Through life, transgender or not we face risks. Who do we marry, when do we have kids are just a couple of examples. We transgender women and men face many other risks other than the normal lifetime choices.
|Club Q Memorial|
The major risks we face as we are beginning to emerge from our gender closets is to try to present well enough to blend in with the public and look like a clown which I often did. Unless we are one of the very few "naturals" who are very androgynous appearing to begin with, we face major hurdles as we attempt to grow into our authentic selves. In my case, once I learned to dress better and apply makeup more skillfully I was able to make it to the next level of risk. Which was trying to communicate with the world as a transgender woman. In a relatively short period of time I was able to master the artform of feminine communication. In other words I learned the subtleties of how to talk to another woman as a woman. The process was so fascinating and different. Once I had mastered this risk of being able to comprehend what was really being said to me, I had to move on to the next level. Another example was being complemented on my appearance as a woman, when they were really saying I was a good looking woman for a man.
Around this time was when I was extremely lonely and began to go out to venues I was familiar with as a single transgender woman. I called it going out to be alone. Again, in a short period of time I developed several venues which I considered low risk I go go to and be accepted. I didn't have many problems being a single transgender woman in those venues but when I started to expand my places to go was when I pushed too hard and tried new venues to see if I presented well enough to get by and hopefully add a new venue to add to my regular places to go. A few succeeded and others I had the police called on me, mainly when I tried to use the women's restroom. Needless to say, I never went back.
Another major risk I tried was when I began hormone replacement therapy. When I started HRT I was in my early sixties so I had my age to consider as well as possible health considerations. Would my body be able to accept the changes I was putting it through and benefit at the same time. Following a very slow exploratory time on hormones, my doctor determined it was fine to increase my dosage to a point where I could really see the changes. Even still, as dosages go, I am on a comparatively low dosage so as not to risk blood clots and other complications which could occur at my age of seventy three. In the words, I know I have been very fortunate to have been able to experience the deep feminizing wonders of HRT.
As I wrote this post, I decided to save the biggest risks for last. The risks we transgender women and trans men face when it comes to the high probability of losing jobs, friends and family when we gender transition. Especially as we approach the holidays, I see too many transgender folk in despair because they are alone when family has refused to accept them. Then, let's not forget the physical harm risks we all face which was tragically proven at the "Club Q" tragedy in Colorado. I believe two of the five killed were transgender.
With the future looking as if we LGBTQ individuals are going to have to struggle to overcome every risk we have to face, perhaps the most challenging opportunities for risk management are yet to come.