have, when posed with questions or concerns from me…or when I have put a stop to some sort of virtual sexual advances or play, told me that I should excuse their poor behavior just because they accepted me in a romantic or sexual way with me being trans.
Wait? What? No…it doesn’t work that way. You don’t get a free pass on inappropriate behavior because you accepted me as trans.
In the end, we should all be respecting each other and holding someone to the same standards. A woman should be able to explore her sexual self as much as a man should. A trans person should be able to as well. We should all be able to voice our opinions without being judged in a negative light. And, ultimately, we should be able to set boundaries as to have far anything…work, family, friendships and romantic and physical relationships…goes without a fear of being judged, attacked or criticized. As my friend Jessa likes to tell me, we are all human…and we should all be treated as such.
Thankfully, for all of my insecurities and doubts about myself, I will set boundaries. It was a hard lesson to learn for me. I also, in cases such as what I mentioned above, am not afraid to call someone out on their lies when they come to light.
Maybe I am cold at times, but not just anyone gets to play with me that way…
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