Sometimes I get frustrated. I see nonprofit groups that serve the
transgender community talking about "transgender needs" and sometimes
I don't see anything there that would benefit me. Sometimes they
focus on hormones and surgery, which is helpful for transsexuals, and
sometimes they mention HIV/AIDS prevention, which is helpful for
people who have unprotected sex with multiple parters, but neither of
those are true for me. I'm all for helping transsexuals and
populations at risk of AIDS, but often I think "What about me? Why
aren't they looking out for me?"
The answer, of course, is that in order for them to do anything for
me, they first have to know what I want. If I don't tell anyone what
I want, I shouldn't be surprised if no one tries to help me get it.
So here's my agenda. It applies only to me. I don't claim to know
what "transvestites" or "transgendered people" want. No one has done
a representative survay of the transgender community, so no one really
knows that anyway. But it's my hope that others will put together
their own agendas, and some of their goals will overlap with mine, and
eventually we'll have a consensus.
There are, of course, some organizations that are doing things that
fit with at least some of my goals. I'll list some of them here soon.
What I Want for Myself
I live in New York City, which is a relatively accepting place for a
cross-dresser. I've been out in public cross-dressed several times,
and so far (knock on wood) I've never been attacked, or denied entry
to any facility. I've been able to get good work, even though lots of
people know about my cross-dressing, and it's up on this web page for
anyone to see. But I hear stories, and the fear is there. Here's
what I want for myself:
- Freedom from fears of violence
- Freedom from fears of discrimination
- More acceptance of cross-dressing from my friends, family,
neighbors and co-workers
- More supportive resources, specifically with changing facilities
What I Want for Posterity
As I said, I feel pretty comfortable in New York, and I've felt
similarly comfortable in Paris. But growing up in a small town (even
if it was Woodstock, New York), I never felt comfortable enough to
come out of the closet. In the two years I lived in Albuquerque I
avoided going out in public, and in the year I lived in small-town
North Carolina, I avoided even telling people about my cross-dressing.
I'm sure there are kids growing up in similar situations, and I want
to do what I can to help their lives be a little better. So here's
what I wish my life had been like:
- A supportive family
- Supportive resources in schools and the community
- Greater tolerance of cross-dressing and other non-mainstream
sexualities in schools and the community
- A better image of transvestites in the media
A Work in Progress
You may have noticed that all of these are "ultimate" goals, meaning
that they're all things that will have a direct effect on my happiness
as a cross-dresser. So how do I plan to work towards things like
"freedom from fears of violence?" I'll discuss that soon, but I
wanted to put this up here relatively quickly. Check back here soon
for more "proximate" goals.
What's Your Agenda?
As I said before, this is what I want, for myself and for those who
come after me. If you're a transvestite or cross-dresser (or even if
you aren't), I'm sure you've got your own ideas about what you want.
If you feel that they're not being adequately addressed by any
existing organization, why not make up your own agenda? If you agree
with any of my goals, feel free to use them. If you have a
transgender-related agenda on line, please feel free to send me an
email (grvsmth at panix dot com) and tell me about it.