A while back I posted a blog post about my views on being stealth and the reasons why I wasn’t. It turned out to be my most popular post on this blog, and that record is still to be broken. Today I realised that I now take a different viewpoint on the matter so I thought it worth updating my audience about how I feel now.
I am still of the view that being stealth is not a requirement of being trans, it is not a mandatory or (in my view) expected part of being trans. In addition I have no issue with people who do chose to be stealth, out of choice, need (i.e. safety), or any other reason. Being stealth is an individual thing to the person. It isn’t for everyone.
Personally, when I wrote my last post on the topic, I wasn’t stealth. I explained that it wasn’t for me but things may change in the future. Well things have changed somewhat now.
I am in a job now where I am predominantly stealth for my own mental health. By this I mean if I am in a better position presenting as male than non-binary, or openly trans, because the home is full of elderly people – a lot with dementia – and a lot of them have very old views around race, gender and sexuality and I don’t want to be known as a trans person before being known as a good carer. I am open to a few people, staff, at work, and I will discuss it with a few of them. But I don’t want everyone to know.
In an ideal world I would be out as non-binary and everyone would use they pronouns for me, as I much prefer that, but sadly I am unable to do so. It does affect my mental health, but less so than if I was known as the trans guy or the weird one who can’t decide.
In my personal life, with friends and such, I am still very much open with my transition. I am now, as of last night, an official committee member of FTM Brighton, I am a founding member of the new Non-Binary group (name pending) and I work in the bi, poly, and queer circles a lot.
However I also am stealth to anyone I meet in public now. I feel I am in a position where I don’t have the spoons to out myself constantly. I deal with being called he because it is better than she, or it. While I’d rather they, as a non-binary person I am fully aware that it is not practical to constantly explain gender to people on the street.
I am writing another post at the moment about why being seen as non-binary is so important to me, about what it means for me, so I won’t go into it too much here. But it is such an intrinsic part of my identity I don’t think I could cope if it was ignored. I don’t identify as female, but I definitely don’t identify as male either. I am nearly at that point on the scale, but I am not binary. I am not there. I am non-binary, I feel 70-80% male, but 20-30% ‘other’ (numbers do fluctuate). It is that other part I feel the need to present more. I am slowly trying to alter my appearance to feel more comfortable, a little make-up, my clothing not just being from the men’s section. It is a work in progress.
I will repeat what I said above, there is no shame in being stealth, in fact I admire people who feel able to be 100% stealth or even 90%. It is hard, and this becomes even more complicated when you are non-binary, how can you be stealth when the idea is to blend in and your gender isn’t seen by society?
Thank you all for reading this, I may do another update at some point in the future. For now, have a read of some of my other posts. There are more due to come up soon, including the post about being non-binary. Keep your eyes peeled!
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Are you trans? Or non-binary? Or both? What do you think about being stealth? Or are you cis? Do you see why people feel and don’t feel the need to be stealth? Let me know below. I will always answer your comments and I will try to answer any questions you may have.