I went for a long walk today with the camera and managed to get some interesting shots. You can see them on the Flickr site if you want (http://www.flickr.com/syrlinus/show). It was very pleasant and quiet — for the most part. At one point, a gaggle of people came down the path, asking me if it was true that there were no birds in the forest. Well, there are; it’s just that they are so noisy that no bird will come out. I did find a couple — a woodpecker (either Downy or Hairy — too far to tell; and a Warbler, I think). Although the sky was grey, it wasn’t too cold. It’s very weird to not see snow on the ground in January for me. I’m kinda used to it. I suppose it’s even weirder for me to go for a walk in my sandals (with socks on). I actually find it comfortable and it’s not really cold enough to warrant boots. I’ve noticed that I’m more and more tolerant of the cold. Or at least, the cold weather in NYC (it’s not as cold as elsewhere). K is being driven mad by me and my desire to keep my office window open a crack or more. I usually do that to let the cigar smoke out but also to make it more comfortable, temperature wise, in my office area.
And it’s during these walks that I do ponder the weird and wonderful world we live in. Someone had started a discussion about cis-privilege and it has gotten me to think some more about the idea of living stealth. I really don’t know if I could do it. I mean, even after top surgery, and if I ever have a hysto, I dunno if I just want to blend in and take all that privilege that often comes with it (being a white trans guy I end up with a huge load of privilege that I apparently never had before). I mean, thus far being open and letting it be obvious hasn’t seemed to hurt me. I’ve been pretty lucky, I guess, in my experience and haven’t faced any (that I know of) discrimination. I’ve pondered why this may be. Either I’m rather fortunate or rather blind. There may be another option: I’m more confident and happy.
It’s an interesting human phenomenon that we like to hang with people who are happy and content, even when our own lives just suck beyond belief. When I greet people, I try to have a smile on my face and stay positive. It’s taken me a while to develop this habit and it’s something I use often when I instruct (the exception to this is when I’m really, really sick or depressed — which happens far less often than it used to). But back to the cis privilege. It puzzles me. It really only appears when a trans individual has not fully transitioned and is in that median place of one foot on one side and one foot on the other. Once a person has reached a stage where they can “pass” 100% of the time (or something near to it) cis privilege almost becomes their own. But, as I said, it’s the in-between time that is the riskiest and most dangerous. And it is that point of time where trans protection and education is need most.
I am at that in-between stage. My voice is still dropping (I really need to do an audio piece so people can hear) and I’m still gaining hair in places while losing it elsewhere (*sob*). And yet.. Eh. Who knows? Perhaps I just haven’t quite hit the discrimination part yet. But it’s still out there, that I know. I know it from the pain that some trans folk I know face. Maybe this year I’ll see it personally as times of trouble tends to bring out the worst in people before it brings out their best.
Then again, I can hope that it won’t..