Monday, February 10, 2014

Proper sanding

     I know this post sounds a lot like how to use a sander to refine a piece of wood your working with. Actually, the same principal can be applied to how we treat others towards our transitions.

     Last night, while talking with some sisters, I came across an interesting idea. When you want to refine a piece of wood, weather it be for furniture or just a small project, you almost always use sand paper to help remove the rough wood and make it smooth. It helps to bring out the best in the piece and make it easy to apply paint, lacquer, polish, or anything else you want to put on it. The same thing goes with our transitions. While not directly applying sand paper to people, cause..that would suck, and hurt...we can cause friction in their lives to bring out the best in them.

     Say for instance, you struggle at work trying to transition. I'm pulling from the experience of 2 of my sisters. For example, your job knows about you and your transition but your not fully out yet for fear of ridicule and other things that may happen to you. My advise is to apply a light sand paper to the people you are closest to so they can start to see the changes. Proper friction will create good results. Say, start off with 200 grit, then move up from there. I know this is backwards from how you work with wood, but the principal still applies. Once they are more comfortable, then move to a more coarse grit, in gradual steps, just like in wood working, except backwards, but you see the point. Eventually they will be refined and will be much more accepting and welcoming.

     For another example, say your not out at work, but you need to be to help complete your transition. Start off with a very fine grit, all the way to 220 if possible, then start working with the people you are closest to, creating the proper friction. Feel how things are going. Get feedback and know that your doing what's best. Yes, you must care what others think, to a point, but this is your life, not theirs. All considerations must be taken into account to make sure you still have a job, even after transition. But, with the proper usage of the proverbial sand paper, you can achieve awesome results.

     Some would say that my transition has gone fairly smoothly. I would tend to agree in some aspects. Job wise has been very easy. Working for myself and owning my own company has it's benefits. I am my own CEO, CFO, HR department, Accountant, and PR department. My transition took all of a nano-second to approve. Social is slightly harder but I'm navigating it fairly well, not perfectly mind you.

     When you take into account everything in our daily lives, transition on the job is one of the hardest things we face as trans people. So much ridicule, hate, and other things are put towards our way. With a little ingenuity, we can transition on the job with not too many problems, just by applying the proper grit sandpaper to the situation. Start off fine, 200-220, then work your way up, til eventually, your all the way up to 60-80 grit. By the time you get there, your situation will hopefully be so much better and smoother to where you get named and properly gendered all the time. Find what works best for you.

Melody :)