The TRANS disclaimers

thepastwashereI recently wrote a Facebook status for everyone on my Friends’ list to see because once in a while, someone consciously or unconsciously will stir up some old memories that are better left in the past. Then, I thought it would be a good idea to write it on my blog, for people who may never see that status. It’s private, yet it’s part of me, it’s sensitive matter, yet I want it to be in the open.

Why share it here for the entire world to see? Because for one, I’m learning to be more open to my vulnerability; it gives me freedom to let go of needing people’s approval; secondly, after watching the recent interview on the Katie Couric’s show of Carmen Carrera and Laverne Cox, it’s obvious that there is still a lot of education to do about Trans issues, and sometimes the people who mean well can hurt us too. So here we go. My disclaimers:

For those who may not know… I’m a man of Trans experience. What it means is that when I was born, my birth certificate said ‘Female’ and now I’m fully male. I was not a girl who woke up one day and decided that it would be cool to be a boy. I was always male and have finally been able to physically match my true gender. I love people who don’t assume and ask me questions, but I have to put a few disclaimers here:

1. Do not assume anything about me because of what you’ve seen on TV, what you’ve read, because you know another Trans person, because you’re in the LGBT community or because you’re Trans yourself. I do not fit in a box. And that is in any area of my life.

2. Do not assume that being Trans is all there is to me and is all I want to talk about. I have a life outside of my transition. I have frustrations, interests, goals and hopes like every human being.

3. Do not introduce me to people as Neo the Transgender guy that I know or ‘out’ me to people. It hurts more than it helps, and it’s my story to tell if I choose to. I just want to be seen to the world as a normal guy and leave my past behind. If the topic comes out, I’m perfectly fine talking about it and I will never hide it but I don’t want my manhood to be devalued and undervalued because of my past; and I’m not a cool project to show off to people.

4. Do not ask me about my genitals. There is a reason why they’re called ‘private parts’ and it’s simply rude. The only person who needs to checkup on the situation down there is my girlfriend. If you ask me what’s going on, I’m going to assume that you want to sleep with me. I’m not interested.

5. Some people are different and we don’t have to understand everything. Deal with it! And like my buddy JC lived to show us the true meaning of love, we should also love everyone as we love ourselves.

If the world is more educated on Trans issues, there will be less need for ignorance, assumptions, violence, prejudice, discrimination, and more room for acceptance, understanding, respect, appreciation and love. Please share!

Neo

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Neo L. Sandja

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