Tag Archives: work

After the hiatus

Many things have happened… and not happened… in the past few months that have discouraged me from writing… I have been going through some changes about how I am feeling about my transition. I’m not really sure what spurred these changes, but then again the why’s and how’s about gender have never really been clear for me. I have also been working a lot and hardcore searching for a place to move to when I start grad school in the end of August (68 days away, not that I’m counting). Aside from that I’ve been working on some smaller projects, trying to destroy the long-term to-do list of things to do before moving so that I will feel less stressed (haha yea right) and just kind of feeling discouraged or down in the dumps…

HOWEVER, today is a new day, a few significant positive changes have occurred in my life recently, AND I was just reading BET’s list of Ten Transgender People You Should Know, and I am feeling inspired/motivated/encouraged, so what better time to write a new post? A few weeks ago I started seeing a counselor at the Gender Health Center and while I’m still not sure what I’m hoping to achieve by participating in these sessions, I think they’re helping me be more intentional and mindful about my thoughts and feelings as well as my relationships with others. Which, I am a fan of. So, I’m going to see where this goes. The Gender Health Center is also helping me get hooked up with medical insurance! Which is going to make it easier for me to legally change my name, explore hormone options, explore top surgery options, and in general see the doctor/dentist which is becoming more of a priority. So, that’s exciting!

Another part of trying to be intentional and mindful of myself and to help me battle the blues, I am currently following a 30 days of change exercise program. It’s kind of keeping me grounded and thinking about the present. The one day at a time aspect of the exercises is also transferring to my thought processes and moments of stress about the future, which is a wonderful benefit for me.

So, as I mentioned earlier, my thoughts/feelings about transition have been sort of changing lately. I used to not really be sure about if I was ever going to take testosterone, or get top surgery. And lately (probably for the past 3 months or so) I have had much stronger urges/yearnings to start taking testosterone. As I mentioned, I’m not really sure why these urges/yearnings have become so strong, the reasons behind my feelings on gender are never really crystal clear for me… But I think it might have something to do with the fact that I finally laid everything out about my feelings about gender to my mom, so that’s not as much of a pressure to not start testosterone, anymore. However, I also have been admitting to myself that I really want to be able to have a baby. And, the effects taking testosterone has on fertility aren’t really known, but it is a possibility that taking testosterone could make it harder or impossible for me to have a baby in the future… so that’s a new thing to grapple with… more later on that, I’m sure.

On a somewhat unrelated note, as I am preparing to move (in 68 days) I am trying to find radical/queer/non-normative children’s books to leave for the children at the daycare where I work, so even though I won’t be there to challenge the norms anymore, hopefully these books will be able to a little bit, haha. A friend pointed out this awesome article to me about that pursuit. And my two favorite books I have stumbled upon so far are A is for Activist and Meet Polkadot.

Hope you are all doing well!

Until next time…

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Personal ish

Hey y’all,

So, a big change in my life that I haven’t written about yet, surprisingly, is my job. I got to quit my retail job that I hated because it added an incredible amount of anxiety and negativity to my life and now I work at a daycare! It’s awesome, I love working with kids and the other staff members are so friendly and understanding. So that’s a really cool development in my life that I’m so grateful for.

My partner got promoted and we are becoming slightly more financially stable, so it’s looking like hormones/legal name change might be closer to becoming a real possibility, should I choose to engage in them. In a way that’s really exciting but it’s also scary because it means that coming out to my extended family would become more of a pressing issue… On the one hand I’d really love to come out to my family because it would be such a relief to not have that over my head all of the time. On another hand though, I know I’d be really sad if/when some of them decided not to be a part of my life anymore… and I know that I shouldn’t want them in my life if they don’t embrace who I am, but I’m just not there yet. Also, I’m not exactly looking forward to all of paperwork I’m going to have to fill out for like every bureaucratic system I’m involved in once/if I start pursuing name change and/or hormones… 

I’m really trying to focus on doing things in my daily life that make me happy. Essentially saying happiness is a priority, because I’m kind of tired of being/feeling so super cynical/negative so much. I know that there’s a lot to feel negative/cynical about, but I also know that negative energy kind of functions as poison in my life. I’m not going to invalidate my feelings of negativity but I’m just going to try to find some positivity to balance it out a bit.

