One of the challenges that faces people who transition is what to do about one’s past. On the one hand there is a strong desire to live (in my case) as a woman and never return to being male. People see how I present now. They see a woman. What happens when the discussion rolls around to school, past relationships, health concerns etc.? There are three options:
- Lie. Make something up. Create a past as it may have been if one had always been female, or always male if you are female to male. This means creating a new past and being consistent with it.
Be non-committal. Short answers, no definite information. This is somewhat easier than an outright lie and can still conceal that one is transsexual. This approach leads to less interesting conversation and less back and forth.
Be straight up. This is probably the most difficult approach. It will likely lead to questions and in being out. It is not conducive to being ‘stealth’. It also leaves the door open to rejection, abuse, discrimination and possibly worse. On the other hand it means one is open. People will get to know you for who you are, which includes one’s pre-transition life.
I have used options two and three at various times. Fear of rejection is what usually triggers the use of option two. This fear is natural, everyone has it from time to time. It is easy to give in to. There are also situations where option two is the right option, where it would be inappropriate to use option three. For myself option one is not an option. I will not pretend my past did not happen. That I wasn’t married, didn’t sing in a men’s choir, and many other things that have all contributed to who I am today.
For others in transition, the choice is yours. I am not in your shoes. Do what is right for you. In many parts of the world, and even North America going stealth is often the wisest and safest choice. Whichever way you go, be true to yourself and what you need.