Jane just wrote a post about the trans taboo of ‘before and after’ photographs which is interesting becuase a couple of days ago I rediscovered an old flickr account i havn’t used in ages. The are pictures going back eight or nine years – it’s where i kept my online pics before i joined facebook.
In there were four, maybe five pictures of John (remember? that podgy respectable looking bloke i fell in love with). I moved a load of photos over to facebook into my family album but then went to Jane and asked if she wanted to be tagged in them. I didn’t think she would. But it seemed worth checking.
She does have photographs of John on her facebook…. there’s a series of transitional photos over the course of the first year. From John to Jane with nipples that needed hiding for the sake of facebook sensitivities. It’s there as a record… as a documentation.
But being tagged in personal photos is a no-no… I can understand that.
I’ve read the comments on her blog and they are definitely split between those who say they are happy in their skins and the person they were is a part of their history that has a valid place and those who see trans as a birth defect, something so hideous they wish there to be no record…no history…no trail back.
I guess the same sort of split there is in adoptees…. those happy to engage with their backstory becuase it is part of who they are… and those who reject it outright.
I’m not making a value judgement either way…well… I am.. becuase I know which I would do in both cases. I’d run it like I run the rest of my life -upfront and in the open… who I am is what you get.
As Doctor Seuss said-
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
But I also wonder if the trans split is anything to do with having family, children etc?
I know there are families who reject the trans in their midst… there are also trans individuals who walk away from their families in order to… I dunno… do it in peace…. totally go stealth.
I always thought Jane would stick with her past…. we’re here and not all of us are queer..ahem…sorry… but we are here. The boy still alternates between Dad and Jane (but interestingly mostly Jane whilst out) whilst Jane’s daughter as far as I can tell just uses dad…. so no chance of total stealth… except when away from home.
It does make me wonder if we are becoming a dirty secret in some circles she mixes in…. but hey ho.
So, i think what I’m bimbling round to, in a round about waffly way, is although I understand Jane not wanting to be tagged on old photos it still feels like a rejection of her past…. and in rejecting her past she throws away part of mine (again!)…. its not like she said ‘don’t put them up’…. but it makes me sad that she dislikes who she was so much becuase I loved that person.
I know, I know its the nature of the beast that is gender dysphoria…. but when someone you love felt like a part of you a rejection of them is a rejection of you. Its felt like that all through transition… every insult and rejection thrown at Jane hurt me too. Thats why I’ve stood between her and trouble on occassion… and now…. towards the end of the line. Its Jane’s rejection of self that hurts the most.
I don’t think anyone should ever totally reject their past and throw it all away… your past is not just your own but belongs to everyone close to you who loves you.