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foreigner transgender in USA

Started by Roberta_Italy, June 20, 2024, 08:29:06 AM

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Roberta_Italy

Hi everibody,
I'm Roberta 59 y.o.  and I'm an Italian transgener, with gender dyspohoria certified by my therapist.

I am following my peculiar transition path, moving from "genderfluid" expression to explicitally feminine. I'm quite credible as a woman. Important to say, my ID still reports sex M, altough the photo is quite feminine , in line with my aspect.

I'll be travelling to New Orleans for business reasons (participating to an international conference) and I think I'm going to present myself as a female for the few days I'm going to spend in the USA.

I'have a question for the girl-friends living in the US: should I expect any problems or are there facts I should be aware of, or behaviours I should avoid ?

For instance in Italy I normally go into female restrooms, but I'm reading about bathroom laws in US  (we don't have such laws in my Country).  Should I really go to male restrooms, or risk incrimination ?

Any other advice?  Anything would be extremely helpful for me.

ciao and thankyou so much for your help

Roberta
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LoriDee

Hello Roberta,

If you are presenting as female, use the women's restroom. If in male mode, use the men's restroom. Most people will not notice or care. The average person can't prove you are or are not female.

If someone were to complain, such as to the police who could demand to see your ID, just tell them you didn't know there were any rules about using a restroom. You are a guest here. They can't expect you to know every law governing every situation.

Act as though you belong there and no one will question it. If you are looking around and acting suspiciously, then people notice. I wouldn't worry about it. I think you should be ok.
My Life is Based on a True Story.
https://www.susans.org/index.php/topic,247442.0.html

Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything.
Maybe it's about un-becoming everything that isn't really you,
so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.


2017 - GD Diagnosis / 2020 - HRT / 2022 - FFS & Legal Name Change / 2024 - Voice Training
  • skype:.?call
  •  

Roberta_Italy

Hi LorDee, thanks for your advice.

I'm quite self confident and friends who know me say I look relaxed and natural in femme mode, so I will certainly not look or act suspiciously.

I'm just worried about your laws and regulations which, from my external point of view, look quite restrictive... your answer makes me feel much more comfortable.  :)

Any other advice ?  how is the general attitude towards trans people ? Is New Orleans a generally more friendly / unfriendly place ?

My other concern is passing at an early stage and suddenly being identified as a trans person and facing change of beviour from people I'm talking to.

Unfortunately being in a foreing Country (for my perspective)  makes situation I would easily handle in Italy (and speaking italian) much more complicated.

ciao

Roberta

LoriDee

Hi Roberta,

Your concerns are valid. This year is an election year, so much of the political debate is about transgender rights and LGBTQ issues in general. In every city, some people are accepting and supportive, as well as those who are not. Our best defense during these times is camouflage. Act confident, and dress appropriately without extravagant outfits or makeup. We observe women who are just going about their day-to-day activities. See how they dress and behave and then do our best to mimic that. Most women are not targets, so we should appear like one of them and blend in.

While in the US Army, I lived in Germany for six and a half years. When I first arrived, I worried about similar issues of whether or not the locals liked Americans or not. Some do, some do not. I had not started my transition then, so my concern was only about how they felt about Americans in their country. I found that most people didn't notice, or didn't care. They have their own lives to attend to and I was just part of the background. Over time, I made many friends and even married a German woman.

My point is that we often worry about things that never happen. It is good to be aware of potential threats and think about possible situations you may encounter. I think that if you just relax and be your confident self, you will not have any problems. You might even make new friends!
My Life is Based on a True Story.
https://www.susans.org/index.php/topic,247442.0.html

Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything.
Maybe it's about un-becoming everything that isn't really you,
so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.


2017 - GD Diagnosis / 2020 - HRT / 2022 - FFS & Legal Name Change / 2024 - Voice Training

Robbyv213

Hmm new Orleans, I'd love to visit there at least once in my life. That being said I'm not sure I would go while I'm transitioning. It's the south, and I am making some assumptions (which I know is wrong of me) but southerners seem to be more on the conservative side I feel, with values more like those of their partners and grand parents than of evolving with the times.

