Is There a "T" in Team?

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Author’s note: Joannebarbarella, Emma Anne Tate, and I are sponsoring a writing contest. Details are available in a blog on the home page. The three of us are not eligible to enter the contest but we decided to each write a sample story to help promote more entries. I’m coming to you as the last visitor in this Christmas Carol. I hope you enjoy my offering and give our contest your consideration. - Jill

Is There a “T” in Team?
By Angela Rasch

December 12, 2023
Chapter One

Sarah

Someone rapped on the door just as I finished my face by dabbing my middle lower lip with a plumping gloss. A few years back, an unknown at the door would have sent me into a panic but through a great deal of effort and countless hours working on my appearance I had gained confidence.

I slid my lips together, tightened my dressing gown, and then pulled the door open and found a grinning hotel waiter who looked to be in his late teens. The aroma of a perfectly charred hamburger and hand-cut Idaho potato fries soared from another tray on his cart.

Maybe I should’ve ordered something more substantial.

The young man’s lustful stare jarred me out of my lust for fatty foods and brought a pleased blush to my face.

I directed him to place my 470-calorie meal on the desk and delicately pressed a ten-dollar tip into his eager hands. That gratuity brought the total cost for a bottle of water and a Caesar salad to just under forty-five dollars. Room service is amazing.

It would have been much less expensive to eat at home but to reduce my stress I spent a night approximately every six weeks in a downtown hotel. My wife, Ashley, accepted Sarah but sometimes I needed to be alone. In all honesty, without the feminine pampering I allow myself I would shatter.

Although I would dress for a night out clubbing, I wouldn’t leave the room.

I hate having to hide like this – and I miss my wife. However, if I had to choose between having femininity in my life and not being isolated, I would choose loneliness.

Saturday, March 28, 1998
Chapter Two

Josh

I gawked at the scoreboard in disbelief.

Home 43. Visitor 42.

We were “Home.”

The time shouted :00.

We were the state high school boys’ Three-A basketball champions.

Mike grabbed me in a sweat-soaked, full body embrace and shouted in my ear, “We did it! We really did it! Fuuuuuuuck!”

Terry, Dale, and Chris joined our frantic hug -- followed quickly by what felt like every guy and girl from our high school piling on in a wild celebratory scrum. The air reeked of teenagers and popcorn, but our hug was overwhelmed by Chris’ bad breath. He ate an onion just before every game, believing it “mind-fucked” our opponents.

“Indians! Indians! Indians!” the crowd chanted.

We won eight games in a row, I thought. Three games to win the district tournament. Two games to win our region. And three more games to WIN STATE. Our average winning margin had been under five points. We had played good ball but also had a string of good fortune.

The pep band played Queen’s We Are the Champions – for the hundredth time during the last four months -- but this time it sounded like they meant it.

“No time for losers. Cause we are the champions of the world.” A sophomore girl I barely knew screamed the lyrics just like Freddie Mercury would have – considering he’d been dead for seven years. Tears ran down her face destroying her makeup.

Surprisingly, my face was wet with my own joyous tears.

Dale had made the final shot that put us ahead for good with two seconds left on the clock. All five of us touched the ball on that final possession – passing it faster than the defenders could move their feet. I had lobbed the ball up by the rim and Dale dunked it.

North High had called timeout, but Mike stole the ball on their inbounds pass and tossed it into The Barn’s rafters. By the time it came down and hit the elevated floor the University of Minnesota Gophers played on, the clock had expired.

Dale pulled down eighteen rebounds. Their entire team only managed twenty-nine. Dale was a gentle giant, who dominated without throwing elbows.

Terry and Chris each scored fifteen points to lead us in scoring.

Our team-defense had held them to forty-two points. That was about half the eighty-one points a game our opponent averaged for the season while playing in the toughest conference in the state.

I had set a tournament record for assists. As our point guard, I was just doing my job.

“Never make your teammates uncomfortable,” our coach stressed.

It was important for me to know where my teammates preferred to have the ball on the court and how they wanted me to pass it to them. Chris mainly shot threes from the corner. He needed to catch the ball in his shooter’s pocket -- so he could quickly go right into his shot.

Dale either wanted the ball down low or on the free-throw line extended, depending on the size of the person guarding him. If the person was bigger than him he demanded the ball on the elbow so he could use his quickness to drive around him. We worked to catch them with a smaller person on Dale through a series of picks and defensive switches. I would then send him a bounce pass on the block that he could collect and go to work.

All my teammates knew how to create favorable passing lane angles for me, and I followed the coach’s rule. “Do not make them uncomfortable.”

