Trans In The Valley – Part 2: The T-Word

Not a happy story ahead…

Today I was sitting in class listening my professor talk about the time he spent studying prostitutes. Suddenly a girl raised her hand and asked a question about spotting prostitutes who are the T-word(I refuse to write it). The classroom which was very quiet throughout the entire class was now all suddenly awake and wanted to throw in their opinion. The first thing that bothered me is that the T-word was dropped nearly half a dozen times within a couple minutes. I could have maybe gotten over that, but then my classmates started listing ways to spot trans women. That was very difficult to sit through; my classmates, listing all the possible reason’s why I may never be able to pass or be accepted as a woman by society.

I didn’t know what to do. There was a lot of people in that class and I was sitting so far away from the door. I didn’t want to make a scene and embarrass my girlfriend who was in the class too. I decided that the best thing to do would be to sit there and do my best to maintain my composure and then email my professor when I got home. I did just that. He assures me that he doesn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable in his class and if any similar incidents occur he will stop it right away. I don’t expect it to happen again. I hope that at least I have prevented a future trans woman from having to sit through such a bad situation.

I take the opportunity to educate people about trans issues whenever I can. Usually that just results in me telling people what not to call trans women and almost always online. I would have loved to tell everyone in that class that the T-Word is offensive to trans people but I didn’t think it was the best idea for the situation.

Even though I think I made the right choice for me at that time, it still affected me emotionally. For the rest of the day my mood fluctuated between Anger and Crying. Even now as I’m winding down and about to get ready for bed I still feel upset by the event.

An unfortunate fact is that the prostitutes which my classmates were discussing are the only trans people that most people in the valley have any knowledge of. I have never heard anyone speak about them in way that wasn’t very negative. I’ve heard far too many stories from people who drive down the street they work at and stare at them as they drive by like they are some sort of spectacle. I don’t like it. In fact I have turned down offers to drive by them even before I identified as trans. I have never seen or met them. I do not know if they identify as male or female or whether they are crossdressers or transsexuals or etc but it bothers me when people refer to them as men or as T-words. Even if they were to identify as men, it is unfair for people to make that assumption about transgender people.

This is the environment I am trying to deal with. The sad thing is, the use of the T-word is widespread so even if I was trying to transition in a different place there is no guarantee that I would encounter a friendlier mood. Today I realize how bad of a place this is going to be to transition. Not only am I alone but I have to combat the prejudices of trans people that the public has here.

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2 responses to “Trans In The Valley – Part 2: The T-Word

  1. How does the world’s views of gays differ from a trans? Because many big cities have gay/lesbian communities and places to gather or socialize. I’m not familiar with them but I’m wondering if those communities would have a general attitude of acceptance and be less judgmental or not?

    • I’m not sure about the whole world but here in the US people are much more accepting of Gay people than of trans people. A perfect example of this would be the controversy over Chaz Bono being on Dancing With the Stars(TV show). Not sure if it was news where you are but the media here was very critical of the show letting a trans man be on TV and often made transphobic remarks. I am told there is/was a gay man on the show and no one ever blinked an eye at that. The show received no criticism for that from the media and no one was outraged.

      The unfortunate thing about the gay/lesbian communities is that many gay men, maybe not most but many, believe that trans women are just gay men who can’t deal with liking men. They can be just as judgmental and as not accepting as the rest of the people. I guess the gay/lesbian community is just like the rest of the population in the sense that how accepting they are really depends on the individuals themselves.

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