Thursday, April 11, 2013

Coming out, again and again.

Coming out is a very important part of being LGBT. It's the moment you tell your friends and family: this is who I am and I'm not ashamed of it. It's the moment you tell them you want them to love and accept you for who you truly are. And hopefully they do. You can never be sure what is going to happen until you actually come out. I guess, in a way, it is a test. Do they really care about you, enough to accept the fact that you are different from the mainstream. Not everyone passes that test and it can be very hard. Which is why it's such a big deal. You risk losing your loved ones over something that, really, isn't any of their business. Because, let's face it, it's no ones business what you do in the bedroom except the person you are doing that with. 

If you are LGB, once you are out to your friends and family basically you're done. Because, indeed, it is nobody's business. Your co-workers or classmates have no reason to know such things. You are not obligated to tell anyone. You don't have to put it on your resume and in most cases people can't tell. When you go to the gym or to church or the beach, people either could already tell before you came out, or they still can't. Telling people you are gay doesn't change the way you look. You may feel more secure and that might show. Or you might act more natural and not restrain your traits that you think might 'out' you to other people. But coming out in itself doesn't make you look gay. 

Being a transsexual is a bit different when it comes to that. First you need to come out to your friends and family, just like the LGB people. Same story. Either they suspected already or they were completely in the dark. Either they will accept it or not. And you deal with whatever you get on your plate. And then you start your transition. You do your screening and get approval to start treatment. So that is what you do. You start hormone treatment. And then suddenly, that huge group of people that the LGB people didn't have to worry about, is on your case. People see you changing and they start asking themselves questions. 

I teach BodyPump at two gyms. At both gyms most people who work there know about me being trans. At one gym a lot of the members know as well. But not everyone. I don't start my classes with: Welcome to BodyPump, my name is Tyler and I'm trans. That would just be silly. But they all see the weight I put on m barbell. They all pay attention to my muscle tone. Instructors set an example of what you can achieve with that program after all. When you start taking testosterone your muscles start to grow. My voice will lower. Something they will notice as I am talking all the time. They listen to me. They will notice something is changing. And the most logic explanation for these changes would be steroids. And they would be right. Steroids are artificial hormones. It's the exact same stuff as I will be getting from my doctor. I know people will talk. Luckily people tend to approach me and ask me all kinds of questions. So hopefully they will ask about this as well. Or they will ask each other in the locker room and hopefully someone who knows what's happening can help them out. At one gym that shouldn't be a problem. At the other gym I'm not so sure yet. The thing is, I will have to come out, to a whole bunch of people, who I don't even really know that well because I see them once or twice a week during a fitness class. It's none of their business. But they will notice and they will have an opinion and some of them will talk behind my back. I will be getting looks. I will be getting questions. And I am really dreading that. I know, all I can do is wait and see what happens. I'll just have to deal with it one look or question at a time. 

People are not aware of this. They think that once you're out you're done. They think that, just because it isn't someone's business, their opinion doesn't matter. And they're right, it doesn't. But it does affect me. I do have to deal with being judged. I do have to deal with people asking completely inappropriate questions. I do have to deal with looks that say: what are you? I'm not sure but what ever you are, it's weird and I don't like it. I will have to go through a phase where I am obviously a freak. A bearded lady. Or a boy with boobs. Chose the lesser evil. Either way, it sucks. 

Wish me luck. I'm going to need it. 

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1 comment:

  1. Good point - a whole series of coming outs.

    Maybe wear a tee-shirt at the gym that says I'm trans - what are you? or you could you do the "hi how you've been and I've had a great week, voice getting lower as I transition into the real me". And then the ones that are genuinely interested will ask you afterwards.
    Just a thought or two. Knowing me probably not useful ones ....