A most curious title don’t you think?? Well, yeah, but it’s been a most curious week for me. The title references my return to New Hope Pennsylvania, the place where in July of last year I went through the final physical change to complete my transition to my new life. I struggle to think of it as a second birth, but in a sense I guess that’s sorta true. In looking back it’s been an interesting time since my surgery. I’ve faces so many struggles from medical recovery from surgery, getting use to not having my kids with me 24/7, adjusting to life with a different anatomy, adjusting to life with so many bigots and other assorted butt holes telling me how horrible of a person i was.
This trip is also the first Time I’ve interviewed for a job without the security of any sort of male privilege. And to tell the truth it was just as nerve racking an experience as I thought it would be. I spent the weeks preceding the interview getting a whole new wardrobe for a professional interview. Studying everything I could find about the instution I was interviewing with. And I guess a whole lot of dreaming of what I would do if I was offered a job there.
The institute was in Maryland and a very large academic medical practice. The job was so perfect, there is no doubt in my mind that I am so qualified to do that job and do an unbelievable job at that. But the nerve racking part was, how in the hell do you interview and not fall into any of the typical male interview mannerisms?? I doubt any of you folks think about is, but as a manager of people, I interview many many people. And I can tell anyone that the gender difference in interviews is so weird.
Start with the hand shake. Men, a firm confident hand shake is a must. Don’t do it an you scream “lack of confidence”. Women, that handshake is not as firm but it is confident non the less. Go over board with that hand shake and people will wonder about you from the start of the interview.
Answering the questions during the interview is not so different , but again their are subtle differences. Men, your experience and confidence needs to show, act timid and I’d even question how good you are. Women, you need the confidence but get carried away and fall into the “what a bitch” category. And that is almost as bad as the non-confident guy.
Now let’s add the transgender side of things. Guys take up a lot more space in a professional meeting. I guess it supposed to show dominance or something, but as a woman, well we are supposed to be more…actually, I can’t really even think of a good word for it. But, yeah, you just don’t stretch out and take up a lot of space. You act like a young lady I guess.
There are some other trans related issues that I don’t have to deal with so much, but others do. Let’s take how well you blend in with your gender. If you don’t have the right feminine carectoristics, then your in for a really hard job search. This ones sad but true, if you don’t look like your target gender then you have a lot of transphobic stuff to deal with. Those that do have the “passing privileges” have a much easier time getting through the interview with out having to explain their past. But after the interview, then you have to deal with the background check and a whole host of other ways to be “outed”.
I guess the point of this post is that, it’s hard enough finding a job these days. But finding a job when your transgender, that’s just one of the hardest problems to tackle. I’ll have to let everyone know how things turn out, I’m still hopeful, but I know it’s going to be a battle. This despite the fact that I am a hell of an administrator!!!