Sunday, September 20, 2015
The Hater in Your Head - a blog by CiCi Kytten for Suddenly Fem
So many haters out there. And their numbers are growing. We could have predicted this. As we become more visible. More loud. More a part of everyday life. The haters are going to rise up to match us.
And those haters aren’t just random loudmouths off in some distant city or rural outpost. They’re not all ignorant jerks hiding among the anonymous riffraff of the internet. The haters are right there in your community. In your place of work. In your place of worship. In your very own home.
As members of the trans/cd community, we’re often hesitant to come out to those who are close to us. We know that those around us can be conservative. Closed-minded. Firmly entrenched in traditional thought and convention.
You live in that community. That means that, to some degree, you probably share their values. You work at that place of employment. That means that, whether you want to admit it or not, you think a lot like most of your co-workers.
And you were raised in that family. That’s blood. And that’s also an indoctrination to certain family values and cultural traditions at a very early age. Sure, you’ve grown up. You’ve gone your own way. But those old standards you grew up with don’t leave you.
The decisions you’ve recently made with regard to your trans/cd life -- regardless of where you are in your feminine progression -- may be putting you at odds with your friends and family. Even if you haven’t told them yet you can still feel their recrimination.
You're stronger than hate. You're smarter than hate. I sincerely believe that. But you're also an accomplice in the hate.
Because in addition to the many haters and critics out there, there’s one other person who may be working against you. One other person who may doubt your intentions. One other person who is second-guessing your every move.
And that person is you.
Raised in that family. Trapped in that community. Steeped in those old school values. And no matter how much you'd like to deny it, the voices in your head are very loud. And very powerful. You want to move forward. You want to reach towards your goals.
But you have a hater in your head. And the hater in your head isn’t so sure.
The hater in your head is worried that you’ll lose key relationships.
The hater in your head is worried that you’re risking financial stability.
The hater in your head is worried about your personal safety.
And you can’t argue with any of it. To be trans in 2015 is to enter an at-risk community. You have a lot to lose. And the success of others -- from other families, from other neighborhoods, in different parts of the country -- doesn’t guarantee success or safety for you. The hater in your head knows all this. And uses it against you. Manifesting in fears and anxieties. Doubts and second-guessing. Reluctance and hesitation.
Sadly, there is no remedy. There is no cure or counter-agent. There is only you. Alone in your community. Alone in your workplace. Alone in your family. Alone with your thoughts.
Allies and enemies circle and comment and inject themselves into your decision-making. But, in the end, as with most things... you are alone. Your life is yours alone. Your decisions are yours alone. And those decisions will shape the life you live.
We spend a lot of time in conversation complaining about our opposition. And that opposition is very real. From political circles. From religious groups. From schools and other public institutions. From our friends and families -- and that vague group of rules that we call social convention.
But I want you to forget all that for a moment. I want you to block it out. It won’t go away, believe me. Instead, try spending some time in silence. Try having a thoughtful, rational conversation with the hater in your head. Try to express your true feelings. Try to define your true goals (not the goals of some media star or honored author or well-meaning best friend). And try to honestly assess your risk factor.
I don’t know where you’re going. I don’t know your goals. I don’t even know where you came from. But I do know this. You have more power inside you than you can imagine. More inner strength than you have ever acknowledged. You may be trying to summon the strength to fully transition. You may be working up the courage to go out dressed for the very first time. Or you may be trying to come out to someone close to you.
No matter what your goal is, there will be risk. And there will be opposition. And if you put yourself out there on social media or in your community, you’ll hear those critics. Loud and clear. And often in often thoughtless, hateful terms. The haters aren’t going away. But maybe, with a little work and a little time alone with your thoughts, you can begin to silence the hater in your head.
Or at least reduce the hateful shouting to a whisper.
Take care out there.
Be safe. Be smart. Be sexy.
Posted by CiCi Kytten at 8:38 PM