I had a lot of interesting comments on my last post. I said that many of us who fully acknowledge our trans nature only later in life, choose to go to nightclubs to live the experience we never fully had when we were younger and were living in stealth.
Of course, that's only one reason for going to dedicated trans venues or even general clubs and bars. Apart from the obvious fact that a lot of trans culture is focused in such locales and you can meet up with others like you, there are plenty of other reasons for selecting somewhere to meet that's perhaps geared more for younger people.
A desire to dress younger is a motivation for some, and even a chance to dress more boldly, sexily or get out that knockout frock at last; you know, the one that would look out of place in the supermarket!
On a practical level, meeting in a venue that has all the relevant facilities for a night out is another reason. A big venue like a nightclub provides a degree of anonymity that smaller places don't provide. You get to be out in your right gender as confirmed by the others like you in the space. And since many trans people are a little shy in public to start with - God knows I was! - it's a secure way to get out, too.
A good comment I also received was that although we may be middle-aged when venturing out to city centre venues, we help pave the way for a younger generation to be true to themselves earlier in life. I think that is hugely significant.
As a general rule, I've always felt that, when out and about, or even when online, we are in some ways ambassadors for the trans community, most of whom are hidden, meaning that the world has fewer encounters with trans people and sees them as rarer than they are. Although this touches on the subject of passing, which is an uncomfortable one, I think it important to be likeable, friendly, smiley and positive when out. It helps improve personal safety but also ensures that people realise they're dealing with someone worth knowing, who is not threatening or perverse or odd. Back in London, I made plenty of friends of restaurateurs, barmen, shop staff and so on, as well as getting strangers at nearby tables or on transport to be friendly. Yes, it takes a bit of awareness and effort but it is so worth it. And as my commentator suggests, one positive encounter with a trans person makes people look forward to the next. So we pave the way for easier encounters for those trans people who come after us.
Sometimes there's a big opportunity to be good ambassador, such as at the TGirl Bar in London's top exhibition centres. Or just in everyday shopping or sightseeing or eating out. It all helps. I appreciate that a big metropolis is easier and safer to be out in than a village where every one knows everyone else's business and can be hostile to anything that challenges the age-old ways. But things filter through, outwards and downwards, slowly but surely. One day a trans person won't give a second thought about being out. We each do our small bit to help that happen.
Thank you again to those who commented, and do so on other posts. I'm sorry that Blogger is still proving a little temperamental in allowing comments and in my being able to reply. It's getting better but is not perfect yet. Patience, I guess.