Of all the aspects of myself that I would want to present on my blog and portfolio website, being transgender is on the bottom of the list. I want to put my skills and experience before anything else. However, it is an important thing to mention when someone is trying to get a handle on my personality before meeting me in person. At the same time, it might make things messier.
I approached the idea of transitioning many times since I was a teenager and only disclosed my plans to transition to others in the past year. I am in a unique position in that I don't have to worry about common obstacles while transitioning. Effectively, I can shed all parts of my life as I leave school. The only thing I get hung up on is when to begin applying the changes in relation to my future career in games.
One personal challenge I am faced with when it comes to finding a place in the games industry is how to handle the switch between personas. As I 'roll-out' the changes I will go through I have to consider how my digital persona will change too. Should I delete all my accounts and start over or should I make a simple redirection? I don't know what kind of confusion this could cause. I could see a scenario where when I change everything and someone comes across my portfolio again, they may think the work was stolen.
Furthermore, this could confuse people I have tried to network with. Effectively, I become a stranger to them online. One thing that I could see happening after I change my name are people deleting me from social networks when they notice a random person in their friends list.
A solution is something like this blog which could help explain things. But this leads into my next challenge. How much should I get in front of being trans?
I don't want to be perceived as a militant trans-person who is ready to fight tooth and nail in the HR department. I just want to do my thing and move along. That being said, people have questions and don't always know how to ask them. I don't mind people asking, actually. The truth is I don't always know the answers and getting asked the questions helps me feel around for the answers.
The etiquette that should be used around a trans-person is largely unknown. I don't even think the LGBT community has it worked out either. There is a middle area that needs to be struck between what we want and the progression we can expect from society.
An article by Greta Christina in Humanist Magazine echoes this.
"Some identify as male or female; others identify with blended gender identities, or with entirely different gender identities other than male or female. Others don’t identify with any gender, or reject the idea of a gender binary. Some choose to be identified with the gendered pronouns “he” or “she,” while others prefer new gender-neutral pronouns like “zie” or “hir” or use “they” as a singular pronoun. There are new words, new names, and new etiquettes"(Christina, 2014).
Fortunately, my impression of the video game industry includes a liberal outlook in social issues. This is typical of tech or STEM based careers in general, I think. I may not be able to convince everyone to call me 'hir' instead of 'him' but I anticipate a general acceptance.
Birdo [image, game art] (date unknown). Retrieved from http://www.giantbomb.com/birdo/3005-957/
Persona 4[Image, game screenshot] (2008). Retrieved from http://gender-splendor.tumblr.com/post/104485336369/lgbtq-representation-in-video-games-naoto
Christina, G. (2014). Trans People and Basic Human Respect. Humanist, 74(5), 38-39. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.oclc.fullsail.edu:81/ehost/detail/detail?sid=7967ec72-3ceb-4325-97c6-af693d9e4d86%40sessionmgr198&vid=0&hid=105&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#