As you may or may not know, I live vicariously through my Youtube subscriptions. One of them recently posted a video about having on the job harassment issues, etc.
As much as that sucks for him, it’s actually helped me to form a game plan for when I start to really go through transition. This is from my response to the video:
“…I actually have a plan to get a shitty little job of some sort, food service or something, to get me through during transition, and then, as soon as I’m passable, I’m going to look for another job and drop the first one like a hot potato. I don’t want to get into something I’ll enjoy doing if it means I’ll have to leave it as soon as I transition.”
I mean, it’s a pretty sweet idea, and it pretty much follows what I was planning to do career-wise anyway- take whatever crappy little job I can get, and then build from there. I’ve heard it said many a time that it’s much easier to GET a job when you HAVE a job, so if anything, all my strategy really does is stretch out the time I spend in my shitjob a little longer, probably.
I already work a volunteer job, so I have a taste of what it’s like to be unpassable and not out in the workplace- it SUCKS. I haven’t brought it up because simply enough, it would just complicate things unduly in a workplace that it’s really not worth it for. I’m working at the local food bank, which basically translates to working with uber conservative, upstanding, elderly white ladies who would probably have a heart attack if they knew they were working with a transsexual.
It’s kinda funny, actually.
They all really do love me to death there, because I’ve shown initiative, dedication, good people skills and phone skills, and invaluable computer experience (really, they don’t much know what they’re doing with the computers they have, so any help makes me look like a wizard.) And I hate to put a cynical slant on things, but one of my top motivations for working there isn’t so much helping the community as racking up work experience, a good list of references and connections to the working world. I feel like all my time there would be wasted if I alienated them by demanding their acceptance in this area, too. So, basically, it’s turned into a big game of kiss-ass, which kind of gives me a sick feeling in my stomach. But hey, you do what you can to get ahead, and as long as you’re not hurting anyone in the process, there’s really nothing wrong with it, right?
Anyway, that’s all a microcosm of what I’m probably going to be going through at McDonalds or whatever patty flipping joint I can manage to work at- except with less money, less hours and less gender problems. Once I get on T, I expect the shit’s really gonna hit the fan. I’m going to have to deal with people questioning my binding (which generally becomes more evident the longer you spend time with a certain group), my voice drop and my facial hair growth (which, if my genetics have any say about it, will be prolific, believe you me.) I plan on deflecting as much as possible, and sad to say, I’m probably not going to do much sticking up for myself if I’m starting a job looking like this and wind up looking like my dad. They’re going to have every right to be curious, and frankly, I can’t expect them to switch pronouns to accommodate me unless I wind up working with a real bang-up, intellectual, forward-thinking group of fast-food workers. Not exactly the descriptors that come to mind, right?
These will be the crappiest six months to a year of my life, and it’s going to be worth it.