K's post about the word 'tranny' got me thinking about drag and female impersonation which got me thinking about early trans women, which sent me down a rabbit hole which led me to this video of April Ashley. I'm kind of a history minded person so I've always been interested in the people who came before me. I've always admired April Ashley, she is amazing and her life story is incredible. She worked as a performer and then as fashion model until she was eventually outed, but she carried herself through it with dignity and poise. You guys should take six minutes to watch this mini documentary about her.
ETA: Experiences like hers and those of Caroline Cossey made me very paranoid in my early performance career. I was always worried about someone outing me and trying to ruin my life. Society has changed enough in the last ten years that I'm not worried about someone ruining my life, but it's still a big part of the reason that I refuse to do shows like America's Got Talent or become more involved in trans advocacy on a national level. I don't think that at my level in the industry my being outed would be a national news story, but I do worry that farther I stick my neck out greater the chance someone will latch onto the story and try to make my life difficult. Even though I don't think it would make it impossible for me to work, I still don't want to be seen as 'different' or 'other' when it comes to my job.
ETA 2: That said, I've always admired the way they handled themselves through those terrible situations and I always figured that if they could do it, so could I.