Hiding in the Dark

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Transgendered: Hiding in the Dark

by Laura Amato

On any given day the world goes about its business. People everywhere are openly living their lives taking what it has to offer with both the good and the bad that it brings. They laugh and they cry, they work and they leisure without giving any thought about their freedom to do so. In fact most would be outraged to hear of those who do not partake in their liberties.

If my mail is any indication though, there is an entire group of people who rarely see the light of day. They spend their lives or a good part of them in their homes with the shades drawn, their ears pricked for every sound that someone might be coming. They are ready to change in a moments notice all to avoid the spectre of disapproval and in some cases even death.

These people are Transgendered. They are crossdressers and Transsexuals. Some are Female to Male (FTM) and others are Male to Female (MTF's). Of course not all of them are hiding. However out of the last 200 letters I've recieved well over 75% seem to be in at least some partial form of hiding.

Some Transsexuals in transition go to work in their new gender as Required in the Real Life Test (RLT), they legally change their names and are subjected to daily harrassment and unpleasant gossip by their co-workers. Yet after work they are at home instead of living their lives as every other citizen seems to have the right to do.

Sadder yet is that this exile is often self imposed. Its a way to avoid the taunts that many of us have endured since childhood. Those that pass in the other gender usually live stealth where noone knows their secret. Those that don''t pass are likley Vitamin D deficient from the absense of sunlight that touches our bodies.

It took our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters many years to finally come out of the closet. It only happened after many banded together to fight for the right to be treated like any one else in our society. They are still fighting for those rights. Their list of dead is as fresh in their minds as ours is.

We are mothers and fathers and Veterans and more, but most of all we are human beings who are depriving ourselves of the right to be ourselves and blossom into our full potential.

Our fight is still in its infancy. If only every one of us all came out in one place at the same day and time then maybe the world would take us seriously. In the meantime all we can do is try to stop isolating ourselves one minute, one hour or one day at a time until the world sees us for the beautiful people we really are. They won't do that until we stop hiding in the dark.