Trans Day of Visibility on Metafilter March 30, 2022 4:53 PM   Subscribe

March 31st is the International Transgender Day of Visibility. I'd like a thread for those of us who are here to talk about our experiences on MetaFilter if we want to, to raise awareness of issues, and to celebrate our lives and contributions and voices and each other.

I first want to acknowledge that Transgender is an imperfect umbrella term that some folks who aren't cisgender don't choose to use but to hold space for those people to be included and celebrated here.

If the mods let me post this, I feel it should be with an explicit acknowledgment that Trans users have the right to speak about our lives and truths and talk about our issues as we see them, and that cisgendered users should refrain from comments. If cis folks want to express appreciation or something, a nice MeFi Mail would be how I'd suggest they do it.
posted by Chrysopoeia to MetaFilter-Related at 4:53 PM (30 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

Mod note: I think this is a great idea, and I'll underscore and support what you're saying in that last paragraph, Chrysopoeia: let's let this be a space for folks within the umbrella/penumbra of transness to talk, and cis folks take a step back and let it not be a conversation they are actively participating in. This may not be a thing the mod team is able to actively moderate at all times, so we're depending on the community to be self-moderating on.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:55 PM on March 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

(Clears throat awkwardly)

Hi! I’m trans, and work for a public school system. Just started a middle school GSA and have some regulars showing up. So that’s a bright spot in the midst of some very gray days.
posted by rip at 9:25 PM on March 30, 2022 [22 favorites]

This site the first place I came out to anyone who wasn't a lover or trans themselves.

I've known I was nonbinary for almost two years now. I have people that love me and that I love. I'm out to my family and friends. I've put in for a legal name change and gender change to nonbinary. I'm more confident, and less anxious. Sometimes I look in the mirror and like who I see.

Metafilter is still a place where I can come and see amazing things. Like this post on trans and nonbinary art and liberation by brainwane set my brain happily buzzing with thoughts.

Many of the wonderful trans folks from here are gone, which I understand. Some went to transfilter, and I got to know them there, others I never got to know. They deserved better. If any read this and want to reach out, use my Instagram username.

It's not like this place hasn't disappointed me and hurt me too. I'm stubborn, and I don't want to cede this place, which gave me a great deal. I want it to be better, like we deserve it to be.
posted by Chrysopoeia at 10:21 PM on March 30, 2022 [19 favorites]

I'm trans and Metafilter is dear to me. I've been here for over a decade, most of it on a previous account. Metafilter and the spinoff Metafilter parenting group on Facebook were the first places I came out in public. The warm reception I got gave me the strength I needed to come out all of the way elsewhere. Advice and friendship I got here helped when I was closeted and when I was newly hatched. AskMe has also helped me through some of the hardest times of my life, both trans related and not. It's not an exaggeration to say I wouldn't be the person I am if it weren't for Metafilter.

I have no desire to discuss site issues around trans people here. I mean, you all can do what you want, I'm just saying that I don't participate in these conversations and I will not do so here (except for this comment I suppose, a meta meta comment if you will, heh). I think imperfection is inevitable. I don't mean this in a defeatist way. I mean we're all different and want different things and it is actually impossible to make everyone happy. And at some point continued and relentless drive for optimisation not only doesn't result in improvement, but itself becomes a drag on the site, because every discussion turns into being about what is wrong and who is unhappy and whatever. And I don't know about you, but I'm here in spite of those conversations, not because of them.

So, anyway. I'm not telling anybody else what to do or anything, I'm expressing what I think and my biggest fear is that this part of my comment will cause the very discussion I don't want to be part of. So be it, I guess. I'm trying to get better at not trying to control stuff that is not in my control.

tl;dr: the main thing I have to say is that for all its faults, I love Metafilter a lot. It's a place full of good people, cis and trans alike, people who are making their way the best they can through this incredibly tough world. Thank you all for being there and for being you.
posted by contrapositive at 1:29 AM on March 31, 2022 [15 favorites]

Hello fellow Mefi trans folks! I'm super glad to see this thread and get to know you all.

I came out as non-binary in 2016 and subsequently as a trans man in 2019. I've been on T since September 2020 and I consider myself still mostly at the beginning of my journey, but I'm loving it so far. There have been tough moments but I'm here and I'm glad to be moving forward and discovering more about myself.

