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I’m not “in the closet” at work, but I haven’t put in a lot of time coming out to people that I know there about being transgender.  I just let them know that I go by a name other than my legal name and tell whoever I feel comfortable telling.

My supervisor does weekly reports on me, and he knows which name I go by.  At our first meeting, without any prompting from me, he asked me if I wanted him to use male pronouns instead of female in his reports.  I was happy to tell him yes and relieved that he understood my situation without my having to broach the subject and risk making things uncomfortable between us.

01.04.14 6

At school, professors usually ask if we have preferred names at the beginning of a class. Being trans, I do, and it doesn’t match the gender of my birth name so there are sometimes some quizzical looks, but overall everyone has just shrugged and accepted it. One prof in particular has started taking attendance via last names to avoid calling out my birth name in class. It’s a small thing but I appreciate that he considered the potential discomfort there, without me having to even ask.

05.22.13 11
Great Teachers

My mom and dad didn’t react so well to my coming out over the summer, and so when school started, I went to talk to one of my favorite teachers. 

Now, he checks in with me once or twice a week, and I can’t tell you how much better I feel about the whole situation.

Thank goodness for accepting teachers.

10.08.12 3
An Unexpected Apology

This was going to be a microaggression. And then, unexpectedly, it wasn’t any more. 

My husband plays board games with a few friends every week at a cafe. Last week, I had dinner with him beforehand and was still there when one of the other players, let’s call him Joe, arrived. Joe is in his 50’s, a geek, and a socially awkward gamer. He’s nice and amiable and fun to game with, but every once in awhile, his internalized sexism slips out in comments and jokes, and it can be awkward. 

On this particular occasion, Joe made a quip about my husband tying me down and making me learn the rules of a game so I could play with their group. I laughed it off at the time, but it stuck with me for several days. I usually try to call Joe out on things like that, but the circumstances that day didn’t give me an opening. 

Anyway, I’d just about forgotten the comment - things like that just melt into the background static of being a woman in a sexist culture - when I got an email from Joe apologizing for it. He’d been thinking about it and had realized that it had been creepy, and he was trying to be better about crap like that. 

There is always more to learn and more deprogramming to be done, for all of us, but it’s nice to see someone take that first step, independent of any prompting. It gives me hope that we can all keep learning, and that one day, the cumulative effect of all that learning will result in a world where no one is ever made to feel unsafe due to thoughtless words. 

08.19.12 28
Frat guys breaking the mold

I’m a sophomore in college and a feminine-identified lesbian. I am also in a sorority. I’m mostly out to the other members after taking a girl I was dating to our formal, and they were surprisingly supportive, but a particularly standout demonstration of progress happened at—of all places—a fraternity mixer. The frat we were mixing with is known for being kind of “bro-y,” heteronormative, and traditional…a lot of beer cans get smashed on heads, if you know what I mean. And usually I’m like, “EW,” but I decided to go because it was my “little sister“‘s first mixer. While I was there, a frat brother started talking and flirting with me and asked if I wanted to dance. I told him, as I usually tell men, that I was a lesbian. I wasn’t expecting a great response—most of the time, I hear “you just haven’t met the right man,” “I could turn you,” “that’s so hot,” and general bullshit like that. It sucks.

But guys do you know what this dude said? He went, “Oh, I didn’t know! Sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable. I actually have some good female friends that like girls. If you like, I could introduce you sometime. That is, if you’re interested in dating right now.” This lightning-fast display of friendliness and respect, in the most stereotypically heteronormative frat on the planet, in a beer-drenched Greek life mixer. WIN. 

No matter how you identify on the gender and sexuality spectrum, keep your chin up! Maybe the tolerance, love, and understanding in this world is slowly increasing, bit by bit :)

07.31.12 261
Yay! For supportive grandparents =D

I was explaining the polygamous relationship my girlfriend and I have to my grandmother (who is a devoted christian).
Laughing she said “bring to my home whoever you want, the many you want. You will all be welcome with cookies waiting. I will love you and all your girlfriends and maybe boyfriends*.”

* I did never mention my occasional homosexual desires to anyone in my family - She showed support even without knowing. *-*

07.08.12 19

The GAP on Market Street in San Francisco has a Pride-themed window display this weekend, with a rainbow of T-shirts and a picture of two men hugging in a single T-shirt; other businesses in the city are also making their advertising Pride-themed; there are rainbow flags all over the city. It’s nice to see Pride be so mainstream (by which I mean accepted by the mainstream, not conforming to it - the people I saw at today’s pride event were by no means conforming).

06.23.12 11

While exploring San Francisco on foot today I came upon an outdoor concert being held as part of Pride weekend in a park. All sorts of people were hanging out, milling about, sitting on the grass, picnicking, listening to the music - obviously gay people, obviously trans people, people with outrageous and glorious fashion and hairstyles - in sum, people who’d normally be seen as “deviant.” The SFPD was set up around the event making sure people got there safely; there was no harrassment. From inside the event, there was no more deviance or strangeness, just pride and acceptance and friendliness and love. It was beautiful. I realized I’d never been to a place like that, where difference like that was normal, and it was wonderful.

06.23.12 2

When I was in high school just a few years ago, our GSA was just starting up (and I was too scared and closeted to be part of it); few people (two, I think) were out to more than their closest friends; and those who were said it was really stressful and difficult. Now my sister’s at the same school, and from what she says, it’s transformed: virtually every teacher has an “LGBT safe space” poster up; the GSA holds outreach events that reach everyone; more people are out; and acceptance is the prevailing mood. Not even micro, I think; yay for the GSA!

06.16.12 10

I just watched an episode of a TV show I like, and it had a one-off character who was gorgeous, emotionally strong, loving, respected, and fat. This last was never used to belittle her; it was never a plot point; it was just a fact about her body. I loved that she was there for herself and not her fat, and I loved that I was able to see her as beautiful.

06.15.12 6