It’s Official I Guess…
Is there a right way to talk about preferred names and pronouns in the workforce? Is it even anyone’s business?
As of a few days ago, my work world has been informed of my preferred name and pronouns -different from the legal ones.
I’m not sure what to do with that.
It was kind of involuntary. My new job segments into 2 sets of peer groups. I’d informed one peer group since I’d felt okay sharing and it was my first time saying it OUT LOUD to work colleagues and having them call me by my preferred name was… the best feeling ever!
I just started working with the second peer group and was more occupied with bare necessities, like office space, where to eat, where to park, who do I work with, etc.. I hadn’t really gotten around to notifying this peer group and set of supervisors about this information.
But the peer groups chat with each other, and before I even thought through how I’d approach a conversation around my pref. name and such with the second group, I got a text asking me about it. I briefly explained, impromptu, while resisting the urge to apologize (knee-jerk reaction is to apologize for nothing).
I kinda feel mixed about it, because it was outside of my control and it was an involuntary conversation rather than a proactive one. And I feel awkward. And such.
And, I hadn’t even figured out if this was something I even wanted to do -work and personal life are separate, right?
I’m a planner. I want to really think things through before making a decision about anything. Especially this sort of thing which would impact every facet of life. I don’t need extra -isms: I’m already on the docket for racism, sexism, sexuality-ism, personality-ism, religionism, wrong-place-wrong-time-ism, etc. etc..
Now, I get to add genderism, awkward-ism, underlying prejudice, extra levels of difficulty and how will this impact my job role?
I don’t want to be the “new curiosity in aisle 3” so to speak. I just don’t want extra attention when I want to live my life. I hope this doesn’t become a thing where it’s the queer elephant in the room during conversations.
I Know, but Cannot Say
I stick to poetry much of the time lately because I’ve been struggling to write the stuff in my mind. Why?
Because it’s not like anyone is going to read it.
Because the big data collection peoples/companies will simply scoop up my brain to analyze my likelihood to buy [insert-product-here].
Because it’s a control thing?
If I could, I’d talk about my old job, how much it killed parts of me that I didn’t even know I had, or that I took for granted. Nothing like the first job fresh from uni to kill your soul. How I can’t get that enthusiastic about anything anymore since I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop and for someone to start screaming and calling me shit. Waiting for the shunning and isolation, for everything to be insufficient and for promises to be broken.
I guess I’d talk about the isolation of being in a culture that isn’t supportive of me. Breaking away from the structure of religion, and going back to my parents’ house every once and awhile with them staring at me with these eyes of “you’re going to hell”.
Like I don’t catch every time they say “god willing” or “May the lord bless you” or “may the lord be with you” -fuck that! I don’t need a lord. I don’t need a god.
No one’s there for me, I don’t need anyone like that.
I just need a good friend. But those are nearly as hard to find as an honest politician. Unicorn.
I’ve pursued that unicorn, that dark horse with a conical sword on its forehead. I wanted to be its passenger, so bad. I couldn’t chase it, couldn’t lasso it down. A fucking mockery.
Often times, I’d catch a rhino instead. Ungainly, endangered, and ultimately someone else’s property.
If I ever do catch that unicorn, I feel like I’d need to break its legs to keep it mine. Then it wouldn’t be a unicorn. But it would be mine.
Hi. I’m worth more.
I’d talk about how the theme so far is to crumple oneself to fit in or get used to being alone. I pay for my individuality with company. Cause I’m too much, not enough, inappropriate, or something.
I stand in conversations, silent, and staring at the people around me like “who are you?”, “why are you faking it”, “why are you asking so many questions, I’m not that interesting”. It’s like mentally stepping back to the corner of the room, just watching and observing and analyzing.
Imagine being at a party. You go in, you don’t know many people. You grab a drink, smile, and embed yourself into a conversation or two or twelve. Plastic crinkles in the background and you realize almost suddenly, that the whole room is filled with mannequins. Mannequins you have nothing in common with, that are impossible to connect with, that speak another language as part of a foreign species.
Nothing to do except leave.
But I can’t leave my life.
I’d talk about how life feels like hostage negotiation. Picking and choosing battles, except the battles are life and death. I could die walking out my front door just because of who I am. Being okay with that.
I’d talk about how we are all tadpoles in the boiling pot and we’re close to 100 degrees Celsius, and 212 degrees Fahrenheit. No one’s going to jump out, or say anything. So we’ll all die together. Goodbye planet earth – we’re going to be sun 2.
I’d talk about life being the structure of our own unique cage. You’re born in one, then you build one for yourself. With your style and aesthetic, one that you can stand to live in. The bars are habit, the ceiling is you saying “I can’t”, the walls are your perceived limitations, the floor is the core of your spirit.
Build it right, it can be a prison or a home.
There’s so much I could talk about. But it’s not like anyone wants to hear it.
I have so much love to give. But it’s not like anyone wants it.
The beauty of the future is that it can change. I’m not waiting for it to change. I’m growing me to become a evolved self. The core of me is alive and real and won’t ever die.
The only thing that dies is my faith in humanity. In love. In friendship and brotherhood.
Maybe I’m in the wrong part of the world for humanity.