Horses and Trans Ethics


Incredible horseback riding lesson today. The woman teaching me is so patient and kind. A good and natural teacher. It was the first time I ever managed to get a horse to respond to just leg cues to trot… in a saddle!! I also learned to use the reigns a bit more effectively to stop and not creep ahead a few steps (don’t let off pressure till the horse actually backs up a few steps first).

Now for the interesting part (at least to me); I assumed she knew I was trans. We’ve spent about three hours together total. But she did not. It came up as we started talking about recovery from laparoscopic hysterectomies. LOL She was soooo graceful, “Oh, so you used to be a woman”… yeah, sort of… but not really…


1 – I learned that I really do “pass” (I HATE that word as it implies some form of deception – that is not my intent – or that I am not “really” male – totally not true). In spite of being relatively short (5 feet 6 inches on a good day) with freaky small hands and feet.
2 – She didn’t make me feel like I had somehow been an imposter for not not immediately introducing my “trans-ness”. “Hi, nice to meet you, I’m TRANS TAM!!”

I’m really struggling MORE now, than before I “passed,” about when it is ethical to be out about being trans. Yes, the easy answer is when it is relevant. To whom? Me? Them? I can only guess when the other person feels it is relevant… Of course, there are some obvious bright lines…. way before physical intimacy (not a pressing issue in my present form) but there is PLENTY of grey zone before that point.

After the lesson I headed to my barn loft and my wonderful landords treated me a nice gin and tonic. I am now sitting on my deck in the breezy night air sans shirt, sans mosquitoes, and looking out at the dusky outlines of palm trees against the starry sky. For the first time in a very long time (as a child on my grandfather’s farm in West Virginia) I am filled with wonder at how I ended up in such a magical place.


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