In the weirdness of this week (my office was closed Monday and Tuesday due to dangerously cold temperatures), I completely forgot that today was Thursday, so I didn’t have a post prepared for this morning. My apologies to all! But, here I am. Better late than never, right?
It’s just as well that I didn’t have anything written up earlier, because I was having a hell of a time coming up with a story for you all until today, anyway.
Some folks in my office are still pretty clueless about the fact that I identify as transmasculine. I get “girl” and “lady” still, sometimes, and while it’s irritating, generally people mean well, and I try not to get too upset about it. It’s not like I’m particularly assertive or good at standing up for myself, so unless someone around the office who’s figured it out (or been told directly) lets it slip, how are they going to know? My facial hair is still peach fuzz, and since they see me every day, my voice change isn’t all that noticeable.
Our power went out at the office today, and during the half hour that I spent wandering around, feeling lost (I work in IT: no power means I really have nothing to do), a coworker and I were collectively referred to as “ladies.” It didn’t get too far under my skin, but it added to the general blah-ness of my day. Once the power came back on, I got back to work and tried to forget about it.
Sometime later, my phone rang.
“This is Alyx.”
“Hello, my name is [name]. How are you today, sir?”
It turned out the call was a solicitor from HP who had wanted to talk to my department head about servers, but, failing to reach anything but his voicemail, had been directed to me by the operator. Since I am but a lowly administrative assistant, it was a short conversation.
But I was ecstatic.
Never, not once, in my whole life, have I ever been “sirred” solely on the sound of my voice. In fact, in the past, if people had initially called me “sir,” they backpedalled as soon as I opened my mouth. When I worked the drive thru at a coffee shop, I loathed hearing my voice over the headset, cringing at the inevitable responses that included the word “ma’am.”
Whether the person on the other end of the line changed their mind about my gender after I stammered a reply, I don’t know. And I don’t really care. All that really matters to me is that the first impression someone had, based solely on my voice, was that I was a masculine individual.
I’m still smiling.