I’m still waiting to hear back from the grad school I applied to… fingers crossed!

I guess that’s all for now. Until next time..

A Few Thoughts

Wellllll, a few things have developed in the past few days! 1) I followed up with my managers at work about changing my name in the system. They were reluctant at first but when I pressed a little harder saying that they were required by law to accommodate my preferred name, somehow they instantly became more receptive. Now the only issue is that they issue my paycheck to my preferred name, which of course is not currently my legal name, making it impossible for me to cash… But I think I’ve found a sneaky way around it. It just goes to show that these bureaucratic systems are NOT set up or prepared to accommodate trans* folks, or anyone with a different preferred name than their legal name, for that matter. 2) I may have found a job I will enjoy a great deal more than the retail position I currently hold! However, it’s not full time so most likely I will have to keep both positions… But at least I’ll enjoy one of my jobs!

Now I’d like to talk about a greater development in the world. Charges have been filed against transgender teen, Jewlyes Gutierrez, after she defended herself from bullies at school, after having put up with the bullying for years. Coincidentally this is occurring at about the same time as Cece McDonald is being released from prison, where she was placed for defending herself from a transphobic attack. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP. If anyone else were defending themselves from bullying at school, the school district would deal with it. That is EXACTLY what should happen here. All students involved in the bullying and the altercation should be dealt with by the school district, in accordance with their policies on bullying and fighting. When trans* youth get no support from school administration, of course they are going to find another way to defend themselves. Any student would do that. The school administration needs to take responsibility FIRST for not supporting this student and stopping the bullies before it could reach this point and second for the violence that occurred on their campus among their students. Please sign the petition asking the DA to drop the charges against Jewlyes.

Well, I guess that’s all for now. Until next time…

Gendered Policies Are a Struggle

Hi Everyone,

So the past few days have been somewhat eventful. I was approved for a medical discount card for use at our local clinic, so now I can have a doctor or dentist appointment and only have to pay $30! Now I just have to wait until we have $30 extra in our budget, which should be in a couple of weeks as long as everything at work keeps going well. Speaking of which, both my partner and I made it past the first and second round of layoffs! Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed that we don’t get laid off after the winter holidays and things should be alright! However, they have started scheduling us for progressively fewer hours which is concerning because we are going to have to get second jobs if this is the new norm… which will be no mean feat, considering that we don’t have regular schedules at our current job and they don’t put up the following week’s schedule until the middle of the week. They say that’s going to change, but my partner and I don’t really have that much time to wait for the scheduling to get more predictable.

I got called in to work earlier than my shift was supposed to start because someone called in sick. I was not really thrilled about starting work earlier but I was happy that we would at least have a little bit more money to add to our budget. Unfortunately, the person who called in sick was scheduled to work in the fitting rooms… “why is that unfortunate?”, you might ask. Well, the company we work for has a gendered policy about who is allowed to work in the fitting rooms: only women employees are allowed to be the fitting room attendants. The reasoning behind this is that, apparently, it’s alright for women to go in the men’s fitting room, but it’s not alright for men to go in the women’s dressing room (who knows about non-binary folks, we are left to guess what this means for us, as usual). I’m not going to get into the complicated implications behind this policy right now, because while it is a valuable conversation, it is not the point of this post. The point here is that, I have told my managers I am trans* (well, I was mostly outed to them and I just confirmed that it is true) and yet they schedule me to work in fitting rooms, where “only women are allowed to work”)… Not only do I feel like this goes against their policy but I also feel uncomfortable working there. As a non-binary trans* person, people are often unsure of my gender identity, based on my presentation. Typically, once they hear me speak they decide that I must be a woman because of the way my voice sounds (I assume). This means that gendered areas are tricky for me, if I choose the women’s area, I am often glared at, people do double takes, people visibly make it clear they don’t want to come near me, and sometimes I am informed that I am in the women’s area (as in, “shouldn’t you be in the men’s area?”). And I don’t really know what happens if I choose the men’s area because I’ve only worked up my courage to do it once or twice and it gives me so much anxiety and fear that I don’t think it’s worth it. So, as it is I currently try to wait until no one is in the fitting rooms to run back and check that they’re clean and/or do the cleaning. As you might imagine, this is an anxiety-riddled experience. Now some of you might be asking, “why don’t you just tell your managers you don’t feel comfortable working there?” and believe me, I have considered it. However, I am worried that telling them that just adds to my list of complications, and is therefore another reason to lay me off. So, for now, I’ll just do it. It’s just another example of how trans* people’s identities are often invisibilized/trivialized etc.

