My previous post recounted the first part of my busy weekend performing poetry at Mother Fool’s. Here, I want to talk about something from the second half of same weekend, after the trans/CD support group I regularly attend held their meeting. Several of us gathered at a pizza place located, ironically enough, kitty corner from Mother Fool’s. Among our group was a cis-gender ally who was there with her partner. The conversation between the two of us ventured into where we had previously lived and worked, and it raised familiar territory for me: She noted that she used to work in the Green Bay area at… let’s just say it’s a certain company that’s part of a certain industry we’ll need to rely on at least once in our lives. I mentioned to her matter-of-factly that I used to live in Green Bay as well… and I used to work at that very same company, around the same time she had been there. (We worked in separate offices and different departments, natch.)
Now, I firmly keep my male and female identities separate; I make sure Allison never crosses into Male Mode Me’s professional territory, and I’ve only disclosed my male name and work history to a very, very select few who know only Allison (and only when necessary). That’s how it was in my conversation Saturday night. I never revealed my male mode name to my table mate, but I admitted that, yeah, I used to work at the same company she once worked at, departing from there about a year after she did.
Disclosing to my table mate so felt a little bit liberating for me, I have to admit. Allowing a little bit of light to occasionally permeate through that “Berlin Wall” separating Allison from Male Mode Me can help me relate to others and vice versa. And while I’m obviously not ready to tear down the whole of that wall, I know that letting some light in when it’s best to do so will benefit not just one side of me… but the whole me.
How have you felt if you’ve ever let a little pertinent aspect of your everyday male side shine through your feminine identity?