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Trans* Tourist -- What to Expect?

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Trans* Tourist -- What to Expect?

Postby dglenn » Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:02 pm

Planning my first trip to Cyprus (the one I was too young to remember doesn't count), I am very much looking forward to seeing the beauty of the place with my own eyes instead of in photographs, seeing my kin when they're not in tourist-mode (though of course I will be), and feeling what it's like to walk the land of half my ancestors. But at the same time, I'm nervous. Because I'm transgender, somewhat conspicuously so, and this is my first trip outside of North America and thus my first trip to a place where I know there will be cultural differences from what I'm used to, but I don't know _how_ different nor whether reactions-to-trans-people and what-I-can-do-to-set-people-at-ease are among the things that will be different.

Because I'll be with my mother, I'll probably have to be in "boy mode" most of the time anyhow (my normal gender presentation would probably be described as "genderqueer" though that's not the label I identify as), but even in boy-mode I doubt I would quite pass as a cisgender man before, and the changes hormones have wrought at last are not going to be trivially hidden under warm-weather clothing.

I've read that Cypriot _law_ is not exactly LGBT-friendly, but I don't know about person-to-person reactions: whether to expect insults, warm welcomes, people just being too polite to say anything, people really not caring about it at all, friendly curiosity, people acting nervous, whispers, or (as I get in some US neighbourhoods) all of the above at the same time? Does my being a tourist excuse some eccentricity? Will carrying a guitar help (as it does when visiting unfamiliar US cities)? Or should I be constantly on my guard and keep kinfolk around me? Am I better off trying as hard as I can to blend in despite the harm of the closet, or will I make other people more comfortable just being openly _me_ and being relaxed and honest instead of Hiding Something? (In the past I have occasionally upset people more by "trying to act normal" for their benefit, as they could sense _something_ was off but couldn't tell _what_.) I really have no clue what sort of reception/reactions to expect, and my imagination conjures all of these possibilities from the friendliest to most hostile. All I know is that it's not the culture I already know, not what all the important differences are.

I'd really appreciate some advice from transgender Greek Cypriots, or failing that, any gay/lesbian/bi Cypriots, but even clues from non-LBGT people will be useful to me. (Obviously, I'm looking for a broader sample of perspectives than I'll get from talking only to my cousins.)

Also, if there are any words and phrases I should know that won't be in a tourist phrasebook ... ?

Please forgive me if I sound xenophobic; I am speaking entirely out of ignorance and anxiety here, not with any assumptions already made -- it's the knowing how much I don't know, that's worrying me, not an expectation of anything in particular.
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Re: Trans* Tourist -- What to Expect?

Postby repulsewarrior » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:31 pm

dglen, welcome,i would suggest that you can contact trans-gendered people who are Cypriot, through an international dating site; this might be a good step.

i suppose dressing very conservatively as a woman, and accompanied by your mom, you will be respected, because it shows the same sensitivity and respect, but unfortunately, loud-mouths and clowns, Cyprus, it seems, has plenty of them. you will find family to be a big part of a Cypriot's life, the cities are quite cosmopolitain, many beautiful things to buy and consume, Individualism is a way of life, feeling safe in this context (for a Cypriot) is knowing you have the support of a large community, so friendship if your looking for it will be near impossible, to know someone likely you must know his/her clan. be independent, enjoy life, and plan to do things yourself, under these circumstances you will find conversation, fun, and the routines which make a day full.

...i would not advise travelling north, there is no Rule of Law, at least this is clear when it comes to gender preferences.

cheers!
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Re: Trans* Tourist -- What to Expect?

Postby gardash » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:09 pm

repulsewarrior wrote:dglen, welcome,i would suggest that you can contact trans-gendered people who are Cypriot, through an international dating site; this might be a good step.

i suppose dressing very conservatively as a woman, and accompanied by your mom, you will be respected, because it shows the same sensitivity and respect, but unfortunately, loud-mouths and clowns, Cyprus, it seems, has plenty of them. you will find family to be a big part of a Cypriot's life, the cities are quite cosmopolitain, many beautiful things to buy and consume, Individualism is a way of life, feeling safe in this context (for a Cypriot) is knowing you have the support of a large community, so friendship if your looking for it will be near impossible, to know someone likely you must know his/her clan. be independent, enjoy life, and plan to do things yourself, under these circumstances you will find conversation, fun, and the routines which make a day full.

...i would not advise travelling north, there is no Rule of Law, at least this is clear when it comes to gender preferences.

cheers!


No Rule of Law in the North? Try robbing a bank.
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Re: Trans* Tourist -- What to Expect?

Postby repulsewarrior » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:44 pm

...just being gay, that's a crime isn't gardash?
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Re: Trans* Tourist -- What to Expect?

Postby kurupetos » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:32 pm

repulsewarrior wrote:...just being gay, that's a crime isn't gardash?

Yes it is.
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Re: Trans* Tourist -- What to Expect?

Postby Get Real! » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:28 pm

dglenn wrote:...I don't know about person-to-person reactions: whether to expect insults, warm welcomes, people just being too polite to say anything, people really not caring about it at all, friendly curiosity, people acting nervous, whispers,...

Doesn’t that entirely depend on your level of exhibitionism?
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Re: Trans* Tourist -- What to Expect?

Postby gardash » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:17 am

repulsewarrior wrote:...just being gay, that's a crime isn't gardash?


Yes it is, although it is being reviewed. This is a law left on the statute books by the British. Doesn't that show there IS rule of law in the North?
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Re: Trans* Tourist -- What to Expect?

Postby kurupetos » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:45 pm

gardash wrote:
repulsewarrior wrote:...just being gay, that's a crime isn't gardash?


Yes it is, although it is being reviewed. This is a law left on the statute books by the British. Doesn't that show there IS rule of law in the North?

Evet gardash. You must be from Baf. :lol:
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Re: Trans* Tourist -- What to Expect?

Postby Schnauzer » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:34 pm

[\quote="repulsewarrior"]...just being gay, that's a crime isn't it gardash?/]

[/quote="gardash"]Yes it is, although it is being reviewed. This is a law left on the statute books by the British. Doesn't that show there IS rule of law in the North[/quote]



It shows that 'Turkish Law' (which is not conducive to 'EU Law') has been forcibly imposed upon those who reside in the 'Occupied Territories' of Cyprus.

Therefore, (regardless of personal opinions) it might be wiser to avoid venturing into the unknown and in ALL cases, let common sense prevail. :wink:
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Re: Trans* Tourist -- What to Expect?

Postby repulsewarrior » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:31 pm

gardash wrote:
repulsewarrior wrote:...just being gay, that's a crime isn't gardash?


Yes it is, although it is being reviewed. This is a law left on the statute books by the British. Doesn't that show there IS rule of law in the North?


...you mean you had a Rule of Law, now you rely on an illegal regime foisted on Cypriots (Turkish or Greek) by an illegal occupation; and when someone gets arrested for being gay, the world press hears about it.
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