The Philosophy of “Oooh”
There’s almost nothing I won’t discuss with people about my transition. There’s a couple of things that are a bit too private but not much. I’ve never done the two-lives thing where I presented one way in certain situations and another way in other situations. I don’t hide the changes to my body, ever. If someone calls me a faggot, I correct them by telling them that I’m actually a dyke. I mean, if you’re going to use a schoolyard taunt, use the right one. I then watch their heads explode.
I call this the Philosophy of “Oooh.” The name comes from the sound that many make when they realize I’m trans, “O-o-oh.” It’s more of an elongated “oh” like “oh, shit” than “ooh” like “ooh, baby baby.” It’s the sound of realization, of confirmation and sometimes of approbation and sometimes of condemnation. It’s not always verbal. Often, it’s a look in the eyes when someone finally gets close enough to make out the details of my appearance.
I tend to think of this as an anagram for “Out, Open, Obvious and Honest.” (It should probably be “The Philosophy of O-O-OH” then.) I’m out. Everyone who knows me, friends, family, coworkers, my bartender and barista, all know that I’m trans. I’m open. Like I said above, I’m willing to answer just about any question about being trans or my transition. I’m obvious. I never try to disguise my trans status. Frankly, it’s not like I could with that face. And I’m honest, not only about myself but the way people relate to me and the way I’m treated by society. It makes people uncomfortable sometimes but I believe it’s necessary for our society to move forward.
Why do I do this? Because I can and so many others can’t. There are trans people in this country and around the world who have to conceal themselves. They live double lives because they will face discrimination and possibly be attacked for being trans. They have to cover up when their chests develop or shave uncomfortably close and wear makeup when their beards start to come in. If they wear the clothes that our culture says a person of their gender identity should wear, it’s as good as painting a target on their backs. They have to deny allegations that they are who they are because being who they are will get them beaten in certain company.