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The Art of Disclosure

To disclose, or not disclose, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler on the first date to be silent. To keep quiet and learn about each other, or take a moment to be out there early...

Ah, the immortal (paraphrased) words of The Bard haunts us all, especially those of us that spend our time somewhere between the poles of the gender spectrum. Disclose or not? Ah, that's a good question and I think the answer to that is, well, it depends.

That's not intended to be a cop-out, though it may seem like it. First, it's super critical to be very clear that the decision to disclose to anyone that you are transgendered is entirely, utterly, your own. This is true even if you're going on a date. A huge portion of our population has held this secret even after being married, having kids, and retiring. We each hold that choice. Second, recognize that our community faces various forms of active and passive violence all too often, so getting to know people is a safety mechanism.

So, for me, what did I do? I told her before our second date. I wanted to see if we really had a connection before I was spilling any of those beans, but it turned out that she had some idea already as a result of all too observant mutual friend that had set us up. Mind you, it was because my friend had made some guesses that she set us up, knowing that my partner was more than okay with it. Turns out she's a heck of an enabler, which is how I ended up buying Kate Spade. We've also been together 21 years.

Now, what triggered this post was some chatter on Twitter about this very topic, particularly with respect to our sisters and brothers in active transition. So, my take on that? Look up a couple of paragraphs. Absolutely their choice, always. None of us are obligated to put our transness on our sleeve, ever. If someone tells you otherwise, you can freely ignore them. It's up to you if, or when, you decide. It's tough, you need to be emotionally ready for it, so don't be pressured into something you are not truly ready for.

Until then, go forth and be as gorgeous, or as handsome, as you desire.

Comments

  1. I feel coming out before your first date is the safest thing to do. There are some that can get very angry and possibly get violent when they find out your trans status. Also keeping to very public places is a good idea too. And have an escape plan as well. One other thing that is good is have someone who knows where you are and when you will be back. They should be available to call in case your plans change during the date. Or you need help and can call.

    Of course, you are absolutely right that it is up to the individual to disclose or not. My comment is just advice.

    My experience is a little different because those I date already know my trans status (mtf) because we are meeting on trans social sites. So far I have only dated once with another person on the femme side of the trans spectrum (not full time). I will only date others on this side of the spectrum. It was a safe date as we had been chatting for months. My girlfriend acted as my safe person, and I called her once after lunch and with time I would be home. I arrived home safe in the appointed time range.

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