One of the things I want to focus on for me on this #TDoV is that I explicitly love being trans. So much of the media attention we get as a community focuses on our struggles and our hardship and not on the euphoric moments, the found family moments, the joy and dumb funny things about being trans. I want to remind cis people that being trans isn't a curse and that it can be beautiful and exciting. I don't want to hide who I am, I want to be proud of it. I love questioning my assumptions and challenging gender norms. Even when the rest of the world is shit and people are campaigning to shut us down, I still love being trans.

Sending you all love and solidarity today. I hope you don't have to put up with too many cis microaggressions and may your time on the visible spectrum be fruitful and interesting.

(Also, for the uninitiated -- where/what is transfilter?)
posted by fight or flight at 4:47 AM on March 31, 2022 [25 favorites]

I came out as trans while more active on this site, and it has been a pleasure to see major improvements made to moderation and general *~discourse~* on this site since issues were first raised.

I'm not as active as I used to be but I still cherish this space as one I can count on as one of the safer places for me to be openly trans, and I really appreciate that.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:57 AM on March 31, 2022 [15 favorites]

Well, it's right there in my username. I lurked for a long time, but Metafilter posts on trans subjects from 2013 onwards were helpful in figuring myself out. It's a shame that mefi's lost so many of the trans voices from those threads, but absolutely understandable that they wouldn't want to be here. It's also been a pleasure to see so many users I had presumed cis coming out as trans in recent years. Site culture and moderation has come a long way and I hope it continues to improve.
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 6:18 AM on March 31, 2022 [14 favorites]

Hello!! 👋
posted by avocet at 8:56 AM on March 31, 2022 [10 favorites]

s/o to my transfam from an agender PoC. ✊🏽

idk where I 'fit' under the trans/gnc/genderqueer umbrella (which I'm not fussed with, don't worry; just trying not to take up too much space since I'm essentially cis-presenting), so have a look at this rad trans rights Trans AM I made in Forza:
posted by Eideteker at 9:52 AM on March 31, 2022 [14 favorites]

I'm non-binary and identify as trans. I made an awkward Metatalk for people to talk about being misgendered online, as my last post before switching to this user name. Happy trans visibility day 🏳️‍⚧️!
posted by blueberry monster at 10:05 AM on March 31, 2022 [12 favorites]

As an effort to celebrate Trans Day of Having A Lie Down And A Snack, what are you all up to today? Anyone doing anything to mark the day or just continuing as usual?

For me, I wore a trans pride shirt to my hospital appointment earlier (ironically to discuss my HRT) and I'm calling it done.
posted by fight or flight at 10:08 AM on March 31, 2022 [12 favorites]

i've been on MF long enough that this username's survived my every-five-years gender restlessness name change (which Ask was delightfully helpful with recently) and is now out of date! which is exciting. i almost no longer feel like a newcomer here :)

idk ive had plenty of unpleasant experiences on MF and some of them must have been around gender and trans topics but i can't remember any or think of any recent concerns i've had about it, other than the usual "i wish reproductive health would stop being gendered in comments." mostly the gender threads that i catch now are quiet but MF in general seems quiet. i'm glad someone felt comfortable in my linked ask checking that i wasn't a cis person being inappropriate, which i just now realized wouldn't even have been clear from my profile bc i forgot to switch to the pronouns field from the old one. idk! i feel Okay here on this front at the moment

definitely celebrating combination Trans Day of Having A Lie Down And A Snack and Birthday Eve. usually i'd try to draw something Extra Trans and celebratory but i'm feeling the lie down part really hard lol
posted by gaybobbie at 10:29 AM on March 31, 2022 [7 favorites]

I both appreciate the sentiment behind the day (and this post, what a nice idea!) and simultaneously I myself wish primarily to celebrate Transgender Day of Being Left the Hell Alone
posted by an octopus IRL at 10:51 AM on March 31, 2022 [18 favorites]

As an effort to celebrate Trans Day of Having A Lie Down And A Snack, what are you all up to today? Anyone doing anything to mark the day or just continuing as usual?
Well, I made an fpp. I changed my nickname on Discord to have a trans flag in it. And I'm planning to put on my they/them trans button on to go to the store later. (Though I also wear that every weekend when I do tax prep volunteer work, so there's that.)
posted by blueberry monster at 10:54 AM on March 31, 2022 [5 favorites]

More seriously, I feel like I have a kind of complicated relationship with my previous life on Metafilter before I came out; I don't identify with that name or really as that person anymore, but I also feel like I'd established myself a bit and maybe built up some goodwill and now when I post that context is kind of missing. On the one hand I know that comments should stand on their own, and on the other hand I valued feeling like I was a noteworthy if minor figure here, so it's complicated.
posted by an octopus IRL at 10:54 AM on March 31, 2022 [12 favorites]

