- Ray, pretend for a moment that I don’t know anything about
metallurgy, engineering, or physics, and just tell me what the hell is
- I’m transgender.
- Holy shit, really?
- Yeah, really.
- I have no idea what you’re talking about.
That’s cool. If you’re not yet in the loop on trans stuff, here’s
a good, general
FAQ. It explains the basics way better than I can. Go ahead and
read it—this page will still be here when you’re ready.
- How long have you known?
- For a really long time. Maybe ask me for the longer version of the
story next time we see each other. I hope you don’t mind if I don’t
want to go into too much detail, though.
- OK. What should I call you?
Call me Tess. For pronouns, she and her.
hober as my username on most things.
- Why “Tess?”
My family is really important to me. I wanted a name that reflected
that, and I wanted to pick something that wasn’t too big of a change.
Three of my four grandparents died when I was little but the
fourth, my paternal grandmother, lived until I was twenty-five. She
was a huge part of my life. Her name was Theresa (though we grandkids
all called her Nina).
are a bunch of common nicknames for Theresa. I like Tess a lot.
Hopefully you’ll find it easy to make the switch.
- I’ve known you for a long time. What name and pronouns should I use
when referring you pre-transition?
- I get this question a lot. It’s not something that I want to have an
idiosyncratic preference on—we need to have a simple and clear
cultural norm—and the one that’s emerged over the last several years
always use someone’s current name and gender, even when referring
to their time pre-transition.
- Hold up. You’re married. How’s Erin taking this?
We’re together, we’re supporting each other, and we’re a team.
Erin is amazing.
- What about your job?
- It’s great! I’m fortunate enough to work for a company that’s
perfect 100% on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality
Index for something like fifteen years running.
- What kind of time frame are we talking here?
- Transitioning involves many factors and doesn’t happen
overnight—it’s a continuous process that doesn’t really ever end. That
said, I started hormone replacement therapy in 2015.
- Oops, I got your name or pronouns wrong.
You’ll screw up sometimes. So do I. Don’t stress about it too much
but please do make an effort. (It’s obvious when you aren’t even