Stealth is a concept which has always left me divided.
On the one hand, being stealth offers protection. Whilst some might argue that this is at the cost of deception, I would instead posit that doing so is actually being as true to those around you as it is possible to be. The past, after all is just that – passed – and has very little baring on present, and thus has little or no effect on the lives of those who surround you despite what they might believe. In many way, this origin is not actually objectionable by nature but instead encourages people to paint you the brush of whatever preconceptions they may hold – founded or unfounded; negative or otherwise. Consequently, revealing this does not so much generate prejudice as it does encourage the polarisation of viewpoints; thus catalysing the witch hunt.
The cost, however, is invisibility. I am left in a position where I cannot be open about my experiences and use them to educate those around me to the extent I would like, despite both their apparent willingness to learn as well as the feeling that they would benefit from my knowledge. I am not able to fight for my own rights as effectively as I would like, and I am l left on the proverbial sidelines – merely in an advisory capacity – when those around to me are able to engage themselves fully in these battles. In many ways it is infuriating, however I concede its necessity in order to protect myself. Maybe one day the world will reach a level of acceptance when this will not be the case, but for now I must accept that my hands are tied.
This does not mean I have been left powerless. I am still able to educate, inform and increase awareness as someone who is known to be an ally. I hope that my endeavours will have helped to change the way that a significant number of young doctors perceive trans* individuals as well as their ability to provide them with treatment. I hope that I can continue to apply pressure to have this added to the curricula taught to young doctors in a hope that the horror stories I am constantly regaled with become a thing of the past. Whilst I feel this goal is achievable, I am very aware of how difficult it will be to realise. The difference it could potentially make in the years that followed would be more than worth the effort, however.