8.07.2010

Powers of Invisibility

Invisibility is widely regarded as one of the most desirable super powers a person can have. Sure sneaking around naked (clothes aren't invisible) to see what people are up to has a certain voyeuristic appeal but when faced with the double edged sword of wishing to be and actually becoming invisible, the super-ness of invisibility fades quickly.

One thing about writing a blog is that you're never really sure who is reading it. When I write I imagine that there are people out there reading this, people I don't know, people I do know but who will never tell me they do. For the most part I like feeling invisible and writing for an invisible audience although I do enjoy getting comments once in a while that let me know there are people who actually read this. In some ways I kind of wish that I had remained completely anonymous with my blog so that I wouldn't feel like I need to edit the things I feel I need to say.

Some of you may have noticed that some earlier posts have disappeared. I removed the posts about my family because I wanted to focus on my experience with transition and I because I found out that some of what I said was hurtful to people in my family. I never intended to hurt anyone and although much of my gender experiences from childhood influence who I am today, I now feel like I must be more careful when talking about my past (and to some extent my present). Experiences with my family haven't all been good. I tried not to be judgmental,  tried to present the facts as I remembered them, and yes a lot of the gender issues were painful. But that's OK! Life is not all roses and candy or camping and fishing! My family talked amongst themselves about my blog and apparently some confronted my sister about what I was writing instead of talking to me. (She never revealed any names so you're safe whoever you are) I hate that she got put in the middle because my family was unwilling to actually talk to me.

This is one instance where I felt invisible. The fact that no one would talk to me also made me feel shameful. I thank my sister for being courageous enough to point out that some things I say maybe should be left off the blog and reminding me that things I say regardless of my intention may be hurtful to some of my readers. But where exactly can I draw that line?

The question of  my visibility/invisibility comes around nearly every day. There are times when I wish I was invisible. I wish people couldn't see the humiliation they cause when they ask me about my genitals or my sex life as if it is their business to know. (Frankly, that's nobody's business and if you have questions like that, here's the best 21st century answer I can give you: Google it.) I want to be invisible when I need to use the washroom at work. I want to be invisible when people try to determine my gender out loud for everyone to hear. I want to be invisible when kids ask me of I am a girl or a boy. I want to be invisible when someone thinks it's great they have figured out I am trans, expecting me to be happy about it and give them a prize and a pat on the back.


The painful side of invisibility is when others are so uncomfortable with my transition they try to make me invisible so they don't have to face their own fears. I am slowly being erased, becoming invisible as people try to cope with my transition. I am positive that there are folks who are uncomfortable using the "new" pronouns and name that I have because they have known me for so long as a woman, as she and her. They are finding it difficult to make the transition with me. Again, I hope this becomes easier when I look more the male part.

I used to be a girlfriend, a sister, a daughter, a niece, but slowly I am becoming nothing. I am no longer spoken about with any pronouns and I have been stripped of my name. I no longer exist as my former girl-self and yet I have not yet been given the privilege of my new name, my new maleness, for fear  people will find out that I am a tranny. How embarrassing, really. Bet you wish you were invisible instead of having to talk about me. You don't talk about me anymore. I don't exist in parts of your world: at work, or with your family, with your friends, or acquaintances. After all what would they say? A tranny? Really? then ask you a bunch of personal questions that are none of their damn business and that would make you feel awkward. Better I am only visible at home when we're alone, out with people who already know the BIG secret but not in a place where someone who doesn't know might find out the truth. I am the boy Marcus, not yet a man, never to be a "real man". I exist as myself in my own realm but am invisible still, maybe forever in parts of yours. I understand but it hurts to think you are embarrassed of me. Sometimes I think you wish I was invisible so you wouldn't have to deal with it. I know the feeling, as I said before: sometimes I wish I was invisible.

And now here is the tough part about knowing my audience and having to see them and talk to them and respond to some of the things that I write, when mostly I just want to be anonymous. I don't want to talk about my blog with everyone because it takes away the safety of being invisible and having the ability to express myself freely without answering the inevitable: was that about me? Why did you say that? Is everything ok with you? Or having people confront my friends, my girlfriend, my sister, instead of me, as if they should be able to account for my actions. I am not trying to say that I don't have some sort of responsibility about what I write but here, in public space, it's just there's is a weird dichotomy of being visible and being invisible. Don't tell me you read my blog, I don't  know that I need to know, in fact it's better I don't know. This way I can be honest when I write.

There are times when I feel conflicted about what I write. I think it is important for me to be able to write how I feel even though the truth of how I feel may hurt people. I apologize to all of you who may be hurt by what I say in my blog but this is my experience of transition and my perspective of the world and if you are hurt by what I say, hurt because my experience isn't what you think it should be, or think that it's factually wrong well I guess you'll have to make yourself visible at least a little so we can talk about it.

I don't know: visible or invisible. I just want to blend in, be another face in the crowd. You'll be able to see me if you really look. As for a super power? I'd rather fly.

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