Well, I guess that’s all for now.

Until next time…

Work Stressors

Today I worked an 8-hour shift that felt as if it were more like 10. Nothing really of note except near the end of my shift, a customer stopped me and said “Excuse me… sir? Miss? Ma’am? I’m sorry, I’m not really sure what you are…” I responded with a smile and waited for the inevitable question about a certain product’s location. Once the customer realized I wasn’t going to answer the question about my gender identity and which title I go by, they asked the question and I was able to help them find what it was that they were looking for. I felt flustered at the time, and reflecting on it, I feel somewhat angry, which I find interesting because I typically enjoy when I cause people to second guess their assumptions gender. However, upon further reflection, I think part of my anger stems from the fact that we have this seemingly needless gendered title as part of our engrained greeting custom and I just feel like it’s so pointless… why? Why do we have to address someone with a gendered title? Why couldn’t it just be “excuse me”? That seems just as effective to me… Because I don’t go by sir, miss, or ma’am, so it’s not like the inclusion of any of those titles is what caught my attention, it was the “excuse me” and the look of inquiry upon the person’s face…  I think the other part of my anger stems from embarrassment. Because as much as I like making people question their assumptions about gender, I recognize that in front of other people, who may or may not hold the same assumptions about gender as the person who is questioning me, I feel vulnerable when my presentation is being questioned. I don’t know if the people who are witnessing the event are going to join in with the questions, which at times can feel like demands for answers about my gender identity, or if they are going to feel like the questions/demands are ridiculous and come to my aid. So I am left feeling vulnerable, awkward, frozen, stuck, panicky, anxious, scared, and embarrassed. And that feeling, after it is left to stew in my head for a bit turns into anger. It all sounds/feels a bit irrational to me now that I write it down, but then again, emotions and gender aren’t really all that “rational”… and come to think of it, where did I get this sense that rationality is the end all be all? I smell hegemony. I feel like it’s probably related to the way dominant discourse values science and scientific thought above other “lesser” forms of viewing/thinking about/processing the world such as religion and religious thought or art or community processes etc. which, of course, are all valid, valuable ways of viewing, thinking about, and processing the world. Humph.

After that incident, it was mostly all I could think about and I worry now that I may have ignored or avoided other customers because I was stuck in my own head, replaying that scenario and trying to figure out how I felt and why… which is especially worrisome today, and for the rest of this week because my position is temporary/seasonal and this next week is when the last round of lay-offs are happening, which means the pressure is onnnn.

That incident rekindled a cyclical worry for me that maybe the company is going to fire me simply because of the way I look, without factoring in my performance at all, because perhaps they don’t want to have to worry about customers potentially feeling uncomfortable with an employee whose gender identity is not immediately obvious to them…

Ughhhh if I were to lose this job, my partner and I will have a really hard time paying rent.. not to mention for food, vet bills, medical bills (I have to go see if I can get my broken tooth fixed and she had some medical bills come up that she thought she had already paid!), etc.

Well, for now I’m still employed and we are still keeping our heads above water. Fingers crossed I make it past next week!

Until next time…