An admission of guilt

I, as a trans girl, am not really very out. Many of my friends know, and so does my sibling, but in general I still present and appear as a man. In public scenarios I do not correct people who misgender me or deadname me, and don't tell that about the incongruence between me, and their image of me. I live in a very accepting community in a very accepting region for trans people (and queer people in general), so I couldn't understand why internally I was so afraid to come out.

I understood that, while there will be a period of adjustment, in general I will not be shunned or attacked or anything for coming out. And yet there was still a pervasive fear of letting other people know who I truly am. I am writing this is to provide insight based upon my own scenario about the society we live in.

I, as someone who appears to society to be a cis white straight man, have inhereted many privileges. When people talk about privilege in society it is rather abstract to those who have it, but blitheringly obvious to those who do not. For those who lie in this more abstract region, let me give an example. If my cis male friends wear the clothes they want to, nobody bats an eye. Indeed, it's as though the clothes are almost invisible, and save when they wear something notable for external reasons, nobody will really notice them. But if I were to wear the clothes I truly want to, indubitably I'd receive stares and comments, all sorts of things that I don't want to. If I wore a skirt, I would not be invisible like these people. Suddenly I would be a spectacle; a centre of attention. You can condemn the people who make comments or stare, but the society we live in is one where this happens, whether it should or not. Therefore the system itself discourages me from presenting how I would like, and in a sense, I do not have the privilege of dressing how I like without drawing attention. This is what I mean when I refer to privilege.

My position is somewhat special in that my authentic self has much less privilege than that which I inhereted at birth. If I were to be who I authentically am, people would undoubtedly treat me worse than if I remain as I am. Thus I am left peering at the losses I will suffer from coming out, and am forced to weigh my options--should I keep my privilege and be fake, or be true to myself and endure the loss of privilege? Subconsciously until this point I have chosen to continue to benefit from these privileges, hence my fear of coming out. I knew that I would survive if I came out, but I simply saw that my life would become less easy if I lost my privilege.

And thus I am forced now to apologize. To apologize to all those who have fought for my rights, to apologize to all those who support me, to apologize to those who have less rights than I do. My way of thinking was reinforcing the inequality within our society. I have no doubt in my mind that I have disadvantaged other more marginalized people by continuing to desparately cling to my own privilege.I have taken the accomplishments of others more deserving than me by perpetuating our system. Rather than confronting these biases and systems of oppression, I conformed to them for my personal benefit. I spat in the face of all those less fortunate than me, and all those who tried to make a safe environment for me to come out. I am sorry. Truly.

Sincerely, Amelie

Written June 22nd 2023.