Tuesday, 11 October 2011

We Are Family?

I think there is a bit of an illusion when people think of the LGBT community.  I think the word ‘community’ is a bit overly positive. The fact is just because the people in that spectrum don’t always have conventional relationships or fit into a heteronormative construct then there sometimes is an assumption that all misfits will be the best of buddies.

Nice dream.

The truth is all of the groups don’t live in a united harmony or have a solidarity with one another that might be assumed by those on the periphery.

From going out the other night, it became apparent to even me that some women don’t like men. Or those who are male.

I say this because I was at a night that is marketed at gay women. Given that I used to be a gay woman, I date a lesbian, used to be a photographer for a lesbian magazine and was known around the scene for being a lesbian photographer and since my transition have wanted to retain some links to the women’s community I thought it’s nice to go to slightly more lesbiany events once in a while.

I say once in a while as I don’t go clubbing very often. Given I spent so much time in my early twenties in night clubs I am not feeling that I am missing much.  Also it must be added that clubs aren’t what they used to be. 

A friend and I often reminisce about our early twenties clubbing escapades, but particularly the choice and variety that was in place.  I remember when Ghetto was open 7 days a week and that you could meet a different crowd of people every night.  New nights were constantly popping up and I felt there really used to be more of a feeling of something for everyone.

Then Simon Hobart died, the recession hit in and now there is very little out there happening that is new. Certain echelons of each community feeling that they have limited spaces available to them.

The scene really isn’t as it was but at the same time we change too.  Most people I know are having babies, thinking about babies or trying to have babies.  Some might be moving onto other options such as adoption. 

I have decided to sit in the middle and be a part-time Manny.  It means it saves the stress of being a parent 24/7 but offers a glimpse into a something that might be a reality for me some day otherwise I just like caring for a baby but then going home at the end of the night. We’ll see on that front.

The thing that is on my mind is how I feel when I do go out.

I went somewhere over the weekend which I will not fault the organisers about as their night is a very good night.  They also are positive about people like me being there.  But I felt some of the clientele wasn’t, and this has left me with a few things to think about as well.

I had people making comments to me such as “I thought this was a women’s only night” and “this is a night for lesbians and this is our bar” when challenging someone trying to push in front of me.

I also got fed up of being given attitude just for the fact I was male identified. I understand why some people may have felt upset by my presence but at the same time I have as much right to stand at a bar and not be given attitude when I haven’t done a single thing to anyone in there. 

There was also someone giving me dirty looks because it was apparent she had her eye on E but on noticing she was with me she kept up her dirty looks campaign with an air of almost self-imposed virtue. (Perhaps a good thing to note is that her pulling technique might work a little better if she didn’t stare so desperately at people in the first place.)

This is something where I can see a reason why she would feel annoyed but at the same time behaving like that is a bit ridiculous, and rather childish.

As for the rudeness of the women at the bar that was completely uncalled for. On a busy night there will be a wait until you can be served.  But making comments at me because of who I am or who they perceive me to be is wrong. Also trying to justify pushing in front because the case that they identify as a lesbian and they see me as a man is also utterly pathetic.

Do you want to know the twisted irony in all of this?  The people giving me the most attitude were wearing masculine clothing and had very short hair. Just as on a few other occasions the people to give me a hard time for being male have presented themselves in a  masculine way. Some that even like wearing fake facial hair and I would say definitely play with their gender representation a little.

Only the difference between myself and them is the fact that I live the life in a male role 24/7 and choose not to just have a glittery beard on at the weekends or wear a suit and act like a cock for a night because its some form of ‘performance’.

I’m tired of attitudes like that as well as people assuming the right to single someone out and act as part of a pack of ugly animals.

It took me back to being in a playground. 

Following what happened I didn’t want to stay any longer. My pride did feel a bit knocked and also I wasn’t prepared to make myself be a target for anyone’s bullshit nor was I going to put myself in that position.

I also did respect why some people are a bit threatened by a trans person in their space but I was there with my partner. So it wasn’t like I was there hitting on people or causing a nuisance of myself.

Discrimination and unfair situations bother me on a massive scale.

I know that some would say women like to feel safe or that women’s spaces are sacred etc.  Nor do I automatically assume everyone to know I am trans.

I was told I should take it as a compliment that I was passing so well.

Maybe I should? But I don’t.

On a human level being an arsehole towards me because of my gender isn’t fair and if I had tried to argue back more then it was a case of a few people against me and I don’t like to be in positions like that.

I go out for pleasure and not for war.

If I see someone is a minority somewhere I don’t do all that I can to make them feel uncomfortable either, especially if they aren’t harming anyone.

If there only crime is to not be the right gender for someone to ogle and happen to have a very attractive girlfriend and she’s not available then why does there have to be all of this behaviour popping out?

Especially when some of the people there were a lot older than me and therefore should know better!

So, all of this illusion that we are one big happy family the LGBT community…dream on.

There shouldn’t be animosity but there is.  Just as lesbians get threatened by people like me, I can’t stand their attitudes.  Especially when they present themselves in a masculine way and have a pop at someone for doing the same thing but on a much deeper level.  Also with being trans it has to be added that it wasn’t a choice to be born in the wrong body in the first place.

I also feel slightly that my hands are tied in situations where people are being really rude, as I don’t want to be in a position whereby I am potentially playing into the hands of anyone. Particularly if they have a negative opinion of me from the outset and therefore a feeling sets in that they want me to trip up in some way so that their rudeness or hostility can be vindicated in some way.

Only I don’t play that game.

So if people want me to start acting in an aggressive way or negative stereotyped man way then think again.

I was born female and have a female past so sadly am aware of these tricks in place. All in all things like this are a waste of time and energy.

I’m not an enemy, I’m not trying to invade someone’s space nor am I trying to make people feel uncomfortable.
Just as the masculine presented people seeking to have a pop at me at any given moment well to me one thing is clear.

If it’s down to the fact that you never had the guts to explore your gender further or you are happy to be ‘Dave’ at the weekends then so be it.  That is your thing.

But don’t take what you don’t have the confidence to be out on people like me. As it’s boring and I have no time for this shit.

Nor will I ever apologise for being the person I am and I’m afraid the problem is with those people if my presence stirs up insecurities within them.

I’m not here to say sorry or make people feel better for what they don’t want to face with themselves.

We only get one life and I would rather spend it enjoying what it has to offer rather than musing over what if or being held back by fear. That isn’t me.

On a positive note if I attend the night again I think I have finally found a practical use for those ‘Nobody Knows I Am A Lesbian’ T-Shirts! Alternatively I should drop by pants if it’s all about what is between our legs.

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