I am a transwoman: Most people aren’t like me.
In truth, I have always had a very strong sense of unique personal identity, and I have been that way since I was a child, socially capable but holding most people at a safe distance, always being very aware that I didn’t quite fit in. Getting to the stage of knowing myself has been a long journey and it is still ongoing.
Of course, we are all special. All unique. But at the same time, we identify within specific groups. This grouping (‘tribalism’ for want of a better word) often gives us our place in the world. It helps us feel accepted and normal, and it gives us protection, but at a cost: those who aren’t within our groups become ‘outsiders’. And those of us in minority groups, held to be outsiders by the majority, really can’t afford to see the rest of the world back in the same way.
Estimates of how many transgender people there are varied, and in many countries (such as the UK for example) no proper statistics are currently kept. It is generally accepted that the figure is less than 1 in every 100 people, and could be closer to 1 in 200. However, such findings are hard to confirm when you consider many trans people hide away, falling gratefully into cracks within a society where they can safely guard their secrets.
The figures for gays and lesbians may be just a little bit more solid but even these seem to vary dramatically by location (with even significant variations from state to state in the USA), suggesting to me that answers may be biased at least slightly by the environment and perceived safety/tolerance that members of the community find themselves in.
As a rule of thumb, say 10% of the population consider themselves LGBTQ, making transgenders the minority within the minority. And it is a matter of human nature that the smallest groups are always the ones that are most victimised. (Note that some transgender people belong to other minority groups making them potentially more marginalised still).
So being transgender, in the minority of the minority, how does that affect me? Well, I don’t seek out trouble and I live a quiet life. I appear on few if any registers as anything but my birth-assigned gender. So officially I ‘hide’.
Should that be criticised? I don’t believe so. In reality, I walk out each day as a woman and face what comes. I am probably lucky, but I have had no major scenes or issues. No threats. No unpleasantness. Just the odd stare which can be ignored.
No, I am not hiding. I am assimilating, being as normal as I can be within society. I belong to the biggest group of all: Humanity. And the equal second biggest group: Women.
Some may wish to try and exclude me from these. But I am damn well never going to exclude myself!
As for being anything else. I like being a one-in-one-hundred type person.
Because I always was.