The Crucible

| Jun 15, 2015
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Working. . . that thing that we must do. There are many different feelings regarding work. Some hate it, some like it, some love it, some are addicted to it. It can overtake ones life very easily. Being trans in the work world complicates matters more.

I write this on my lunch break at work. How do I feel right now about work? I feel. . . okay today. I feel good about making money, but do not feel good at the amount of money I get for my efforts. It’s maximum effort for minimum wage. That part is hard to take. A lot of trans people have to work retail to make ends meet. In a lot of cases, retail is the only place that we can go. Some have had great careers in their former life before transition. Some are very well-educated. I have a degree in Graphic Design. I also graduated in early 1994, just before computers and the Web exploding into the ubiquitous entity  it is today.

Most of my education was in the “old school” way. Mechanical layout, drawing, logo design on paper, etc. We had a bit on computers, but it was more of a novelty until maybe 1993. By then I was ready to graduate. There was no Web Design then. Not like it is today. Now, everything is web-related. If you don’t know Web and Web related programs, you are a dinosaur. Well, call me Stegosaurus. I am that dinosaur.

I feel that work is The Crucible. It separates the dreamers from the full-timers in the trans world. Some have said, “Well, I am full time except for work.” No, no, no — not full time. Still part time. And that’s okay. Nothing wrong with that. Work is The Crucible because it is reality. It’s the business world. There is no hiding in the business world. Unless you are self employed, you are around people constantly. There are a lot of judging eyes around. You MUST be “on” at all times.

I have gotten used to it. I do very well. I remember my first job as a female. I never had to transition on the job. I was very lucky. I transitioned after I was laid off. I arrived at my new office/Graphic Design job in the spring of 2012, as green as a Granny Smith. I was only a couple of months into HRT and fresh off document changes. Nobody had to know a thing. I am not sure what they thought in that office. It was tiny town in McBee, SC. Talk about courage! That was really scary. I would go into the bathroom just to take a break from people. Just to have a breather from being “on.”

Nowadays, I don’t worry so much. People here at this job are cool for the most part. There are a few which I avoid and one who “knows.” I like to tell someone. At least one person knows and I can be relaxed around them. Some days, I feel like just coming out and getting it over with. The problem is, every time I do that, they say they never knew. Then I feel like an ass, because I could have just said nothing. It’s always a thing in the back of my mind. The more time that goes on, the more I feel comfortable with everyone. It’s been 8 months at this store. I do admit, it makes me pause when I think about new employment. My company is very LGBT friendly, at least now. To leave my known entity for an unknown entity, all while having the extra baggage of being trans, makes for a stressful thought.

Tucking is sucking. That’s another crappy thing about working in retail and being trans. It’s physical, and tucks. . . suck. I am kind of a technical transwoman. I like to have everything looking good “down there” as well as my hair and makeup. I don’t sweat the hair and makeup nearly as much as that first job, but the nether regions MUST be confined. I cannot wait for the day that I can go to work without that damned GAFF!

I would like a job that pays me more and is a little less people-oriented. But creating another Crucible doesn’t sound like fun. It’s basically like starting over. Everything is new and if the company is an unknown, you don’t know how you will be treated if you are discovered to be trans. I have to say, this is a big reason why I delay my new job search. I may do well, but I still know. I hold myself back with my anxiety.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Opinion


About the Author ()

I am a transwoman originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I have been living full time for 5 years. I work in retail but am an artist/Graphic Designer and aspiring writer. I tend to address the controversial in my writing. I would love to change the world one article at a time. I moved to The San Francisco Bay Area to start over, again. But recently moved back to the East Coast. The adventure continues...

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