With All Due Respect550 views
My parents taught me how to introduce myself to people. Easy enough the formula was: Greetings, my name is… Later on in school, the teacher added to it so it became: Greetings, my name is (last name 1st, first name 2nd if French-educated) and I am from (insert city/village name here).
As the years passed, the formula kept growing with new additions, half of which didn’t seem to matter to me; such as religious background, political affiliation and so on and so forth. To me, the only detail that ever mattered was the name. As for the rest, it is none of my business to ask about personal beliefs and choices, so understandably I’m developing a “none of your business” attitude towards these investigation-type questions. Let me explain to you why.
We all have our own ideas and orientations and we like to believe we control how and with who we share them. But in reality we are violating each other’s rights, willingly or by “accident.” We “out” people without thinking twice about the impact we might be causing. It’s as if it doesn’t occur to us that serious consequences might follow. We live in a small world, and more often than not, our networks of connection cross paths. This is when we should be at our fullest awareness and control what we say.
I’ve had more than one person come up to me wanting to know what it’s like being trans and how my relation with my family is, and my first reaction is: “Who told you? Cause I sure as hell didn’t!” This is the most personal thing in my life and others are sharing it in spite of me! Who gave you the right? Did you stop to think for a second if this might jeopardize my work? My friendships? My family? Did you stop and think for a second about my privacy? What if I don’t want everyone I run into to know? Don’t I have the right to my own image?
Whatever your intentions are, good or bad, you have no right. When you feel it is necessary to talk about me to people, feel free to use my name, my last name and what connection we have. Everything else about me, with all due respect, you have no right to share.
Contributed by Maverick