As I may have hinted at before, I’m not ‘out’ anywhere except on the occasional group of people that are on Facebook, as well as with my Support Group and some of my close family. Many of us live double lives, trying not to ‘rock the boat’, while still fulfilling the promises we made.
On one of those Facebook groups, someone asked ” is a husband guilty of *ruining a marriage* because of his (her) transness when it was not disclosed prior to the relationship/marriage?”
Bayne MacGregor had this to say, and I think it’s the best and most complete way I’ve heard it described to date:
“….Yes but Cynnthia, lets be fair here.
1, Did you encounter that choice in a time and place where tens of thousands of years of Transgender culture, history, tradition and social participation had been erased through hundreds or thousands of years of slaughter, genocide, religious cultural and legal oppression?
2, Did you learn of lots of positive Transgender people through history in school?
3, Were there many positive Transgender role models on tv and in books as you grew up?
4, Did you grow up in a community where 3%-8% of people were openly proudly Trans?
5,Were you trained to exist in fear taught to hide who you were at risk of the loss of your friends, family, career and life?
I can answer for you, we all can. The answers are: yes, no, no, no, yes for almost every Trans person on earth alive today. Admitting we are Trans, especially even a couple decades ago, was not far from the equivalent of admitting partial Jewish ancestry in Nazi Germany. And actually Trans people were a target of the Nazis but i want you Cynnthia to really honestly and fairly consider that. If you are to judge yourself you have to be fair. And that means recognising some facts that can be hard because we are taught to feel guilty for existing.
So i’m going to restate some things, rationally and factually, but in ways that turn the way we are used to looking at ourselves upside down.
Trans is in-part Genetic.
It’s inheritable, sure if you get the gene it just increases your chances but lots of genetic things work that way. But that means we are a people. A people spread across all of humanity, clearly evolving early in humanity but a people nonetheless.
That makes our oppression similar to racism. It makes the attempts to eradicate us attempted genocide. It makes the past outlawing of us being ourselves cultural-genocide.
All the existing major religions of the world have now or once had Pro-Trans scripture and denominations. I want you to see that what our people have endured is religious bigotry in all those faiths in attempts to erase us. Many of the rest of the worlds religions were Pro-Trans too including ones exterminated by the major ones.
So you were robbed of your history, robbed of your culture, robbed of your role models, robbed of your place in society, robbed of your self-understanding, robbed of your equality, robbed of your security and safety and taught to exist in fear and hiding.
You cannot judge yourself without acknowledging how all these things were factors in your choice.
Shall we list all the people in your life who failed their moral responsibility to you first? Because it will be almost everyone not just in your life prior to your choice but the generation before that and the one before that and depending on where you come from that could go back more than one and a half thousand years or be less than 200.
Everyone who did not stand up to, stop, prevent, overthrow and stamp-out transphobia since transphobia started and spread till you made your choice is also responsible. I want you to picture that.
Picture how many thousands of people, how many millions of people failed in their moral obligations who if they had not failed would have meant you never had that choice placed on your shoulders in the first place, and recognise that their failure was much greater than yours. Almost every single citizen in the democracies. Almost very serf and king. Priest and bishop, pope and patriarch, imam and heirophant etc going back 200 to 1 1/2 thousand years. Then put a fair share of the total guilt and blame for your choice onto their shoulders.
Do not judge yourself by a harsher measure than those people. You could not fail unless they had failed you first, and for some of them the failure was incalculably larger.
Then, let us all remember that regardless of our past difficulties living to the ideal and finding such strength the future depends on us. On us undoing the wickedness of past generations. Let us be the ones to change the fate of the future and erase this unjust and unfair burden of choice from our peoples backs!
Be fair to yourself, and then we can see our current responsibility clearly….”