Thursday, 6 March 2008

Not My Bestest Day

Absolutely **** day.
I’ve stopped behind after work and am sitting at my desk
I don’t want to make this blog all moany about life as a Trans woman, because in some way I see it as a gift, and I have been blessed to be able to transition.
Must admit it’s still a bit tough sometimes though. I came into work this afternoon after a morning off, to be informed that a colleague had been in the office earlier and issued a pretty vitriolic attack on my person, to everyone listening. I do understand that this person has a genuine complaint over my handling of an issue, but this attack went beyond that. Amongst other things he stated that I was to concerned over my makeup rather than work. For someone who is transgendered and has to constantly worry about her appearance, this cut quite deep. For me these comments have to be seen as discriminatory. The thing is, this person and I have a good working relationship and to my face they have always been supportive over my transition, and I did regard them as a friend. This attack does make me doubt some of the support I get. This gets reinforced when I am still sometimes referred to as “He” which happened again this afternoon, from someone else. I know this other person didn’t mean anything and this time I didn’t challenge them. I have to learn to accept that the deep unconscious image they have of me is not as a female I do get the impression that when not around I’m more likely that not to be referred to as he in the third person. This small word has such power when misused to me. When uttered it straight away says “who do you think you are kidding”. I am still not really sure how to handle this. I do pull people up but it is sometimes difficult because people may start to feel uncomfortable around me. I still can see in peoples eyes when they are concentrating to find the correct words. I also know my bearing does not help. Being 6 foot 2 and built not unlike a Prop Forward (or Linebacker for Brad), all be it now with breasts, obviously does not help with that deep unconscious acceptance. I guess I need to try harder with the diet. I Can’t do much about the height though, unless I find a trench or hole to stand in, and you don’t see many of those, even with the poor state of our roads.

I ask myself reading this. What sort of a Trade Unionist am I, that I struggle to deal with such a straighforward example of discrimination

Anyhow, enough whinging. I’m at my desk at work, not getting enough done, and my eyes have gone all puffy and mascara stricken. I look like a cross between a Giant Panda and a member of Kiss. (Not a good look for me)


Penny M said...

We probably spend more time at work than with friends/family etc. Our working environment dominates our lives. So when something like this happens it feels like a huge attack. I often think that when I present myself as a woman to the world, I'm exposing the most personal and sensitive part of my psyche to the casual consideration of others. These are people who may or may not be understanding, tolerant, compassionate.

You have legal protection, your HR dept. may be able to do something, but that isn't really the point, is it?

I hope things pick up, I hope this gets sorted out. You may be seeing negativity where there isn't any, because of the distress you are going through right now.

Jenny Harvey said...

Thanks penny.
You sre right in everything you say.
Not really having an immediate family work is all consuming for me. Being in an elected position though I can always be vulnerable
Thing is with my job in the Trade Union it can be tricky to sort things like this out. I am good at defending other people from discrimination, but for myself?
I must admit I can usually cope with boggots. I find it harder with colleagues who dont mean harm but find it hard to use the right words. I really cant go round complaining every time Im called he by mistake.

brad said...

Yeah, the exposing part that penny wrote about would make those people's comments extra stinging. Sorry to hear you were the brunt of office "gossip" :-(

You're right "Prop Forward" is not a term I know.

Jenny Harvey said...

Its a rugby term Brad
Rugby is like American football, but tougher

Billy Whizz said...

and with considerably less adverts

Jenny Harvey said...

and more squashed noses and cauliflower ears, but importantly with Sabastian Chabal