Disguises, risk and coming out

Posted: May 22, 2011 in Damned binaries, Education, Gender, Health, Kyriarchy, Personal, Relationships
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Again, posting has lapsed to sporadic, and I apologise – I’m in the middle of exams, but it’s not like I’m not having time for anything but revision.

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This is a personal post, and is intended to apply to me and only me.

I honestly have no idea how to walk the line between my comfort (being out) and the possible consequences. I’m now in a situation where I don’t have to declare gender – and haven’t declared birth name – but would feel a lot more comfortable declaring who I am. I haven’t done so yet, and am extremely undecided about ever doing so, because I am afraid that bringing my self to the attention of people in positions of authority would put a black mark against my name.

This is the line we have to walk. Until we declare ourselves, we are held not to be our selves, we are held not to exist – but we are allowed to survive, hidden away behind the panels of the kyriarchy. When we declare ourselves, we risk everything – being labelled a freak, being denied, being rejected, hurt, discredited or worse. Until we pull the panels away, we don’t know what the place we will enter is – a room full of soldiers in kyriarchy’s service, or a room of healers, or whatever – unless someone is already there, finding out.

So as more of us come out, more of us will come out because there could be a voice in the room beyond the panel saying, ‘I don’t know if any of us are in there, but I am out here and it is livable,’ and we will come out because we want to see daylight. Don’t write it off as a trend. Just because we were walled in here, too scared to break out, does not mean we never existed. Do not make the mistake of taking the dominant group’s view as fact, when all other groups have hidden in the woodwork.

Can I hear a voice saying, ‘it’s okay,’ now? No. So I have the choice to pull the panel aside, gamble on the nature of the room’s occupants, gamble later, or wait until I hear the voice. As of yet, I don’t know which path I will take. I’d like to think I’ll gamble now – but I don’t know that I’m that brave. I’ve done it in other rooms, but those are ones I had been in for years, hiding in the woodwork and listening to the conversation. The gambles were not that risky. This time, I’ve only just entered. There is the simulacra of binary-me in there, but my self is in the woodwork and it’s only just arrived. We don’t know what would happen if binary-me and real-me took hold of the panel, ripped it out and the illusion of binary-me dissolved. I don’t know what would happen if I take down that shield, and I don’t think I’m brave enough to find out.

I must not feel guilty for that. I must not. For all I want to throw off the disguise, it is true that I live in a kyriarchy. And it is true that I am not able to cut loose from it, because the kyriarchy is everywhere, including in my own mind. This fear is justified. So is the anger that comes with having  to hide, having to deny my self – but I must not let it turn inwards. I must remember that I am only human, and not push myself further than I can go, not bite off more than I can chew.

Knowing this and acting on it does not make me weak. I am saying this more to myself than to anyone else, because I can feel that I am turning on myself, calling myself a coward. It’s bigger than I am. I won’t accept defeat, but I needn’t accept a long-odds gamble either if I don’t think I could handle the consequences.

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