Reply to "Can We Build a Less Prejudiced TG Sense of Community?"

All I can do is nod in agreement and say "so well stated." I think I know what you mean, Sweetie, about not having a focused point, but I think that there is one there somewhere. This is a difficult topic to really tie together for some reason. I obviously have a lot of mixed feelings about it. Perhaps it's a flaw of character on my part, but I still haven't much sympathy or patience for anyone who is scared to death to show their colors in this world. Maybe that's where support is sorely needed. I think that those of us that are totally out and proud today may be lending courage and strength to some that will eventually build enough strength to come out into the world and live their lives as they truely wish to. I know that there wasn't much support or many transsexual role models for me when I was growing up, and I was beaten back into the closet each time I tried to assert my life, in high school and after. It took me a while to gain the strength to be true to myself and just go for it.

It's been all gaining more and more momentum each decade. There really wasn't anyone before Christine Jorgenson and Renee Richards in te 1950's. But who were they? I really couldn't relate much to either other than what they had done for themselves. Strange as it may seem, other transsexuals weren't real people to me until the 1980s, when there suddenly was a lot of transsexual porn, and people like Sulka or Shalimar bacame seedy starlets. I suddenly could relate to them.

When I finally found myself transitioning my life and personna as well as my body in the early 90s, I found peer pressure in TS support groups in NJ and NYC to be extremely set on ones being "legitimate" only if one has had SRS (genital conversion surgery)or had set a date for it. I think that this caused too may that should not have had that surgery to have it performed, only to regret it afterwards. Unfortunately, this pressure is strengthened by the medical-psychiatric community as well as the legal and law enforcement communities. Police are of the mind set that if you have "the Plumbing" then you are to be treated like a man.

I must say though that acceptance for non-genital op transsexuals is growing. The Gender Identity Project has even been recognizing "Phallic Women" as a valid identity for at least 5 years now. So things are definetly changing.

Maybe visibility is support in some sense. I hope that in that way, courage can be contagious. Yet I have to admit that I haven't much respect or sympathy that I can feel for someone who abandons themself to their fear of being discovered to be a crossdresser or whatever, without any plan to get themselves out of that life-damning panic and dread. Yet I would feel wonderful to know that I might have helped someone out of that hellish nowhere.
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