“Shiiiiit,” Dale screamed. “We’ve been playing together ten years. Who’d of thought Roosevelt High would actually win this freaking thing?”

Our entire team consisted of twelve dressed players, Coach McHenry, and our student manager. However, the five starters had played the entire game.

Coach said that 1+1+1+1+1 = 8 when the five of us played together. We thought as one. Our skills fit together like Legos. We totally trusted each other to do the right thing.

McHenry had seen that about us as freshmen. He brought all five of us up to varsity as sophomores and played us as a unit with the reserves playing only after the games were lopsided wins. We won our conference three years in a row.

Whatever happened in life, no one could take away what we had accomplished as a team.

Friday, December 22, 2023
Chapter Three

Terry

I looked around the table at the other firefighters who were playing Liars’ Dice with me.

“I got invited to a high school reunion,” I said to no one in particular.

“Have you been to a school reunion before?” Armand asked, snacking on pungent beef jerky.

I shook my head. “Three years after I graduated, the school changed our team’s name from ‘Indians’ to ‘Oaks.’ Five years after that, Roosevelt High closed and they forced the kids to attend Central High, who had been our most hated rivals.”

Roosevelt High didn’t have an alumni association so when I got a letter from Dale inviting me to a “25th year championship reunion dinner” it was more than a little surprise.

“You guys had a pretty good team,” Curly offered. “Didn’t you win the regionals, or something?”

I nodded again. “Long time ago. . .. We actually won the state championship.”

Curly snorted. “But it was the Three-A championship. Right? I mean – you didn’t play against any of the Four-A schools.”

My blood quit boiling when I noted the grin on Curly’s face. He was being his normal obnoxious self -- by pulling my leg.

The dinner will only involve Dale, Josh, me, and our families. Mike had been killed in an auto accident about ten years ago. Chris had been an RN in an intensive care ward and got COVID during the early months when it was a death sentence.

Coach had been charged with sexual assault for balling a high school cheerleader a few years back and had disappeared.

It would be fun to see Dale and Josh and share stories.

I wonder if Josh still wears Air Jordans twenty-four-seven?

Josh had been a mystery. As our point guard, he had made a million quick correct decisions but off the court he could never make up his mind. I’ve read his restaurant reviews in the Star Tribune. When we were kids, having to select something off a menu was too much for him. He solved that by always ordering a plain burger with fries. It appears the world of fine dining has opened up for him when he somehow forced himself to choose the meal he wanted to eat.

Bert grunted. “I went to my twenty-fifth a few years back. One of the guys from my class had changed teams.”

“What do you mean ‘changed teams?’” Armand had lifted the edge of his dice cup and was giving his dice a deep stare.

That usually means he’s about to exaggerate the strength of his hand.

“This guy had gone under the knife. Gave up his jewels and was sporting an impressive rack!” Bert reported.

“You’re kidding?” Armand said. “Four fives.”

I was sitting to his left and grinned at him. “Now Armand, let’s recap. Bert started with two threes. Curly bid four threes. And now you want me to buy the B.S. that you have four fives.”

Armand tried to keep a poker face but his left eye flinched. . .a “tell” that all of us knew about.

I continued. “You’ve only got two dice left so the best you can have in your hand are two fives. So. . .you’re counting on our hands to include at least two other fives. I’ve still got four dice and I don’t have any fives. Bert only has one die left and he opened with two threes. Curly is also down to two and he bid four threes. Odds are high that you’re lying. I’m calling you a liar.”

Armand groaned and turned over his cup showing a three and a two. He shoved a die into his pile of now four lost dice.

Bert pushed on. “The guy wasn’t half bad looking,” he asserted. “I mean. . .I wasn’t into him, but some of you guys might have been.”

We all laughed.

“The gal wasn’t half bad looking,” Armand corrected. “If a person believes they’re a woman then they should be referred to as a woman.”

“That’s crap,” Bert claimed. “If a person thinks they’re a giraffe, do I have to go along with it?”

“I think you’re a horse’s ass,” Curly quipped, “and everyone ‘goes along’ with that.”

“Isn’t ‘she’ a liar?” Bert asked. “Isn’t she just trying to fool people into thinking she’s a woman so that she can have sex with men and not be called ‘gay.’”

“That doesn’t make any sense,” I remarked. “According to your theory, she had the operation so that people would call her ‘trans’ instead of ‘gay.’”

“Potato/Potahto,” Curly said.

“If I was ever tricked by one of those trans people, I’d kick her ass,” Bert promised.

“You would hit a woman?” Curly asked incredulously.

Bert seemed puzzled.

