This blogpost is more of a rant to get my thoughts in order. There's nothing really new or groundbreaking in here, just the same words I've turned over in my head a million times over. There are mentions of violent transphobia. Feel free to skip this one.
April 2018. I had just started a new job – A job I was really excited about. A job that, in theory, I should have been amazingly, brilliantly good at – a job that played exactly to my strengths.
Three weeks later, I heard my senior team-member, the guy who was mentor me, utter the word “tranny” during some office banter. I was late to work the next day.
This was not the last time I felt unsafe in that office, but the first time is always the most jarring. I kept my head down, I tried my hardest to do my work, and I put up with the aggressive, violent transphobia that flew around over my head, my colleagues blind to the fact that their new junior was in fact, a weird tranny of the kind they found it so easy to talk about committing violence towards.
My focus and attendance began to falter after that. I tried my hardest, but... there's only so much I had to give. It is incredibly fun obfuscating this with potential employers, to avoid outing myself. It's considered bad form to leave a job because your office are massive fucking transphobes, but whatever.
October 2018. I was starting a new job – A job that I'd been preparing for for almost a year. I was excited, it was my dream job at my dream company. The facade eventually fell – it turns out that it's very difficult to distinguish a startup that has its shit together from one that's just a bunch of cardboard cutouts of competence – This scene from “The Wrong Trousers” comes to mind:
And yet, as awful and destabilising and exhausting as that working environment was, that wasn't the thing that burned me out about that job. What burned me out about that job was the fucking banter. What burned me out about that job was the fucking off-topic group chat where multiple times my boss and colleagues would spout genuinely awful, sexist shit about how all women in our field were either dumb or unattractive, laugh about it, and then pat themselves on the back for not being “that bad”, and “just telling the truth”. Never mind the fact that there were zero women on our entire floor. Never mind the fact they fucking believed that shit.
I left that job, recently, and although I no longer have consistent money coming in and I'm genuinely afraid for my financial future unless I find something better and less exhausting than more fucking tech work – I'm not dreading talking to people who I know do not respect my identity.
I have a complicated, hellish relationship with my gender, one that I've been trying my best to ignore for the better part of twenty-one years. I keep putting off making the changes I want to make to myself because they are so massive and drastic they amount to absolutely destroying any chance I have of finding anything resembling a stable job for long enough to get me back on my feet again, and feeling comfortable in my skin is not worth condemning myself to whatever that leads to.
I've got to go work with a client on Monday. I like this client, I like what I'm doing with them, but in truth, I'm fucking dreading it.
I'm tired of pretending to be a man just to put a roof over my fucking head.
The soundtrack to this blogpost is The Anjunadeep Edition, Episode 246. No particular reason for this one, it's just music I like to blast late at night whilst I'm focused. Enjoy.