So this week I’m in Dallas. It’s been a decent week albeit hot. And I don’t just mean warm, I mean so hot an egg could fry on the pavement if you put it there. The food culture here is also challenging. The deep-frying of everything can be a bit much (although, if I wasn’t vegan, I’d try the deep fried Snickers; maybe if they could deep fry an oreo for me or something). I did have deep fried corn on the cob (!!?!). It did seal in the juicyness of the cob but there was nothing more to it than that. Food aside, it’s been both a good week and a bit depressing. It’s good in that I’m rock star as I teach. The students seem to be enjoying it and staying awake (heat be damned). This is always good and getting lots of questions, even in a small class, has been good. I’ve been “Ma’am” and “she’d” a little more than I’d like, however. It’s weird after going for weeks on end where I get “sir”, “mister”, etc. to be given the other gender like that. It’s almost a slap in the face as to what I do not feel comfortable in.
This is a stark contrast to last week when I felt like I was on top of the world. The variety of activities that ensued to make life seem far more exciting and safe than they do this week. I’m actually kind of concerned, given that I’m in Texas — relatively conservative compared to other places, about how others may be reacting to me and how my presence in certain areas (e.g., washroom and such) may heighten the risk to my personal safety. My students seem ok but it’s really everyone else that I have to deal with that worries me. The looks I get (and ignore for the most part) have me wondering if someone is going to try something. For all of my life I’ve never been worried about my safety until now. The more I experience this the more I want some basic surgeries to address what is still left to address.
This week has seen a continuance of the discussion of Chaz’ decision to transition. It is great in one way to have such a public figure transition but in others, it may open up more of a challenge for other trans individuals. We’ll be expected to be as open and public about our process. For me it’s not an issue but for others it may be. They may have more of a private life that they do not want to be shared nor do they want that expectation to be shared looming over them. Additionally, Chaz startdoom is a benefit to him, even if it’s inherited. He’ll likely be treated better than the average trans individual. This will be true, IMO, on a face-to-face basis. When one is viewed from a distance a whole variety of other factors will come into play, particularly anonymity. The responses by the general public has been less than positive. If anything they have been worse than what I’ve seen against other trans individuals.
In some ways it would be nice to let the public see how a transition is and what it’s like to face discrimination, particularly when people don’t understand the reasoning behind transitioning. It’s not about what’s in society; it’s not about wanting privilege; it’s not about trying to fit in with what society accepts. It is about what is acceptable to the self and how a person views the self in regards to others. I understand why others cannot see the world as I see it and why I have this need or this coercive soul-binding draw to do what I must just as much as I cannot understand what it’s like to not have that in place. The important thing is to remember that not all of us walk the same path. Whether you call it God, Fate or just what life is we each have our own path put before us. Degrading and demeaning one of us affects us all.
As much as I would like to be accepted by society I know that will not be the answer to my ultimate soul happiness. For that, I have to accept myself as is. And try as I might, the view of what I am is very different than what I was born with (just the external parts — inside, there is a lot I like although I’m constantly improving and updating). Shouldn’t that be what our lives are about? Experiencing, learning, growing??