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Different Perspective

Published: Jul 24 2017

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Stopping Political Apathy

I used to be so apathetic for anything that might be political. I might have cared but I thought nothing could be done. I was just part of the masses who are willing to plod along. If someone came out and said "Soylent Green is people!" my reaction might have been: "Well, which people?", maybe.

Now I feel like I need to participate in politics. Maybe not at a national scale or even as large as a state-wide scale. I do feel like I have to participate locally though. With the people around me I feel like I am an ambassador, for lack of a better word. I am the first or only trans person they know and I represent trans people for them. It might not be true in every way but it is what I feel like is happening. It doesn't even make sense if you start thinking about how I am largely the same person. For the most part this has all been perceived though. I feel like the "token" person. Like I am expected to have knowledge or experience just because of that. The truth is I can only speak for myself still. I can't speak for others and I must learn the same as anybody else. 

I do follow more politics on a larger scale. Things I need to think about now that I didn't need to before. It doesn't mean I am an expert in law or anything just that I have to pay more attention.


I went from one of the most privileged groups (straight, white, male) to one of the most disparaged. It hasn't yet been a huge issue but there are things I think about now that I would never have considered previously, at least as applying to me. Bathroom bills, healthcare, job prospects, sexism, discrimination, and public outrage. Before I would have personal opinions about all those things. I was not usually part of the group that they would apply to though.

Now I will have to consider if the state I am in (or visiting or considering moving to) changes the bathroom laws. I will have to scrutinize what jobs I can take based on where they are located and the health benefits I will or won't receive. That assumes they don't discriminate (directly or indirectly) based first on being trans and then on being a woman. Many people will be publicly unashamed to be mean or say rude things. Some may be violent. 

Since I changed demographics I have noticed much more of the advertising around me. I might not like it but I am seeing a lot more of it targeting me. Makeup and fashion especially. It's quite jarring how in your face it is for me.


I must consider my safety more readily. I wouldn't have walked down a dark alley before but I might have felt a little confident that I could at least fight back if there was a danger. Now I would never even consider the possibility. I am physically weaker and less able to fend off an attacker, most likely. It is obvious but I am not saying that woman are weaker, just that I am relative to myself previously. I feel smaller too. I don't mean I take less space. I mean that I feel like my presence isn't powerful. I am not sure how to explain it but it's like submissive but it's not that exactly. I have often read that women feel their opinion matters less than the men's at work. That seems to be more like how I feel.

This doesn't apply to just dark alleys though. It might apply if I go to a bar and someone touches me inappropriately or simply being catcalled on the street. I never had to deal with any of this before and it's kind of terrifying. It seems almost certain that sometime in the future this will be something I have to experience. It seems that many woman experience similar things and it shouldn't be that way. I am sure that could be an entire rant on it's own though. Just that I now have to start preparing myself for situations that are foreign to me before transition.

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