The Drama Queens performed a decade ago in Portland Oregon at the IFGE conference. We did sketches on a 2 foot by 2 foot platform, and TBB & I are not small people.
After the show, a woman born female came up and said that she was watching me on the platform in heels, hoping I wouldn't fall off. I didn't, which she obviously thought was remarkable.
I knew what she was seeing. She was just identifying with another woman, a femme, who, wearing heels, had to dance around someone and not fall off the stage. It was a skill, a talent, something remarkable.
I was talking about my life to TBB the other night and she said "I smell tragedy."
I understood. If you think it's hard for me to stay stable and grounded in a tiny space wearing heels, imagine how it is when I have to wear clodhopping heavy boots.
Eventually, you just fall off.
The Chinese system relies on a classic psychological truth:
self-censorship is always far more comprehensive than formal censorship.
New York Times, 23 April 2006,
Google's China Problem (and China's Google Problem)
The common thread for anyone who has been shamed, stigmatized and frightened into the closet is that they have a higher obligation for self-censorship than normies. That then often spills over to believing that they have a higher obligation to censor those who don't censor themselves.
Now, I might call this internalized phobia, taking social fears and using them to beat our own nature into submission. I might say it's intensely and immensely self-crippling. I might say it aggrandizes the demand that normies not be made uncomfortable by challenge to their own assumptions & expectations in a way that denies the conflict that leads to growth. But then again, I bet you know all of that.
TBB says that her co-workers, who have seen many transsexuals, have seen few who are comfortable in their own skin. How uncomfortable do you have to be when you know that any failure in your own self-policing will be seen as an affront to all that is good & holy, not just someone learning how to create new boundaries which let them grow? And doesn't that explain scary-trannies, who have to learn how to not engage others, to be wild, separate and unassmilated so they don't have to be strangled anymore by their own self-censorship?
I know that decades of self-censorship have crippled me. And I know that I am still asked, even by people who I have had a deep connection with over many years, to make sure I police myself to stay small enough not to challenge her, not to offer ideas & insights that might disrupt her comfortable status quo.
And the problem is that censor lives in my own head. I can't reprogram it without facing the dangers that censor was enable to defend against.
Whoever we are, we circumscribe our choices to stay safe & appropriate.
And that means we will never be all we can be.