Truly though, this is so exciting and quite a challenge for me. I have never blogged before. There, I said it, you all now know just how far behind the times I am! Derek and Romain want me to blog from my perspective. So just what the hell is my perspective? I have looked at life from many different perspectives; as many perspectives as I have been given labels. I started off being labeled a "little boy", then went on to be a "sissy boy," from there to a "straight young man," then a "gay young man," to a "pre-op male to female transsexual," onto an "intersexed" (I was born with Kleinfelter's Syndrome giving me an extra X chromosome) pre-op transsexual, and then, after sex reassignment surgery, for the bulk of my life, a "straight woman." Truthfully, after all the labels, I just prefer to think of myself these days as a "queer woman." However, if you want to refer to me affectionately and only affectionately, as your favorite "tranny trucker", I won't mind!
When I discovered OutQ and the Derek and Romaine Show 2 1/2 years ago, I had been out of this community for twenty-five years. When I immersed myself in being a straight woman, our community was in the middle of the AIDS crisis and Harvey Milk had been dead for five years. There were gay men and lesbians and the poor hidden step children, were the trannies! Listening to the station and how far our community has come over the years, gave me a powerful desire to reconnect. I have been able to do that through OutQ and I am so grateful. I think, as Trucker James, stated in his last blog, we don't always realize what trailblazers people like Derek and Romain are. I have no doubt, however, that history will show them to be so.
So, to help understand my perspective, whatever that may be, let me tell you a bit about myself. I am a long haul truck driver. I have been living the trucking lifestyle (it is so much more than just a job) on and off for the last 20 years. In his blog, Trucker James so eloquently described this lifestyle, and I completely agree with everything he wrote. There are some differences being a woman truck driver as opposed to being a man and I will try to explore some of these differences in later blogs.
I am 55 years old and my house is in a small town in the Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri. I can't honestly say I live there, because being there 5 days a month and in my truck the other 25 days, I actually live in my truck and visit my house! It is a very hillbilly and redneck area and how I wound up there is another story for another time. I have been married very briefly to a woman and for several years each to two different straight men who did not know I had been born with a "terrible growth in my vagina!" While transitioning in my mid-twenties, I had a psychologist tell me the only way I would ever have the "normal" life as a woman that I craved, would be to keep that secret. I had my surgery in 1982 and after an initial period of getting to know my new body, I moved on to my "normal" life. Unfortunately, as a "normally" very open and honest person, it came at a very high price. Would I do it all again the same way-I honestly don't know! Things are changing for transpeople from when I was transitioning. They have not come anywhere near as far as things have for other parties of our "community", but I believe with continued education and enlightenment by people who have the courage to embrace it, things may one day get to a place where being born in the wrong body does not have to be a "dirty little secret.
I recently had a very long conversation with an admitted "transphobe" gay white male. I won't give any names, but his initials are "Trucker James"! We spoke at length about the differences of being "trans" as opposed to being "gay". Like so many other gay men, not having been personally exposed to many transpeople, and never, himself, ever feeling like he did not belong in his own body, he truly had no point of reference to what being "trans" was like until he was educated and enlightened by yours truly. I have heard from gay men, too many times, what I heard in a phone call from "Bush in Tennessee" last year on the Michelangelo Signorile Show last year, how they don't believe anyone other than gay people belong in their community. This makes me just as angry as some people were when so many African Americans and Hispanics voted for Proposition 8 in California denying same sex marriage. People were angy because they thought after all the discrimination people of color had been through, they would have to understand the plight of the gays! Those people, too, like all straight people, truly need to be educated and enlightened.
The bottom line here, people, is that all of us "queer" folk, because of what we have been through in our own lives trying to gain acceptance, all need to be educated and enlightened to the differences and similarities in each other so we can learn to embrace them, as opposed to being threatened by them. I have been known by so many labels in my life and there are so many labels in our L,G,B ,T, I (intersexed). . . .X, Y Z community, I would just rather be a queer woman, loving and supporting and being loved and supported by all "queer" people. There is a site that I find very informative if you are interested in all thing trans. It is "Susan's Place", http://www.susans.org/Transitioning/
Love and Hugs - Trucker Patti