Friday, May 21, 2021

The Power of Having an Ally

My Partner Liz (Right)
 I have written extensively here in Cyrsti's Condo on my relationship with my long time partner Liz. After all, she was instrumental in kicking me out of the closet and into a feminine world so many years ago. Even though she is a cis-female, she still maintains I am more of a girl than she is. 

So it is no surprise I am very much a supporter of transgender allies. The problem becomes when allies are discussed in many corners of the trans community, it gets bogged down in the minutia of the subject. An example would be a few people would describe a transgender ally as one who simply uses the right pro nouns. 

I believe an true ally supports the trans lifestyle all the way to not backing politicians who vote for anti LGBT legislation. 

I am fortunate in that I have met several other spouses of transgender women and men who completely support their spouses. In fact, I presented my idea to the "powers to be" at Trans-Ohio yesterday about putting together a video presentation on the powers of allies for this years' Pride month. 

The only opportunities I have to do it are simply getting the go ahead from the people I am thinking of asking. Then having the technological knowledge to make it happen. 

I have until the 18th of June to do it. 

1 comment:

  1. Whoa! What, exactly, is a "trans lifestyle" (I can't italicize "lifestyle" here, as you did)? Lifestyle indicates a choice; trans is not a choice. While we may have made the choice to live, openly, as trans women, we don't, necessarily, have the same lifestyles.

    It could be argued that a cross dresser (included under the trans umbrella) who attends meet-ups with other cross dressers every Thursday night has adopted a lifestyle. Of course, I'm not saying that's a bad thing, and it certainly shouldn't define who that person is. It also is not something I, as a trans woman, choose to do as a lifestyle. Still, I can be an ally to a person who participates, without engaging in said lifestyle, myself.

    I think that attaching a lifestyle to trans perpetuates a stereotype that those who are not allies like to use to define trans people. Here's an example, from my own life, just after I had come out in an email to some long-time "friends":

    "> Thanks for your reply to our invitation for our 2013 Christmas Holiday Party.
    >
    > We are pleased that you have decided to live your lifestyle in all honesty to yourself. This must be bringing a contenment and joy that you have never felt or experienced before. And that's a good thing.
    >
    > That said, we feel our Christmas Party is not the best setting for your first appearance in our house in this new guise.
    >
    > We are your friends, and look forward to seeing you soon. Perhaps at your house or the Eagles. Here's to a happy and joyous holiday season."

    As you might imagine, I was not happy to receive this email. But, it wasn't just because I had been uninvited to a yearly party that I had been welcomed at for years. Their use of the word, lifestyle, followed by the shoe-drop phrase, "That said," and the condescending tone, infuriated me. I still have my unsent response draft in my email archives, as well. It was nasty and unbecoming of the lady I try to be, however, and I did the right thing by not sending it. Ironically, their response was much more about their "lifestyle" than it was any they perceived mine to be. And, yes, I was invited to subsequent holiday parties, and I did attend. And, no, they are not my allies; they have really not changed much at all. I have only maintained a relationship with them in hopes that they may, one day, realize that I am not just living a "lifestyle." Oh, did I fail to mention that these people are Trump supporters? So much for my hopes, then.

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