Very early in my gender transition I felt I was successful if I "fooled" another person into thinking I was actually a woman. Little did I know how wrong I was. An example was I would recoil at the mention I "made" a good looking woman. I felt I wasn't making anything, I was just becoming my natural self. Perhaps I was being hard on myself because in reality I was working very hard to perfect my feminine new transgender appearance. By doing so I was encourage myself I could actually survive in the world as a woman.
|At the Park|
Photo by Jessie Hart
When I first began to notice I was succeeding in my feminine quest was when I was shunned by male friends I knew when I dressed as a woman for a Halloween party. My "costume" was way too serious to be mistaken as a casual excursion into the feminine gender. Maybe among all the other clues, shaving my legs for the evening gave me away.
It wasn't until years later I realized I had witnessed the first vestiges of losing my male privilege. In other words when I was successful at presenting as a woman, I was kicked out of the boys club I had worked so hard to be accepted in. I was naïve in thinking I could to try to live part time in each binary gender. The entire process nearly cost me the ultimate loss when I tried suicide in addition to a very self destructive existence.
As I transitioned into a fulltime life as a transgender woman, I began to understand exactly what I was winning and what I was losing. Naturally what I was winning was a life as my feminine authentic self when I finally let her out of our gender closet. On the other hand, I was out of the boys club forever and needed to adjust my thinking. I learned the hard way, I had become in essence a second class citizen in the world of men. Long gone were the days when my opinion actually mattered in a group of men. Even though I knew more about the subject than they did. It was humorous to me when I was "mansplained" about a sporting comment. I lost the battle in society but won the war personally.
I also learned the hard way how losing my male privilege could be dangerous. I write often how I was cornered at a party by a much larger man and suddenly found how vulnerable women could feel. To make matters worse I needed to be rescued by my wife. Yet another instance when losing my male privilege nearly led me to harm occurred during a late night excursion to a gay bar in downtown Dayton, Ohio. When I left the relative safety of the bar and headed down the dark sidewalk to my car I was suddenly stopped by two men. Luckily I was able to escape with no harm when I gave them my last five dollars. Never again did I walk that sidewalk alone.
Even though there is no way I would give up my feminine privilege which included my new cis woman friends, it still is amazing to me the white male privilege so many men take for granted.
I certainly won more than I lost.