Why I can never be “stealth”

For many trans-people, one of the biggest goals after transition is to go “stealth”. This means hiding your past from everybody your interact with so that nobody knows your true history.

I don’t think I can ever do this.

First, putting yourself into a situation where nobody knows your past is very challenging. Packing up and moving to another town where nobody would know me is a big decision to make, especially since it would mean leaving behind all of my friends. My friends were super-supportive of me during my transition, and I could never just abandon them after everything they have helped me through. So even if I was to move to a new place, far away from the people that know me, I would still have an issue with all of my identification that declares me to be male. The state of Michigan requires reassignment surgery before I can fix the gender marker on my ID, and that is a huge step that I haven’t even begun to wrap my brain around yet.

But there are other reasons I could never be completely stealth, as well. I like to joke about my transness with the people I’m close to, for example: just the other day I proudly declared that I’m a Time Lord on her second incarnation (and regeneration in real life takes way longer than it does on Doctor Who!). If I was ever stealth, it would mean I’m no longer able to speak the amusing comments that sometimes pop into my head, and that just wouldn’t be fun.

Just because I’m not completely stealthy doesn’t mean I go around broadcasting my history to strangers. I don’t introduce myself to somebody with “Hi, I’m Anna and I’m transgender!” since that would just be awkward. I know I pass well, and that gives me the freedom to choose who I want to reveal my past to. Sure, it’ll require some basic trust building when I make friends with somebody new but that’s okay. My new friends will get there eventually.