“You’re a real conundrum,” I stated.

“Ohhhh,” Curly laughed, “Terry’s using big words.”

I shook my head. “Fifteen years ago, when the city councilman told us we had to add female firefighters, Bert was one of the first to welcome them with open arms.”

“No one should have had a problem with them. They mostly smell a lot better,” Curly said. “But what’s your point?”

“I’m just saying that it surprises me to hear Bert say anything bigoted,” I answered.

“Bigoted?” Bert looked hurt.

I took a breath and dug in. “Trans people are just naturally trans. Just like people with kinky hair, like Curly, are naturally . . . wavy. And, like Black people are black. Trans people don’t ask to be trans. . .they’re just born believing what they do.”

Bert grinned. “I’ve got to update my thinking. I’ve gotten used to not being able to smoke cigarettes hardly anywhere, anymore. And I drink a crapload of probiotics to help my health. That’s something I didn’t do ten years ago.”

Everyone nodded and we got back to shaking dice and over-stating our hands.

Thursday, December 28, 2023
Chapter Four

Dale

Family dinners are compulsory. Some days it took complex schedule juggling but the four of us sat down together between 5:30 and 7:00 for fifteen minutes and had a meal complete with active conversation.

“Mrs. Cline has ruined Christmas,” Noah said while biting into a taco.

“What’s she done this time?” Elsa, a junior, liked to play the protector for her brother, a freshman.

“She’s violated the unwritten Teachers’ Code by assigning homework over Christmas vacation,” Noah moaned. “We have to write a 350-word theme on our New Year’s Resolution – why we made it and what we’re going to do to make it work for us.”

“That’s an awful thing for her to do,” Elsa agreed.

“Learning how to write is important,” Connie said. She had put on her “Mom” hat.

“It shouldn’t take you too long to jot down 350 words,” I asserted. “Have you picked a resolution?”

Noah shook his head glumly. “What resolutions have you ever made?”

I laughed. “I’m great at making resolutions, but not so good at keeping them. Let’s see. Every year I vow to change my diet, exercise more, and lose weight. You already have a healthy diet and are in great physical condition, so I don’t see how that applies to you.”

Connie broke in. “I was listening to a podcast today about resolutions. They suggested that the most popular resolution this year for young people is an effort to improve their mental health.”

“Really,” I asked. “Do young people have a chronic need to do something about their mental health?”

“I only know one person who is mentally ill,” Noah said. “That’s Marci, in my English class.”

“Marci? Marci is about the most level-headed person in school,” Elsa argued. “She’s on the Student Council with me and we serve on some committees together. She’s great!”

“She makes everyone uncomfortable. Now she’s pushing it again by trying out for the volleyball team.” Noah whined. “If she makes the team there are some girls who say they’ll quit.”

“Why shouldn’t Marci try out for the volleyball team? Is she any good?” I asked.

“She’s an okay player,” Elsa said. “What’s got everyone running around in a panic is. . .she’s trans. Last year he was Ernie and this year she’s Marci.”

“I thought that whole trans in sports thing was settled years ago,” I said. “Doesn’t the school have a policy?”

“Everything’s changed at school,” Elsa explained. “We talk about it all the time in our Student Council meetings. The school board has added four new members over the last two years who are making everyone do things they never would have done before. They made the teachers get rid of a lot of books they don’t want us to read.”

“Why are they against Marci playing on the girls’ volleyball team?” Connie asked. “Is she so tall that she would have an unfair advantage?”

Elsa giggled. “Not really. Now that I think about it, it’s highly unlikely Marci will even make the cut. She’s tiny and hasn’t played much.”

“She gives me a giant pain in my rear,” Noah said. “She gets all bent out of shape if you don’t address her as ‘they.’”

“That ‘they’ stuff confuses me, too,” Connie agreed. “I’m always looking around for more people.”

“She has the right,” I stated. “A person has the right to present themselves as who they think they are. No one can tell them who they are. That includes what they want to be called.” Laying down the law doesn’t encourage open discussion, but sometimes things just call for a firm statement of how things need to be.

“Why are politicians so anti-trans?” Elsa asked.

“Not all politicians are anti-trans,” I suggested. “The anti-trans laws are being passed in red states. Conservatives are very frustrated with how quickly things have changed around them. Thirty-five years ago, less than twelve percent of the U.S. population supported same-sex marriage. Today, fifty-eight percent support same-sex marriage. That’s a big difference to accept. So. . .when someone offers garbage that passes for logic, about trans being ‘groomers’ – many of them swallow it. I know thirty-five years sounds like a long time to you, but it really isn’t many years for that much social change.”