Maybe it's just the military side of me, but I feel like going to the south at any point in time I don't pass and pass well as a woman that I will be a target and should expect trouble. But then again that's how I feel about being an American visiting Mexico or some other country lol.

I could be completely wrong. But at the very min maybe do some research about where you will be specifically and the general views of the local population there as to if they are more liberal or more conservative, more democratic or more Republican, if there are any reports or statistics specifically geared towards LGBTQ crime and acceptance there as well. I know when I plan a trip to a different country, The Marine in me is doing research on local terrorists groups, the threat level posted by American gov for American tourist visiting that country, I know where my embassy is etc. Old habits I guess.

But as Lori said if you blend in and look the part and act like you belong no one will notice.

I would definitely like to hear from anyone who actually lives locally in New Orleans.
https://www.susans.org/index.php/topic,248248.0.html#msg2272201

Everyday live your life a little more as your true self. Everyday live your life as the person you want to be and eventually you'll be that person before you even noticed you changed.

LoriDee

I have never lived in NO but was stationed at Fort Polk in northern LA for several years. That was a LONG time ago, so I don't know what it is like now.

I went to Mardi Gras in NO a couple of times, and the things I saw would indicate a pretty relaxed atmosphere. I couldn't handle the crowds, so I started doing Mardi Gras in Baton Rouge. Now that was a party. Lots of friendly people. Everyone just doing their own thing and not paying any attention to anyone else.

Since you are attending an international conference, maybe team up with someone so you can see the sights, try some of the restaurants, and have fun while not being alone. Get a group of people and all go together. Safety in numbers.
My Life is Based on a True Story.
https://www.susans.org/index.php/topic,247442.0.html

Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything.
Maybe it's about un-becoming everything that isn't really you,
so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.


2017 - GD Diagnosis / 2020 - HRT / 2022 - FFS & Legal Name Change / 2024 - Voice Training
  • skype:.?call
  •  

Robbyv213

@LoriDee I like where your head is at. Get a battle buddy, or a few of them. Lol.
https://www.susans.org/index.php/topic,248248.0.html#msg2272201

Everyday live your life a little more as your true self. Everyday live your life as the person you want to be and eventually you'll be that person before you even noticed you changed.
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    The following users thanked this post: LoriDee

Roberta_Italy

Quote from: LoriDee on June 20, 2024, 05:18:44 PM[...]
Since you are attending an international conference, maybe team up with someone so you can see the sights, try some of the restaurants, and have fun while not being alone. Get a group of people and all go together. Safety in numbers.
It seems I should be going with a colleague of mine (male), so I guess he'll be my "buddy"  :D 
Indeed, this will add some thrill, as I came out at work quite recently and I am  still building up my female expression: the direction is clear, most of my colleagues (including the one who is coming along with me) already address me as a female, but I'v not (yet) shown my 100% feminine aspect. So I think I'll have to tell him that for this trip  (planned in september) i'll be travelling as a female; he is quite accepting so I don't expect any issue on his side, and I consider this as one of the steps of my transition.
Then I hope the Conference management will be supportive allowing me to register with my elective name...  other issue to be addressed ! 
Step by step I'll get there!!

ciao
Roberta
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LoriDee

Roberta, that is perfect! Since he already knows and is accepting, the two of you traveling together should be a wonderful experience. Not only at the conference but out sightseeing as well. No language barrier, and if anyone is watching from a distance it would look like any other couple doing things together.
My Life is Based on a True Story.
https://www.susans.org/index.php/topic,247442.0.html

Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything.
Maybe it's about un-becoming everything that isn't really you,
so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.


2017 - GD Diagnosis / 2020 - HRT / 2022 - FFS & Legal Name Change / 2024 - Voice Training
  • skype:.?call
  •  

Robbyv213

Sounds like a solid plan. But if you find yourself going anywhere or doing anything by yourself away from the conference or your hotel, I'd def let one of your colleagues (who you trust and feel safe with) know the who what where when why and when you should be back, maybe even the hotel receptionist so that they can make sure to keep an eye out for your safe return from your sight seeing adventure.
https://www.susans.org/index.php/topic,248248.0.html#msg2272201

Everyday live your life a little more as your true self. Everyday live your life as the person you want to be and eventually you'll be that person before you even noticed you changed.
  •  

Sweet luck

I recently travelled to Turkish Antalya, the resort town on the South of Turkey. Before the trip I also worried about local people's attitude to transgenders. Firstly at airports I went to males restrooms, but I felt uncomfortable and negative looks at my side. One man demonstratively left the restroom, seeing me washing hands. So I decided to go further to female's restrooms. And that was prudent decision - noone was paying attention.
I don't know the real situation about transgenders
in USA, I just sharing my experience)

Roberta_Italy

Quote from: Sweet luck on June 25, 2024, 11:09:36 PMI recently travelled to Turkish Antalya, [...].
I don't know the real situation about transgenders
in USA, I just sharing my experience)
Thankyou Sweet Luck, i think you have really been lucky, as I wrote some quite bad experience of transgender women (holding a male passport ifn this is your case) with turkish border police.
May I ask where are you from?
How is the transgender situation in your country?
Roberta
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Sweet luck

Quote from: Roberta_Italy on June 26, 2024, 12:17:28 AMThankyou Sweet Luck, i think you have really been lucky, as I wrote some quite bad experience of transgender women (holding a male passport ifn this is your case) with turkish border police.
May I ask where are you from?
How is the transgender situation in your country?
Roberta

Dear Roberta,
I have the worst situation: I'm holding male's passport with male's name and picture 😒
But I didn't have any bad experience during passport controls at airport, in hotels. Everyone was polite and talked with me in correct way.
I'm from Azerbaijan, I think one of the most transfobic countries. That's why I was really scared travelling to other countries, because I didn't know local people's attitude to transgenders.. But everything was fine.

Roberta_Italy

Quote from: Sweet luck on June 26, 2024, 02:30:37 AMDear Roberta,
I have the worst situation: I'm holding male's passport with male's name and picture 😒
But I didn't have any bad experience during passport controls at airport, in hotels. Everyone was polite and talked with me in correct way.
I'm from Azerbaijan, I think one of the most transfobic countries. That's why I was really scared travelling to other countries, because I didn't know local people's attitude to transgenders.. But everything was fine.

Hi Sweet Luck...  I used to have your same sitation (masculine name and photo) and travelled quite a lot in Europe without any problems even in feminine mode.

Honestly and with all respect for any country in the world, I would think a lot before travelling with masculine documents and feminine aspects i countries well known for discrimination towards LGBT people.  Being foreigner in those countries may make things even more complicated.

Now I have removed my beard and let my hair grown long with feminine cut style.

i still have mascunline name and gender on my documents, but I renewed the photo to match my current aspect which can be classified in the range from Non-binary to explicitly feminine (when I wear make up). I put an "alround photo" with no makeup. tied up hair but with the feminine characteristics still quite visible. 
I had a control from italian police (somtetimes they randomly stop cars for routine checks) but officer was highly professional and didnn't care at all for my feminine appearence.
I have not travelled  yet with these documents, maybe the first time will be the USA in september. 
But I still wouldn't travel as a female to some Eastern Europe, Africa, or Middle East countries.

ciao
Roberta
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Sweet luck

Quote from: Roberta_Italy on June 26, 2024, 04:13:17 AMHi Sweet Luck...  I used to have your same sitation (masculine name and photo) and travelled quite a lot in Europe without any problems even in feminine mode.

Honestly and with all respect for any country in the world, I would think a lot before travelling with masculine documents and feminine aspects i countries well known for discrimination towards LGBT people.  Being foreigner in those countries may make things even more complicated.

