Thursday, October 10, 2019

Some thoughts from going to meetups as Marian

No matter what I do in a meetup group, my size always makes me stand out.  I can't help but be noticed in the above picture, and yet, I fit in well - or, as well as can be expected.  If you look carefully, I am coincidentally standing  next to one woman who normally attends gatherings of the Beacon Dining Meetup group.  These meetups tend to be cross pollinated by people who attend more than one group's events.  So, if I were to attend some of these groups' meetings as Mario, I'd likely have some difficulty blending in and making friendships.

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Most of the time, I have been accepted by specialized groups such as the Whine and Diners. Other times, I have been conditionally accepted until one person expresses a prejudice against trans women.  Strangely enough, the latter type of group tends to fall apart because they do very little to welcome people into a small clique.

Lately, I've been trying to attend "general purpose" meetup groups such as dining groups, gaming groups or miscellaneous activity groups. And I seem to be accepted more warmly than in some special purpose social groups.  I think this indicates that we transgenders are likely to be accepted as "regular people", but yet be seen as "neither fish nor foul" when it comes to gender.  And that is fine for me in this generation.

Years ago, being transgender was to be labeled as a form of sideshow freak.  People like Christine Jorgensen and Renee Richards broke down the barriers to our entry into normal society, but they could not erase the prejudices people hold against us.  This generation offers promise for the transgenders now in their youth.  Today's youth (and young adults) tends to see gender as a much more fluid construct than for us Baby Boomers, and people such as Jazz Jennings are looked on as people who were born with an operable birth defect.

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Now that being transgender is not seen as being a deviant by most of the population, being transgender is being diagnosed at an early age, and that puberty suppressing medicines are available to delay puberty until the transgender child reaches maturity, we are likely so see prejudices against transgenders go away over time.  As much as I'm sad not to be of the generation to benefit from these changes, I am glad to see this change take place and benefit the generation now growing up to be mature adults.

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