Sunday, 30 October 2011


Diversity, by sound and definition suggests accepting and respecting an individuals’ difference and acknowledgement that they hold a valid place in society. Or so we are led to believe.

I have noticed in politically correct documentation or even in debates and the workplace that word ‘diversity’ pops up whenever some guilt deriving from privilege of some description appears to be riding high.  OK maybe I am generalising slightly, or perhaps a lot, but my point is that word is being bandied about more and more.

My issue with it is that for the most part I feel it is a lie.

Not everyone is as open minded, welcoming or even accepting as they want to be or just are. As people we do have preferences and our own ideas as to what is right and wrong and what is normal.

These differences have always been in place. Society and people’s attitudes work in funny ways.

There will always be prejudiced people within society and our confines. This is something I am discovering the more I transition. For example there are some lesbians that only want to be friends with lesbians or mix within spaces that are clearly defined as women only. I respect this.  But now I have accepted and learned that this now means that this world I am no longer a part of. Even though I was one and part of me feels some connection there still.

Yes I chose to transition but I have done so to be honest with myself. Being called a ‘woman’ just never quite worked for me. In the same way as being called ‘straight’ wouldn’t feel natural to someone else.

But what I don’t appreciate is a feeling that because I am male that it is assumed that I will have the worst attributes of male behaviour. I was a feminist before I transitioned and I feel I am a feminist now.

Only, according to some groups and people it is assumed that I have opted to “embrace a life of privilege” by choosing to transition. This I have a problem with – the assumption and projection of someone else’s hang-ups.

I know in my heart and head why I chose to transition and it wasn’t so I could shower myself in any additional privilege.

Lately I feel I have hit my limit of being treated like I am in some ways an enemy or a freak just because I live a life that is a bit different to others. I refuse to be disrespected or to be a target based on someone else’s issues or lack of understanding and awareness.

I don’t condemn people who live a life that doesn’t match with my set of values. I try and accept differences that people have to mine and I try to be respectful to other people. It’s a shame that a similar sense of courtesy doesn’t always cut both ways. In that instance I would consider myself slightly naïve.

I’m not expecting people to be extra nice towards me just because I am transitioning. But what I don’t appreciate is having to put up with other people’s shit based on how someone transitioning makes them feel. Or their own comfort levels at a disregard and disrespect to who I am.

As I think I have touched on before, my transition isn’t about anyone else. For me, it’s about living a life that is honest and true to myself.

In my other life I was miserable and felt that there was something missing. It was deeply empowering and liberating to discover that I could finally be happy and be the person I felt I have always been.  Only biology and the law were the things working against that. Now I have male hormones in my body, my periods appeared to have stopped and legally I am male according to my passport and official documents. So there isn’t much about me nowadays that isn’t ‘real’ if I am to be implied as being a fraud.

I hate lying.  It’s something that I never like to intentionally do.  I also didn’t transition because it’s trendy or because I had an issue with being a butch woman.
Cheap insults such as “You’ll never be a real man” or “it’s not normal” seem to be based around other people’s hang-ups.

That I can handle more easily than assumption that I will be a badly behaved man.

I find that massively insulting.  Especially when I have seen really misogynistic behaviour displayed by all genders.

I am not disputing that there aren’t misogynistic men out there because there are.  Women have been oppressed by men for centuries and I am not saying that is right at all because it isn’t.  But at the same time there are men out there that aren’t like that and do respect women.

It is unfair to assume that ALL men will behave like that or think it’s ok to behave in that way. But at the same time it is unrealistic to expect that someone of male gender should in effect spend their entire life apologising for being the gender that they are. Because of the actions of certain men that have behaved in a particular way
I was under the impression that overall we are all individuals and therefore it is a choice as to how we choose to behave?

People have to take responsibility for their own actions and hiding behind a group or an entity is weak in my opinion. We all have a choice as to how we behave and conduct ourselves.

If I’m offensive towards someone it would be because I am being rude not because of my gender or sexuality.

Especially as I see that this is how we should respond given the society we now live in.  We should know what is right and what is wrong in certain situations.

Most people know that it is wrong to be racist, sexist, homophobic or ignorant to people of other religions.  The same should apply to anything, which signifies a difference to one another.

I wish more people would take responsibility for their behaviour and own their own shit outright.

But then not everyone wants this, and this is what can be a bit of a bitter pill to swallow.


  1. Cheap insults such as “You’ll never be a real man”

    Gawd. 'real man'. Don't get me started. Who on earth could examine masculinity and the price it extracts and the effects it has and then even want to be that total archetype? Being a man is already exhausting enough, never mind having to reach the status of universally seen as 'real man'. There is no man who can't find a reason another man is not a 'real man'.

    But while you may not have chosen to acquire this privilege, but chose an alignment that is vital to your brain, the very unfortunate reality is that much of this privilege will now be bestowed upon you, whether you want it or not.

    As it is on me, or any man, whether we want it or not. We get it simply by looking male. I, however, living with some of it for so long, will not have as much insight as you will gain about it. The male privilege may be less than people think, or more, and it may come in ways you and I do not even consider right now, but only you will notice the acquisition of it during this transition.

    Report back to us about it.

  2. Be honest- if one of your lesbian friends started dating a man, would you keep her in your life? As close as previously? Would she and her boyfriend still be welcome in your life? Even if you would, would all your/her friends? Would you still have the same things in common?

    Of course, real deep friendships go beyond gender or sexuality or religion even if one choses to change this. However there are some people with whom we have more superficial relationships, and these tend to be the first to go. The ones who matter won't.