Now that I’ve gotten past the legal part of my gender transition, wherever I go with my life — and I sure as hell would like to just make something out of my life, which doesn’t look very likely after you’ve been sharing a bed with unemployment for over a year and a half — I hope for one thing:
That the word “transgender” doesn’t become anyone’s shorthand description of me. And I’ll tell you now that I won’t accept it.
I just won’t stand for it. I’m not gonna be “Transgender best-selling author Fran Fried,” “Transgender ‘Jeopardy!’ champ Fran Fried” or “Transgender chief cook and bottle washer Fran Fried,” or whatever I might make of myself. It’s gonna be “Best-selling author Fran Fried,” etc., or nothing, though if someone feels compelled to point out the gender trip on second or third reference, then fine. After all, no one would say “Black basketball star LeBron James.” How you’re born shouldn’t be what defines you.
As I’ve maintained all along, 1) I hate the word “transgender,” because it sounds so damned clinical; and 2) My gender identity is only a facet of what defines me — a big, honking facet at the moment, of course, but certainly not the only thing. And my friends and family already know that very well.
I’m already seeing the day when life becomes “normal,” whatever that means. Being out for well over a year in Fresno, hanging out in local restaurants, coffee shops and bars, shopping around town — I’m just doing what I was doing all along, only I look and feel much better doing it. As far as I’m concerned, save for the lingering joblessness, my life is normal, with intermittent bursts of very interesting.
While being out might indeed open some doors for me someday, that won’t last. Judging by the way I’ve been able to work my way into the general population so far, there will be a day, sooner than later, when no one even gives me a second glance. If they do give me a second look, it’ll be as an afterthought.
And as we come up on Tuesday, the fact that there are so relatively many political candidates across the country this year who are trans — and not confined to one area of the political spectrum — can’t be anything but a huge help on this level. Whatever their political beliefs, the candidates, who by chance all happen to be male-to-females, are running on their own merits, which is how it should be. And one day soon, it won’t even be a topic of discussion.