Saturday, 17 November 2012

A to Z: Acceptance

To start of this alphabetical foray into madness I'm going with Acceptance.
I spent a while contemplating this topic. I tried starting it in several different ways, thinking about how there are two kinds of acceptance. The acceptance of other people, and personal acceptance. 

Acceptance is a hard thing from some people to give, tolerance is one thing but acceptance is something different. Luckily I don't think I've met someone who was unable to tolerate my crossdressing, or at least act like they didn't have a real problem with it. 

However there must be some people that know me who have no idea, similarly there are likely people who have gotten to know me before finding out. I question how much my crossdressing colours my general personality, and if it makes a difference to how people respond to me before and after they find out. For example I don't go up to people and introduce myself as a crossdresser, but I don't try and hide it. As much as it may or may not be a key driving part of who I am it is not defining.

A big issue for me however is that I strive for acceptance, I find it uncomfortable being in a social situation where some people are unaware. It feels like I can't really be myself, despite the fact that it doesn't naturally come up in conversation that much. Sometimes I find myself accidentally slipping in the odd comment relating to it without really thinking, then I worry that I'm being really obnoxious and pissing people off, which I obviously don't want to do.
It worries me that there are some people who override their dislike of my crossdressing because they wish to  remain friends with me. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that, on one level I don't want to think I've lost friends because of it. However I don't like the idea that some people don't like that part of me. It's likely just part of the human condition to ignore part of someone's personality that you dislike in order to remain friends. I myself and guilty of this, just not about trans issues.

I often consider what to expect from people, what level of understanding, tolerance and acceptance can you expect from people, or more importantly what level of intolerance and dismissal is justifiable from other people. It gets into the question of expressing your right to free speech via the medium of  intolerance, which is a minefield of civil liberties, and I'm not going that deep right now.

The other form of acceptance is personal. The short version is that I'm not sure I completely accept my own crossdressing, I'm almost ashamed of it in some ways. I find it quite hard to talk about in anything but a trivial manner, and I'm not sure why exactly, or what to do about it.
I suspect the issue comes from my initial urge to hide it from people and almost pretend that it didn't exist. My experience at uni opened me up a bit but recently I've somewhat gone back into my shell. I've gotten to the point where I'm not sure what I want to do with my crossdressing, I'm not sure what it means (if anything), and I'm not sure how much of a part of my life it should be, however I'll go into that in some later posts.

I feel like there should be more to this section but I'm not sure what else to say here so I guess I'll leave it here.

1 comment:

  1. I think we all poke fun at things we're anxious about about ourselves. With me I'll jokingly refer to myself as 'chubby' when my recent weight gain really does bother me. I've also learned to make fun of my ginger hair rather than worry other people will. I know it doesn't compare to your worrying about being accepted as a crossdresser, but I'm sure you're aware it's a tactic we all use.

    That said, these things are all part of us. I think what you say about not hiding it but also not flaunting it is the best route - it's the tactic I use when I bring up my bisexuality. I mention it if it's relative to context (talking about exes, usually), but I don't 'out' myself when I meet people or anything. If you accept that it's not a big deal, and your friends accept that it's not a big deal, most people will hopefully do the same. Unfortunately many people won't 'get' crossdressing - they'll think it's odd, or wonder if you're transgendered - but I think a lot of people nowadays are more accepting once they get over their initial curiosity.