Friday, August 24, 2012

Doing my part.

The other day I was on my way to work and a feeling of sadness came over me. At first I wasn't sure why but I felt really lonely. And I realized that, in a way, I am lonely.

A friend of mine told me the other day her boyfriend wanted to be a Hell's Angel because it would force respect. But it also makes you an outsider, it makes people look at you in a certain light. They judge you without knowing anything about you. He had said he didn't care. If he wouldn't get a job because of it, or would be refused entrance somewhere, it would be worth it for him. It made me angry. Because I am an outsider and people judge me without knowing me and I don't have a choice. He does. It's easy to be okay with stuff like that if you have a choice.

People have been telling me they think I'm brave for doing this. For being a transgender. It seems absurd. How can being who you are be a brave thing to do? It shouldn't have to be. But it is. At first, with all the positive reaction from my friends I had the illusion it might not be as hard as I had expected. But the blow was still to come. And it comes now, soft and slowly, but still possibly deadly. That feeling of loneliness, of isolation, has not disappeared. It's still there. I ignore it most of the time because it keeps me from doing the things I should do, but it's still there. I know it might never go away because it contains a truth. People don't understand. They don't know. I'm not sure if I could ever explain this to them. Part of me doesn't want to have to. I shouldn't have to. You don't need to explain being born black, or tall, or smart or stupid. It's just  the way you are. People accept that. Mostly anyway. That is, they accept the fact that you are that way. They might not accept the fact that it doesn't mean you are less then they are. But still, they accept the fact that you can't help being like that. You were born that way. But being trans is something you are born with as well. It's a result of the amount of testosterone you got when you were 6-8 weeks in your mother's womb. A brain development. End of story. But somehow people are not willing to accept that. People act like I have a choice. I do, in a way. I can chose to deny who I really am and be miserable for the rest of my life. That's the only other thing I can do. Not much of a choice is it? So why should I have to be brave? Why do I have to be judged for being different? It's not a choice. I never wanted to be a transgender. I denied it for 33 years and it just wouldn't go away. I can't help it. And now I'm being brave for admitting it? You might state I'm being brave for exposing myself to ignorant people who will treat me poorly or even badly because of it. But pretending I'm something I'm not and not cracking up while people treat me according to my mask is even harder. The suicide rate among transgenders is shockingly, but not surprisingly, high. Living the lie seems to be the hardest thing there is. Much harder then being discriminated, ridiculed and sometimes even prosecuted.

So what to do? What can I do? How much of a difference can one man make? Sometimes I think very little. But JFK said: “One person can make a difference and every person should try.” If you don't try, you don't know if you are that person that will make a difference. So I guess I should try.
Today I came across this link:

I sent an email to apply for the job. It's a volunteer job and it's not like I'm not busy and my life isn't hectic enough as it is but I feel like this is just what I need right now. I hope I'll get it. Wish me luck.


  1. I whis you all the luck for de volunteer job at the coc leiden...
    And whishes you all the luck in the whole wide world to be you,,, yourself,,,... Because thats you..

    All my love, and deep respect, 4 you Tyler..
    Lots of hugs and a kiss...Alida, Mom of Paul and Eva...

  2. Thanks Alida, that's really sweet.

  3. Ik lees net op de nieuws pagina van het COC dat je de nieuwe coördinator bent (bij de vermelding van de workshop). Gefeliciteerd!