International Day of Women.

There is an interesting thought for a trans woman. It should be straightforward. I am a woman. So this must be a day I can celebrate. However to many I am not a woman or as some put it so graphically a “person that menstruates’. Well I wouldn’t anyway as I am menopausal though I appreciate that is note point. I have covered the arguments put forward before as to how one defines “woman” so all i need to know is that I am a woman. I identify as a woman, I feel feminine. I have never felt male and yes I am not a perfect cis woman. So enough of that I am a woman and that is that. I have a day to celebrate if I so choose. So far I have had the opportunity to win a pair of Addidas Trainers in celebration of International Women’s Day. I am not sure that was quite what I had in mind if I am to celebrate my femininity and International Women’s Day.

What I was going to write about today was about toxicity. As with internalised transphobia there is a passive toxicity in being trans when it comes to employment. This was why I tried hard to be self-sufficient and self-employed.  In real terms this worked for me. I am aware that as a trans woman gaining employment is difficult. You cannot give your qualifications or provide any references without revealing your previous identity. There is also a passive toxicity because most employers are not willing to take the risk of employing a trans person in case there is a possibility it might damage their business in any way. So what do you do? Continue living a lie and keep your male identity to stay in gainful employment or do you become honest and straightforward and say this is me. It is one of the challenges I had when transitioning. I knew I had to provide for my family. I was not prepared to damage their lives by being unable to continue to support them. It took a while to plan how I could be self-employed and to build a way of life that might survive transition as nobody was going to fire me. Doing my own projects working for myself seemed the best way forward.

It is important to not allow internalised toxicity from preventing you moving forward. You have to let go of it. For me to do that I had to plan an alternative way of working so I could be true to myself. 

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