The internet and the option of stealth

This is the first in a series of upcoming articles on practical information that is intended for those in their teens and 20's who are interested in complete assimilation, although much of this applies to anyone. I am painting with a broad brush and making some sweeping generalizations in order to try to raise awareness about as many online security issues as possible. Thanks to all who have given me helpful input!

For many transgender people, deep stealth is never an option, simply because they will never be accepted in their affirmed gender at the level required. However, the younger you are, the more likely you'll have the option of stealth at some level. Having the option of stealth is about control. I'll discuss the pros and cons of this option separately, but in the meantime, you must decide early on whether you want to have that option or not.

I should be clear that being out is the best option, because it is the one that requires the least effort. The more deeply you try to go stealth, the more time and energy you will spend trying to keep things that way. Most people reach a point where it isn't an issue in their day-to-day lives. Ironically, the people who try to go stealth often end up thinking about being trans much more than those who are out, because they are constantly worried about having their private life made public.

That said, how out you want to be is a deeply personal decision, and I support those who consider it a private matter. That does not necessarily mean they are ashamed; they just consider it nobody's business.

If you decide you'd like to keep the option of stealth available, you need to think carefully about how you use online resources in order to stay in control of your options. At first, you won't want people to know about your history until you're ready to tell them, and afterwards, you won't want personal information floating around that could get you outed.

Pretty much anything you do online leaves a trail, so it's important to be aware of some of the ways you might jeopardize the option of stealth.

This article discusses ways to avoid common mistakes that have messed up stealth mode for some people in our community.

In this section:

Transgender web safety

Safely visiting transgender websites

Safely interacting with others online

Putting up your own website: pros and cons

How to minimize an existing web presence

Readers who have been outed online

Reader tips: online safety

Other web resources