Amongst my former friends there is a thinking that if Trans people 'act and dress appropriately' they minimise the chances of getting hassle. Their quest, in their own words and actions, is to aim for 'normalcy' and be accepted by effectively 'blending in' and disappearing in the crowd. They fear that if they do not they will make themselves targets for transphobic behaviour...
Last night I had just come out of Waterloo train station in Merseyside and was making my way towards my car when a group of middle aged men and women, probably worse for drink, deliberately got in my way. One chap in particular kept swerving to get in my path and stared me directly in the eye. I brushed past him, telling him to get out of my way and, as I cleared the group, another of them shouted, "I guess this means she doesn't love you!".
I was initially shocked, scared and pissed off but in the time it took me to walk back to my car I started wondering what I had done to provoke them - was I dressed provocatively? Was it because I'm Trans? Was it the way I walked?
...So, I hope you see these two apparently separate things, have more in common than might first appear:
They place responsibility of other people's behaviour on the victim instead of the people who carried out the act and, in so being, is the same kind of thinking which places the blame for rape on the victim instead of the rapist.
It is not up to us to accept responsibility for people acting appallingly - whether that be taking the piss out of us, jostling us, or, heaven forbid, raping or murdering us - those people need to accept responsibility for their own actions.
The kind of thinking that says "well, if you will dress/act that way, what do you expect?" is also part of this victim blaming.
Personally, I think it would be a shocking state of affairs if everyone treated me like those bunch of twats last night! And I know for a fact that they don't because it is the first time since I was 21 that a group of strangers hassled me for no reason whatsoever other than they were a bunch of twats! That is an interval of 19 years! So, in reality, twats are very few and far between.
So I am not going to tarnish the 99.9% of people who would've passed by without any incident taking place whatsoever with the same brush as I would for those twats who wouldn't.
Furthermore, I am not going to let twats govern how I live my life.
The twats in this world aren't going to stop be being openly Trans, they aren't going to stop me dressing how I like, and they aren't going to stop me acting as I believe to be right.
That would be a gross overreaction to the problem and, as explained above, it would be taking responsibility off them to behave well. That is not how I intend to live my life.
Instead I intend to be the best me there is because there is only me who is me and thus I feel it is my duty to represent myself as best I can.
In short, I have no intention of being a twat.
Footnote: My foot hurts! No... I reported the incident to Merseyside police last night and it has been logged as an incident of anti-social behaviour. They've forwarded it to Lancashire police and I'm hoping to meet one of their officers about the incident.