A lot of people going through transition will at some point experience what has been called “getting the ‘girl’ card” (MtF). This is that magic moment when the friends around you (usually women) display some sort of public acknowledgement and acceptance of you as a woman. This happens more than just once of course, but it’s that first time that is very special and memorable.
This happened in a big way for me today: we had an all hands meeting where the lawyers from UH came to give us training in sexual harassment and work place violence. About half a year ago I had requested they include something about transsexualism and was asked to write a couple of slides (Click this tab to see those slides). But because this training was to address problems in the workplace they decided keep the focus to the current issues.
Just before we started, the presenter that I had been in correspondence with, recognized me and we had a huge hug! She then quickly showed me that she did incorporate some points from my slides into her presentation. About 1/4 of the way through the training, she purposefully asked the ‘audience’ if anyone knew the difference between birth sex and gender and what gender presentation and expression meant. She told me later she had asked that just so I could answer! Wow!
All the women from my department (plus a few others) sat all around me (they did that on purpose – they knew I had submitted those slides for this presentation). So after I had answered her questions – suddenly there were 4 or 5 people all patting me (on my back, my arms) – just absolutely awesome. What support and caring – not just for patting me but for purposefully sitting all around me. Afterwords, the presenter mentioned the awesome support she witnessed by those around me.
Then later in the training, the woman behind me was picking something off my back (a hair or something). When I turned around and smiled and thanked her – the other woman next to her said “oh, we were just snapping your bra” (this was in the crowded training room)!! Both are woman I work closely with (one is my ‘sister’ that helps me with womanly issues that I face while transitioning). Afterwords, I told another woman that I work closely with about the bra snapping and she said “oh, turn around let me see” – and then ‘she’ snapped my bra too!!
That – is what I call being given ‘the girl card’ …..
And: the ‘alpha’ male in our group came up to me and politely asked which personal pronouns I would prefer and that he would try hard and please forgive any lapse he might make.
Plus: the overall manager in charge of everyone on this site came up to me just before this meeting and asked what name I should now be called.
Ecstatically in tears,