Today is my third birthday as a full time woman, and for the last six months or so I would call myself post transition. Over that period of time thoughts about being trans or wanting to talk about trans issues have dwindled down to little or nothing. Feelings of being different aren’t much anymore. It isn’t that I’ve forgotten the objective truths of what differences do exist, it’s just that I really could not care less and have no desire to hang around people who do.
In one way we are very much the same as any other woman. Whatever “male privilege” we may have had prior to transitioning, it is gone the moment we walk through the door as Shelly and not Sheldon or Christine and not Chris. What has happened? People used to listen so carefully to what we have to say and now they’re all wrapped up in discussions and we aren’t invited.
I’m not going to take on the whole ball of wax here. I’m not that ambitious. But I would like to talk about perceptions, self perceptions and self promotions.
As women, I have been told, we are loath to brag or boast and certainly I have found this true, and in the past, as a man, it wasn’t too much of a problem because I think I was given the benefit of the doubt. What do I mean by this? You can do a job and there can be ten different ways of describing it and they each have different connotations and seemingly different values.
I work in software design. There are a number of specific areas I’m an expert in and I have many years of experience. If I work on two projects I can say I worked on two projects and did what they asked me to do, or I can say I’m an expert at Y which is used by those projects. Which seems more valuable to you?
I’ve never been good at this. I’m going to be good at this because it is costing me very real money every single year. It has nothing to do with being trans, but it does have to do with doing the right thing in a fundamentally male dominated world of business.
Kind of an awful decision to have to make.