Monday, June 23, 2014

We need to support each other.

Over the past year, I have made a concerted effort to say something positive to women.

I have been reading about women who as part of their daily life, hear and/or feel harassed  while in public by men (called street harassment).

It happens to us as transwomen and we do not understand that part of our daily harassment is something women feel almost everyday since probably early teens. As a male teen in the 1960's and 1970's, it was considered part of showing off your manhood by verbally "harassing" women.

Of course we did not look at it that way. But I remember being with friends in public and saying suggestive things to women in public. Or yelling out of a car window while passing women.

Now that the heels are on the other foot, I understand the unwanted attention and why some women dress down when out in public.

I now want to be part of the solution.

So now when I see a woman who has taken the time (I know about that) to look nice. I will give them a "womanly" compliment. I am not trying to "hit on them" but I want to say something that will hopefully make their day. I will say something positive about their hair color or style, clothes, shoes, nails and overall appearance. Its usually quick and no response is required. However, most women smile and say thank you.

I hope my compliment will offset some jerk who may harass them during the day.

Thanks to the success of the LGBT movement, 99.99% of people say nothing to you during the day when in girl mode. But that one person who gives you that look or says something negative can mess up your whole day or at least throw your confidence off.

Then it occurred to me. When I see a transgendered person, I should go out of my way to give her a compliment, whether I read them or not.

I may make a mistake, so I compliment them just like any other women.

I was at a restaurant in guy mode and my waiter was a thin young man who was broadcasting female signals through his mannerism and overall style. I first complimented him on his eyes. Later, I told him I was a trans women crossdressing as a guy :-}.

I was on my way to my electrologist. That was the first time I just came out and told someone in a matter-of-fact way.

He asked if we could talk for a few minutes. We talked and I gave him my history and what it was like in the 60's, 70's and 80's for transgender people. As we talked, I realized that it is important that we need to come out (even in guy mode) so that we can help each other, especially the younger ones.

I did not preach but I told him the importance of higher education and how it helped me. I told him about my cousin who was my age who quit high school and later prostituted, only to die of AIDS in 1984.

I real felt good after our talk. We exchanged phone numbers and told him he can call me anytime. Even though I doubt he will, at 18, I hope I had a positive impact on his life.

So now I compliment women all the time, especially seeking out transgender women. It helps me feel closer to womanhood and hopefully make someones day.