“Are you giving the right a pass?” Connie asked in surprise.

“Not hardly. I’m saying I understand their position, but I don’t agree with it or condone it. People don’t have a choice about their gender. What they’re born with is what they are. Most are lucky and are born with sexual organs that match their true gender. Others, like Marci, struggle to affirm their true gender.” I stopped and looked around the table. “Bigotry is never right. Anti-trans laws and rules preventing trans girls from playing girls’ sports are bigotry.”

“The other night when I was watching the Republican debates with you,” Noah said, “one of them said that trans people are suffering from a mental illness.”

“He was wrong,” I said. “Fifty years ago, the trained professionals finally decided that same-gender attraction isn’t a mental illness. Likewise, years later the professionals agreed that gender dysphoria in itself is not a mental illness. When we allow bigots to distort reality we are supplying fertile ground for undue stress being placed on those struggling to affirm their true genders. That stress can result in mental disorders, and then the bigots’ claims become self-fulfilling prophecies.”

Connie changed the subject. “Are we going to your reunion?”

“Can’t wait!” I chuckled. “I’ve been thinking about how great it’ll be to see Josh and Terry. We all went to different colleges. I was going to be a star, but I got cut my first year. My coach said I was a “tweener.” I was too small to play a “big” position and not a good enough shooter to play any other role. Terry was the funniest guy on the team, but Josh found ways to make us all feel good about ourselves. We never had locker room issues because he kept us all focused. Even today, when I think about Josh I have this weird urge to protect him from harm.”

“We get Christmas cards from them, so I know they’re both married,” Connie said.

“Uh-huh. There was a time I really knew these guys and now I know more about my barber than I do about them. I do know they’re two of the best people I’ve ever met.”

Friday, December 29, 2023
Chapter Five

Josh

“I was online today and bought a new dress,” I said quietly to my wife as we nestled into our bed for the night. “It’s short-sleeved, V-neck, and black. And it’s party-length.”

“Sounds cute.” Ashley’s voice raised an eyebrow. “What party?”

“I’m considering. . ..” I stalled for a moment. I turned on my pillow and looked into Ashley’s eyes. “How do you really feel about Sarah?”

“I like Sarah. . ..” Ashley started. “Sarah is a very sweet part of you.”

“I’ve never been ‘out’ as Sarah,” I said. “I’m starting to feel like a fraud.”

“Honey. . .Josh. . .Sarah. . .,” Ashley said. “What are you wearing to bed?”

I looked down at the silky-soft, purple nightgown with crocheted trim that had become my favorite. “The same thing I’ve worn about half the nights for the last two months.” I had two other favorites I wore on the other nights.

“Uh-huh. And I’ve noticed that you buy all the clothes you wear daily from online women’s stores. They barely pass as masculine.”

“I think of them as ‘boyish’ women’s clothing,” I admitted.

“We don’t have kids and probably never will. Our families are all open-minded. Your job as a food critic is hardly gender specific. So, what’s the problem if Sarah wants to be full-time? I certainly wouldn’t mind.”

“You wouldn’t?”

“What’s to mind? You’re cuter than most of my girlfriends. You’re an inch shorter than me and I’m average height for a woman. If people see us together as a couple they might think of us as lesbian, but that isn’t any reason for them to create a scene.”

“The party I was thinking about attending in my new dress is the basketball reunion,” I admitted ruefully.

“For gosh sake,” Ashley snorted. “You’re super tense. You’re obviously tying yourself up in knots over this. You haven’t seen either Terry or Dale for over ten years. Why do you care so much what they think about you?”

“Their opinions of me matter. I was the smallest player on our team. Dale was almost a foot taller. Yet, none of them ever picked on me. All the time I was playing with them I was wishing I would wake up the next day a girl. I had to work so hard to cover up my feelings. I just can’t see myself opening up to them.”

“How do you think they would react?”

I closed my eyes, and then opened them and spoke quietly. “Terry’s a fireman. He’s as masculine as they come. Dale’s a banker and a Republican. They would be shocked.”

“They might be shocked at first. I was for a bit -- the first time I met Sarah. You are Sarah . . . I get that. Sarah is . . . feminine. I wasn’t prepared for that.”

“I don’t know. I just don’t know.” I sank back into my pillow. “If Terry and Dale were more accepting I’d actually wear my new dress to our reunion. I was thinking about an old joke.

“A fireman, a banker, and a trans woman walked into a bar together. The fireman threw his arm around the shoulder of the banker and said, ‘I want two beers, one for me and one for my best friend.’

“The banker gave the fireman a fierce side hug. ