Over the past six months I have been, potentially, the poster child for the transsexual community here in my little hometown. Every gal should be a little girl first and get any awkwardness over when they are small and cute. I did mine in front of a crowd and, yes, people noticed, and wondered, and thought I was brave, and probably thought I was some other things too that I would rather not imagine. Eventually, after an initial surprise and adjustment, I'm finally just one more woman in the line at the grocery store. "How will you be paying for that today, ma'am?"
How has it been going lately? Really well, and better all the time. The truth is, folks have stopped making a big deal about me, and that might mean a few different things. I figure it is mostly because one more woman and one less man in town is yesterday's news for people who don't know me well enough to call me by name. For those who do know me by name, they are interacting with me regularly as who I am and we are getting on just fine. It is not an issue anymore; old news.
Reading Nadine's post Public Relations, I couldn't agree more with her that the way forward for the transgender community is for us to get out of the closet and let people see that not conforming to the expectations that have been laid on us arbitrarily and incorrectly does not make us monsters.
Being me and not a poster child doesn't mean that I cannot speak out for the community, but I will admit that as time passes, I find myself less inclined to 'out myself' intentionally. That is, I am very happy to simply be me and not tell those around me my history. Being stealth isn't a dirty word. It means getting on with my life as it should have been, and that is my ultimate goal.
When around people who do know my history, I will not act offended when they ask questions that are respectful. If, on occasion, being open and truthful will help a person or a group of people to grow and learn what being trans really means, I won't pretend or hide. When, as has been the case, others use knowledge of my situation as a way for them to come out about some part of their lives, I feel empowered.
At the same time, I won't go around waving a flag all the time proclaiming something I hope is obvious; I'm a woman. Full stop. Maybe that helps the cause in some way, too.