So has this popped up in your Facebook, Twitter or Reddit feed yet?
It’s shown up two or three times for me already, and it’s frustrating, and then then I think about it a little bit here and there thought the day, and it becomes downright depressing..
“Oh look, another gorgeous, perfectly stealth trans woman that thinks the bigots even notice her.”
The trans woman in that selfie passes for female, 100% stealth. Full stop.
Regardless of how absurd the HB2 law in North Carolina is to most of us, it never would have actually applied to her. For her, HB2 as it exists today is literally unenforceable. For me though, it’s a very real fear/anxiety every time I use a public restroom.
Nobody would ever notice if she went in there, unless she decided to go out of her way to draw attention to herself… like taking a selfie and posting it online. And for all the “allies” out there… remember that there are always second and third order consequences.
Is the HB2 law bullshit? I sure think so. But this trans woman has now basically validated the outrage and hate of the closed minded people who think this law is necessary to help with “protecting their children.” Those people now have something to point to, they have a target, and will just be even more angry and violent about it.
Bigots won’t stop being bigots because of this selfie.
And all people, supportive of trans rights or not, that see this selfie will be just a little bit more unsure and scrutinizing of possible trans people in public.
I’ve already seen it, just shopping at Costco this afternoon.
I don’t pass perfectly like she does, and I never will. I’m 5’10” with a torso like a linebacker, square jaw, massive nose, prominent Adam’s apple, and basically flat chested even after 6 years on HRT; yay genetics. I stand out wherever I go, even when I try as much as possible to just blend in. That’s just the genetic lottery. This trans woman may have lost the “big” lottery by being born trans (and not CIS) in the first place, but she clearly won enough smaller lotteries to pass “stealth” the way she does. I lost all the genetic lotteries, and thanks to this stranger, I get to be reminded of that in public (and on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc.) a little bit more than normal for a few days or weeks now.
It’s just a reminder to me that even among trans people there’s still huge variance among individuals experience.
And none of us has the right to cause extra stress or harassment for anyone else.