I'm trans but don't have much to say about it rn.

my favorite streamer, EllenFromNowOn, is also trans and doing a 24-hour charity stream today and I am mostly celebrating Trans Day of Visibility by wishing I was curled up in my home watching her stream but instead being at work :<
posted by All Might Be Well at 11:04 AM on March 31, 2022 [7 favorites]

This is the first TDoV since I've started thinking of myself as non-binary, so, hi!
posted by zeptoweasel at 11:16 AM on March 31, 2022 [15 favorites]

This is my first TDOV being publicly out as a transgender woman. Metafilter has absolutely helped me in this process -- the very long (multiple decades) period of reading and listening and taking in other people's stories, but also some thoughtful help after my anon AskMe last year that connected me with some fabulous people and supportive communities. MeFi has work to do on trans issues (as does literally everywhere), but I'm grateful I was able to take one of my first baby steps here.
posted by feckless at 12:48 PM on March 31, 2022 [16 favorites]

i used to be someone else on here, and i started the transition under that name four years ago. before that, i used to be someone else too on here.

i have a great deal of ambivalence for the concept of visibility. right now, it definitely feels like as a trans woman there's a little too much visibility—after all, utah just decided to spend hundreds of thousands to create a panel that will peer into young girls' pants because they want to ban one (1) trans girl from sports—and when being trans is coupled with being a member of the asian diaspora, i have to say i love not being able to tell what the hostile stare is about: have i been clocked? do they hate me for having a monolid? is it because i'm cancelling their free speech or destabilizing their gender just by existing as a concept?

and this is only when, for some reason, i attract attention because i failed my passing roll. which is its own twisted knot, the idea of 'passing', how it gets mucked up with race.

then again, just existing and being visible would have helped a snot-nosed little kid like me who thought being queer or trans wasn't something a non-white kid could ever be, since, well, growing up most of the stories that got seen were of white gay men. i didn't know back then you could be asian and not cishet.

maybe not stealth, but low-observability with a more obvious iff system?
posted by i used to be someone else at 2:58 PM on March 31, 2022 [15 favorites]

Hi, another trans woman here, coming up on year 3 since my egg cracked. I've been a lurker here for longer than that, so thanks to the mods for granting me a more fitting name.

I've gone back and forth on what would have been useful for me regarding trans visibility when I was a kid. I spent most of my childhood not even being aware that people could be trans. I think I was 20 or so and moved to another state before I learned, even academically, that trans people existed. The only "representation" I remember seeing before I moved out was caricatures of cross dressing in movies and TV shows.

I suspect (but obviously can't prove) that if I'd learned what being trans was at a younger age, I would've at least had a chance at processing gender feelings before they compounded too badly. On the other hand, growing up visibly trans in a conservative evangelical Christian environment (including schooling) may not have ended well for me either? I honestly don't know if I would've made it through that.

I know visibility is a prerequisite to acceptance, and I'm glad that so many other people are getting the opportunity to figure out their gender decades earlier than I did, but my heart breaks for all the kids growing up in a world that's decided they are the enemy in the culture wars. They don't deserve that, and I dearly hope we get to acceptance sooner rather than later.

As far as passing goes, well, I'd love to, but I'm fat, very tall, and have shoulders like a football player. I don't know if anyone else will ever fully approve of what I look like, but I'm also learning to care less about that. It's a work in progress.
posted by Prophetess of Tech at 4:35 PM on March 31, 2022 [10 favorites]

As you can tell by my name here, trans day of visibility is every day.

First started on HRT back in 1996 - the dark days of the Harry Benjamin protocol. My therapist at the time had me bring my mom in so they could both discuss my body like a piece of meat. Like I wasn't even there.

"She has a gracile jaw and her shoulders aren't too bad. A bit broad though. But she's almost too tall for me to approve for HRT."

"Yes. And her feet are so big. And ugly. How will she find shoes?"

It was a different age, kids.

Afterwards, dear old mom took me to Hooters, where the waitstaff, fellow patrons, and your humble narrator all were clearly wondering what the hell I was doing there. In my modest black sundress with little yellow flowers.

One of them auspicious beginnings I suppose.

This is my 26th year of being out. Haven't worked since 2005. Am basically a freak. Unwelcome in straight spaces, but queer spaces get so uncomfortable about my appearance that I'm not welcome in them either. For a long time I thought other trans people might welcome me into their community, but honestly, they can be even worse sometimes. Just like my mom and therapist discussing my body. Just another piece of meat. A prop to make you feel better.

