Monday, May 13, 2013

Fallon Fox is my hero

Fallon Fox, Christine Jorgensen, Renee Richards, Caroline "Tula" Cossey, Chaz Bono, Jenna Talackova, Laura Jane Grace,  and far too many more to list are all incredible inspirations ... and they are all transgender.

I am relatively that none of them wanted to be a public figure ... none of them wanted to know as the first transgender tennis player, James Bond girl, Miss Universe contestant or MMA fighter.  They probably just wanted to live their lives and pursue their own happiness without drawing attention to themselves.

That's my goal ... just live in peace and not cause any waves or being in the spotlight.

Fallon Fox recently announced to the world that she is a transgender MMA fighter.  Wow ... just wow.  What courage.  But she wasn't treated like a heroic, courageous lady ... she has been bashed, trashed, hated and worse.

People are so ignorant.

In a day when a professional athlete announces he or she is gay and receives tributes and accolades another professional athlete is threatened, verbally abused, people want her to be bannished from the sport she has trained all because they do not understand.  But she did not let anyone keep her down.  She is preparing for another MMA fight later this month http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/sports/for-transgender-fighter-fallon-fox-there-is-solace-in-the-cage.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&.

I wish I could meet Fallon.  I would love to give her a hug and tell her how much she has inspired me to pursue my transition.  I doubt this will ever happen, but I can dream.

In a strange way it was Fallon's courage to come out to the media that motivated me to make so move forward with my transition.  I finally spoke to my doctor and will be seeing an endocrinologist at the end of May.  I came out to another coworker and called my HR department to let them know that I was transitioning ... like I said, I don't want to cause waves.

Sonia from HR called me back a couple days ago.  "Hi.  I just wanted to touch base with you."  Thee was a hesitation in her voice.  I could tell she was not completely comfortable.  "So, from our previous conversation I assume you will be having some corrective surgery soon."

"No," I said.  I was quick to correct the misinformation.  "I am starting on hormones.  That is when many of the physical changes will begin to occur."

"How long after you start your medicine do these effects become noticeable?"  She was grasping for information, but remaining professional.

"It is different for everyone."  I was staying surprisingly calm and well spoken.  "It may be weeks, it may be months.  We will not know until things begin to change.  I am already presenting in a more feminine manner.  I am wearing nail polish and more feminine earrings."

"Well I contacted my corporate supervisor to discuss your situation anonymously."  She paused for a moment.  "She has not dealt with anyone transitioning and does not kn ow what the proper steps we as a company need to take.  So I contacted our corporate legal department.  They have never dealt with your situation either."

At this point I am almost laughing because it was the only answer I did not expect.

"But don't worry," she continued.  "I've made contact without an outside company I'm associated with and they are sending me the laws pertaining to your issue in California.  There is a lot of research to do, so how about we talk sometime near the end of May?"

Although we talked a bit more, basically the conversation was over.

In my attempt to create this smooth transition I have drawn a spotlight onto myself.  I am the first transgender supervisor my company had to deal with.  Although I will not make the news and face public scrutiny that the brave men and women before me have seen, I will still be the focus of many new policies, discussions and attention from the corporate hierarchy.

I am not a trailblazer ... not a pioneer ... I am not a leader nor a role model.  I just want to live my life.  I want to transition and be the woman I have know I am since I was a young child.

I do not compare myself on any level to Renee Richards, Chaz Bono, Fallon Fox and all the others.  I will never understand the stress and public disdain they have endured.  I do hope to draw on their strength and learn from their character to help me through the next few months and years.

Thank you to all the true pioneers ... to all of those who have done the work and suffered the scrutiny so those of us who are following in your footsteps could travel the journey with greater ease.  I appreciate everything you have done.

To Fallon Fox - I hoe your next fight is incredible,  I would love for you to earn the notoriety you deserve and have better opportunities available to you.  Kick some ass in the cage on Mat 24.