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Author: Rachel Evans

The Eternal September of the Transgender World

Back in the very early ’90s, Usenet was a popular way to communicate on the Internet. And, it being the early ’90s, the Internet wasn’t in people’s homes, let alone in our hands wherever we went. The Internet was primarily used in academia. And so, in September at the start of every academic year, there’d be a fresh influx of people new to this Internet and Usenet thing, and it’d take them a while to learn what it was all about. There’d be lots of question, people learning the ropes and the rules and the etiquette. And then eventually,...

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Rachel fails at TDoV

Monday, 29th October 2007: the day I started work with my current employer. I’ve had the good fortune to be in a supportive, steady job now for getting on for a decade. Monday, 30th January 2012: the day I came out to my boss as gender non-conforming (what I actually said was: “So….. the thing is … I like wearing women’s clothes!”). And so I spent the next five years transitioning: changing presentation, laser, HRT, changing name/title/gender/pronoun, electrolysis, roughly in that order. Lots of my current colleagues therefore knew me from before I transitioned; but increasingly, as people come...

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Reflections of a mid-life trans woman

I’m a typical mid-life transitioner (and no, that’s not me in the photo above.  I wish). People start identifying as trans, and come out, and transition at all sorts of different ages. Whatever “transition” means, of course: it’s not a single event, and everyone does it differently. This is completely non-scientific, for which I hope you’ll forgive me, but let’s say that most people’s transitions last (very roughly) around three to five years, and the average age for trans women to have GRS (if they have GRS) is 42. Or at least it was, a few years ago. So a...

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A parable about capturing gender data

You’ve recently interviewed for an exciting-sounding job at a new place. You can’t wait to start there! You rock up on day one, and your new boss, Jess, welcomes you and gets you settled in. They direct you to a web form for you to fill in with your personal details so they can get you added to HR and the other various systems – name, address, contact details and so forth. You load up the form, and take a look at the first question: Err, that doesn’t look right. The “name” field is a drop-down. What’s with that?...

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With friends like these

Transition isn’t easy. None of us do this because it’s a laugh, or on a whim, or because it’s “fashionable”. There are tears, there are hard choices. It costs time, costs money; it’s a huge emotional investment. It can cost people their jobs, homes, friends, families, and more. On the whole, I would say I’ve been quite lucky: my friends, family and workplace have been accepting and supportive. When I first came out, I expected rejection – but instead, I found that everyone accepted me. As my transition progressed, with my change of presentation, then HRT, then when I...

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