Visibility is something that’s changed throughout my life. In my teens and early twenties I was identifiably butch. When people met me they automatically categorized me as a lesbian. I had difficult interactions in school and on the streets of my hometown. One saving grace was the LGBTQ community that become more present in college.
My experience now is very different.
The further I’ve gotten in my medical transition the more invisible I’ve become. This is not a new feeling in everyday experiences, but I had an experience within the queer community that was insightful of how I’m perceived now. I’m not completely out as being of trans experience this is for security reasons.
A few months ago, I was in a space with individuals that was gathered for LGBTQ youth. Though I didn’t and don’t need to know how everyone identified in their sexual orientation or gender identity, but some did disclose. Throughout the eight hour day, I felt that until I disclosed my trans experience many people were distance and not as relaxed when approaching me. I felt for the first time not welcomed in this community.
This was very unsettling to me and I felt that I wanted to disclose. I did about halfway through the day and felt that after that my voice and interactions with others became more natural.
I wonder the impact it would have on students if it were safe for youth workers and teachers to be out if they were comfortable?