Once Upon a Monday

I was out sick on Monday. I had gotten a cold and needed some time to get over it, but I had to come in to work Tuesday because I had contractors coming in to do some work that I needed to oversee and to help set up the services on our server. While I am the IT manager, I also oversee the Logistics side of the operations, really just keeping up with the personnel hours and making upper level decisions.

 

I tell you this so that you will understand that I am pretty crucial to the company. And I need you to understand that once I come out, once they know who I am, it won’t matter one single bit and I will be fired or they will find grounds to fire me or they will make me quit by making it unbearable to be here. I was reminded of this fact by one of the logistics crew who told me a story on Tuesday.

 

It’s not a long story, but it is one of those times I wish I had been at work, sick or not. This person who works for me, I will call him Albert, was excited to see me and to relate what had happened on Monday. Apparently, as he puts it, one of the truck drivers was a lady/man. It was a guy dressed as a woman, as he continued to explain. The story wasn’t about how he had to reload the truck because the driver knew exactly how it should be arranged and Albert had done it wrong. It wasn’t about how this driver was really good at her job and that she was doing it in a male-dominated industry.

 

The fact that the truck driver was transgender was the story. He told me how he told others in the office so they could come into the warehouse and see the “guy dressed like a lady”.  I was mad as hell. I couldn’t say what I wanted to say. However, I let him know that I support transgender, that I have family members who are transgender. I let him know that “SHE” is the correct pronoun. I let him know that if I had witnessed this, he would have been written up. I let him know that if he ever sees a transgender person he better treat them with respect. That they (we) are people just like anyone else, deserving of the same respect you give to a fellow human being. He quickly saw that his exciting story wasn’t going the way he had planned. I found out that he never said a cross word to her, that he did what she asked and only was rude behind her back. I wanted him to understand that I don’t want him being rude or tell the office people or anything else behind her or anyone else’s backs.

 

I had to play ally, instead of what I wanted to be right then. I wanted to tell him that I was also transgender and if you disrespect her, I can expect you will disrespect me as well. I know what I face in my company; I know that currently in NC I can expect to not be treated equally in public. I know we all face uphill battles. I wish I had been there so I could have stood beside her at the very least as an ally.

 

The fact that she was transgender overshadowed everything else. This keeps running through my mind.

4 thoughts on “Once Upon a Monday

  1. Unfortunately it is small minded people like this that will always behave in this way. Much of it I'm sure is education and it certainly seems that you have now tried to educate him.
    It will be the same if it was a woman wearing something out of the ordinary I expect. I have been in an office environment where there were conversations about the local'tranny' and I had to appear not to be overly defensive but also wanted to get my point across. You will know from my blog that I mentioned several circumstances like this and wondered how people would react when they find out the truth. Would they even remember those conversations? I certainly do!

    Like

  2. It's frustrating and annoying. It's also sad that I know this is how they will be with me. I know that they will not give a care about who I am, that I am still the same person on the inside. They will only care that now I am, “dressed like a woman”. I keep hoping that I will find out the people I work with are just a little like my friends, that they will be gracious and altruistic. I always hope that they will see past the stigma they believe transgender to be and just accept me. Instead I know I will only be to them, the crazy guy who keeps wearing dresses and pretends to be a girl. It's depressing in the extreme that I will have to find a new place to work.

    Like

  3. Beth:
    I find this especially poignant. I'm retire in the next couple years. I'm gender fluid, going to work as my guy self, and spending much of the rest of the time in various degrees of Rhonda mode — often doing all my shopping and errands en femme.

    My wife wants to retire to N.C. To be near her daughter and her husband's extended extensive family. (We're currently in the D.C. area.) I keep trying to tell her that the majority of the people in N.C. Exhibit the same attitudes that you noted in your employee. She can't believe it is so different from Northern Virginia. I fear that the intolerance I'll find and experience down there will destroy me.

    I share and feel your pain/angst.

    Rhonda

    Like

  4. Rhonda, Thank you for taking the time to read my little blog and replying. I can’t tell you if moving to NC is the best move or not. I can tell you that my issues at work are largely because of a conservative majority that moved here from Pennsylvania about 8 years ago. They are part of the upper management and dictate a culture of non-inclusiveness. They are not indicative of the area. While there are certainly some conservative streaks through the area, I have seen more Trump signs than I would have liked, for the Asheville area it is liberal and very accepting. I want to point out that no matter where you go you will find those who don’t like you, don’t want you, can’t handle you. Then you will find friends, those who will love you and treat you with respect and love. You will find these no matter where you go. I love my home, this home I moved to only 6 years ago. NC has it’s issues, the current administration isn’t making it easy, but despite that or because of it we should live our lives and not be afraid to live where we want, how we want. Please write back when you can, email me and let me know how you are doing. Even if you don’t move to my area, you have one friend already in NC.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s