Now I have removed my beard and let my hair grown long with feminine cut style.

i still have mascunline name and gender on my documents, but I renewed the photo to match my current aspect which can be classified in the range from Non-binary to explicitly feminine (when I wear make up). I put an "alround photo" with no makeup. tied up hair but with the feminine characteristics still quite visible. 
I had a control from italian police (somtetimes they randomly stop cars for routine checks) but officer was highly professional and didnn't care at all for my feminine appearence.
I have not travelled  yet with these documents, maybe the first time will be the USA in september. 
But I still wouldn't travel as a female to some Eastern Europe, Africa, or Middle East countries.

ciao
Roberta


Dear Roberta, I traveled in ME countries as well, like India, UAE, but I didn't face any big issues, except extra questions during passport controls. Even I look feminine noone asked me why my ID doesn't match with the appearance. Only once I was refused to buy a Sim card in India, cause the AI programm, registering Sim couldn't math my ID with actual gender))

By the way may I know why don't you change your documents to female gender and feminine name? As I know in EU it is legally allowed.
As for me I don't have such opportunity, because in our country it is forbidden to change gender at all 😭
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Roberta_Italy

Quote from: Sweet luck on June 26, 2024, 04:23:48 AMDear Roberta, I traveled in ME countries as well, like India, UAE, but I didn't face any big issues, except extra questions during passport controls. Even I look feminine noone asked me why my ID doesn't match with the appearance. Only once I was refused to buy a Sim card in India, cause the AI programm, registering Sim couldn't math my ID with actual gender))

By the way may I know why don't you change your documents to female gender and feminine name? As I know in EU it is legally allowed.
As for me I don't have such opportunity, because in our country it is forbidden to change gender at all 😭

Good to know that UAE (potentially one of my future destinations) and India are not posing problems at border control. But for instance, did you go into ladies restrooms in UAR ? maybe you have such a good passing that noone would suspect you are not a genetic woman ?

Coming to your question, I am following a very peculiar transition path and for the time being I have not applied (yet?) for legal gender change. 

Yes in Italy it's allowed to change your legal gender registration and therefore Identity Documents, but proceudure here is quite long, overall it may take one to two years to have updated documents.   
So what many transgenders do is updating documents with a photo showing your actual aspect, which does not require any kind of legal authorisation and is highly advisable.

Roberta


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Sweet luck

Dear Roberta,
UAE is safe country for transgenders I suppose, but there are a lot of gender stereotypes there, like separate metro wagons for males and females, separated female areas in public transport, separate entrance to the shops etc.
But it doesn't bring big troubles. Being in UAE, of course, I couldn't dare going to the ladies restrooms🤭
Frankly speaking, I still can't pass as a female in my country, but I hope my appearance will further improve on HRT.
You can see my introduction here:
https://www.susans.org/index.php/topic,248093.msg2272586.html#msg2272586
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Robbyv213

The UAE? I'm not sure. I've been there twice while in the us. Marine corps and in general we were told that the middle east is very anti LGBTQ anything. But again that was just a safety brief in the military back around 2010 time frame.

I have only visited while in the military and I was in male mode. Prob just as much of a target just being a white American male in the middle east.

I would say just be careful in the middle east. I know their laws are super strict in terms of being gay, bi or lesbian. However I have heard in some countries gay men can have srs and become women legally (and in terms of their religious views as well) and aloud to have relationships and even marry men at that point.

 So just do your due diligence and research the laws in the middle east and each specific country you plan to visit there.

Granted the UAE and Bahrain are more relaxed areas in terms of their laws. But still, you could find yourself in a very bad situation.
https://www.susans.org/index.php/topic,248248.0.html#msg2272201

Everyday live your life a little more as your true self. Everyday live your life as the person you want to be and eventually you'll be that person before you even noticed you changed.
  •  

Iztaccihuatl

Quote from: Robbyv213 on June 26, 2024, 02:46:17 PMHowever I have heard in some countries gay men can have srs and become women legally (and in terms of their religious views as well) and aloud to have relationships and even marry men at that point.

I think this only applies to Iran where Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa in 1987 that recognizes trans women as long as they get bottom surgery and comply with all laws pertaining to women. However, this is also being abused to force gay men to undergo bottom surgery and live as "women" in order to not get arrested for being gay.
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