”Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well-trained, well equipped and battle hardened.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower- D-Day June 6, 1944
The seemingly endless number of hoops to go through during transition takes a toll – physically, emotionally and spiritually. And, even though I do not aspire to be stealth, I need to keep reminding myself there’s no real “end” or final destination on this journey – not really. I’ve hit plenty of milestones since taking that first (outward) step last Fall but it’s funny how little pop-ups have a way of deflating my sense of self-esteem and create a message like “Oh no, here we go again…” in my head.
The most recent one – going back to ask all the people who’ve written Linkedin recommendations in the past using feminine pronouns to change them to the masculine (or de-genderize). My motivation is not to mislead but to prevent confusion; I am out but I don’t necessarily want my transition be the very first thing I talk about with prospective employers. It’s part of who I am but not central to what I bring to the table from my career.
The main problem: there were a number of folks I’d worked with through the years that I’ve not contacted directly about my transition. I could just hide those recommendations but then my profile loses the context of how my career has progressed over time. I decided to just take a deep breath, reach out, ask and be prepared for whatever fallout came my way. I’ve already received one response that goes like this: “Sorry, I’m just not comfortable with this. At the time I wrote this you were a female. I don’t want to be dishonest.” I’ve decided to let it drop; the person is not important enough to me (or likely to change his/her mind) to invest the time and energy in to educate. Thank goodness the majority of the responses I’ve received so far have been more positive – either with the noted corrections alone or accompanied by a message of support.
To cope with this I have to try to stay in the present and not dwell on either the past or the future. It gets overwhelming. I also need to build supportive relationships and not settle for ones that are built on “tolerance” – but that is another post!