Coming out as transgender, no matter how many times you do it, is emotionally trying. At this point, I’ve come out to upwards of 200 people I knew in person pre-transition. The mechanics of it are simple enough: say to someone, “so, there’s something I’d like to share with you. I’m transgender.”
Easy enough, right?
Here’s where it gets emotionally difficult. I can deal with someone being a jerk about this and choosing to not associate with me. In those cases, I’m more than happy to say, “good riddance.” No, what’s worse are the people who take this information with full knowledge of its personal value, and use it as a form of entertainment for themselves or others.
I recently found out that one of the first people I ever told I was trans, a former co-worker of mine, decided to take this information, and use it to embarrass me, turn me into a joke.
Apparently, this individual ignored the “hey, I don’t speak with too many people at that job anymore. Can you not tell them?” aspect of my coming out, and instead decided to post photos of me as his desktop background, in full view of the rest of his office.
Hearing about this, I attempted to reach out to him via Facebook to see if maybe there was some sort of explanation. He read the message, ignored it, then removed me as a Facebook friend. (These are not exactly actions that scream, “this was just misunderstanding.”)
This was by far the meanest, most hurtful breach of trust I’ve ever encountered. The level of transmisogyny that goes into doing something like that, the level of bigotry… it’s amazing. I have never been as emotionally bullied as I was through this.
The sad thing is, this guy should know better: he’s a recently out cis gay man. He spent a large portion of his life in the closet.
Just a friendly reminder that sometimes our “friends” and our “allies” are really neither.