On Renouncing Privilege, pt. 1

This could well go under “On Depression,” but this title is more poetic, and anyway, more applicable.

Because of my inner trans self, I am nervous, or afraid, or some combination thereof, pretty much all of the time. I’ve been documenting some of the reasons as to why that is: here’s another.

If I come out as trans, I am throwing away an inordinate amount of privilege.

(Maybe this should be filed under “On Politics”?)

Are there people more privileged than me? Absolutely. But while I was not born into exceptional wealth, I am a middle class, white, American male. In terms of privilege, that’s basically the trifecta right there. Or is it the quadrifecta? Either way, a real lottery-winner.

I’m not going to spend this post trying to convince you that you or someone you knows is or is not privileged. That is a philosophical argument that is outside the scope of this blog. I’m just here to admit to you that I am, what that means, and what transitioning would mean for it.

Yes, I was bullied growing up. I’ve lived with the psychological ramifications of gender dysphoria. Overall, I’ve had no dearth of adversity.

Yet, I’ve always had a safe home to call my own. A family that loves me. Food in my belly. Access to the doctor whenever I need it. Good grades: of the eight years I have been in school, about seven were paid for with academic scholarships. I can go anywhere in the US, and nearly anywhere elsewhere. I can pursue any career. In fact, I have the freedom to choose just about any life for myself I want. How many can claim all those things?

So what if the life I choose is one that negates some or all of those privileges?

How privileged one must be, to choose whether or not to have it.

I am terrified of what might happen should I choose to disclose my dysphoria, and move forward with accepting my identity.

I have career goals: I want to be an ESL teacher. Will anywhere hire me? Will I get paid anything if they do?

Will I be able to walk alone at night? Hell, will I be able to walk alone during the day?

Will I have to question any random kindness?

Will people ever take me seriously again?

If you’re male and reading this, consider what life would be like for you if you were suddenly female. That is what women in this country, despite their socioeconomic status, deal with every day.

Then add the fact that you’re “one of them f****n’ queers.” I know that you’re not. But what would the implications be if you were?

There is no easy answer to my situation. Either I accept the self, and reject all else, or accept my privileged life, but utterly reject the self.

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