They know exactly where to poke to make it hurt. And I can only assume that it's intentional.

My body's never going to be what you want. Sorry you have see it. Sorry it doesn't please you as an object. That must be rough, huh?

Shame you can't look at something else. Or think about something else.

In my 45th year, I'm kind of relaxing into the idea of being the neighborhood witch. Just politely and cheerfully scaring the crap out of my neighbors by existing. Finding reasons to live, even in the absence of hope. Being thankful for stubbornness and spite - the two things that keep me going day-to-day. I wrench on my shitty race car. I walk the streets with my cameras after the drunks go to bed. An empty little city, all for me.

I remain in this world to be visible. To be an inconvenience. To be afraid to speak, pressed up against the back wall, and still be told I'm taking up too much space.

I remain in this world to witness how big tent LGBT culture is just a microcosm of the cishet world. The same shitty ideas about bodies, about gender, the same need to desperately look around for someone else to kick, just to feel like you're not on the bottom.

I remain in this world to point out that community is just a word without accountability. To be a wrench in the gears. To say the things no one else will say, because what more could i possibly lose?

And I'd do it all again if given a mulligan.

Happy Day of Visibility.
posted by transitional procedures at 6:05 PM on March 31, 2022 [33 favorites]

That is the sort of transness that I identify with, transitional procedures. Thank you for being here and saying it and kicking the edges of the tent with me.
posted by Bottlecap at 8:03 PM on March 31, 2022 [8 favorites]

I'm trans, and late to the party as usual.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:24 AM on April 2, 2022 [4 favorites]

I’m trans and have been on MeFi for over twenty years. I transitioned because trans activists cancelled an actor I looked up to as a role model, for not being “out” as trans. When I tried to explain in that thread here why their activism cut me so deeply, I ended up having to button to cool off, and go start and finish my transition, because of what that conversation brought up for me, and how much it hurt that trans people were angry at me for finding positive value in their casting. I rejoined under a new name. I’m still deeply terrified of trans activists, because I’ll never be enough for them, but I try to participate anyways, and I hope someday that I can find a way to be less afraid of us.
posted by Callisto Prime at 12:01 AM on April 4, 2022 [5 favorites]

I'm a not-passing trans woman, and I wish I could be invisible the rest of the year in the way that this particular day has always seemed to me like it implies. Too little visibility has never been my issue.
posted by Dysk at 8:24 AM on April 5, 2022 [4 favorites]

late to tdov but hello, trans and cackling about this hatching tiktok.

I'm on here and there but spending less time on here since I posted that disaster of a fpp about Danny Lavery a few weeks/months/time is an illusions ago. it's been hard to be present in online spaces because of Deeply Held Political Divisions, and also because, in the spaces that are allegedly Better and Liberal and The Right People, there's a tendency to shout and fume and dogpile on that I just don't have the bandwidth for anymore. Instead I've been listening to a lot of Maintenance Phase, You Are Good, and You're Wrong About, productions that are strongly researched, and where the commentary comes out of a lovely and sturdy compassion. Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbs are little honeybees bringing back the nectar of mature chillness and realness that my brain hive so desperately craves. Aubrey Gordon is queen of my heart every time she laughs.

I didn't see anyone answering about transfilter, so I'm assuming some messages were exchanged behind the scenes. I'd love to be in the know too, somebody feel free to hit me up with the deets in my dms.
posted by snerson at 9:02 PM on April 6, 2022 [4 favorites]

I didn't see anyone answering about transfilter, so I'm assuming some messages were exchanged behind the scenes. I'd love to be in the know too, somebody feel free to hit me up with the deets in my dms.

I'd prefer it if people would just explicitly talk about and link to the the apparently extant trans community in the thread specifically set aside for trans mefites rather than making people rely on whisper networks (the problems with which are many and not something I will go into here).
posted by Dysk at 1:08 AM on April 8, 2022

I agree with Dysk -- and fwiw, nobody has sent me any details or anything, so if it exists, I have no idea where/what it is.
posted by fight or flight at 5:00 AM on April 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

I don't think I can link directly to it, since it requires an invite, but if folks want to DM me, I can see about getting an admin to add folks or share an invite.
posted by Chrysopoeia at 4:23 PM on April 8, 2022

Hi, late to this thread. I’m a MeFi old-timer, don’t pop in as often anymore, and have been identifying as nonbinary the last year or two. I still feel it would be presumptuous to call myself trans, but I do consider myself cisn’t. Would be happy to visit transfilter if info is shared.
posted by matildaben at 10:28 PM on April 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

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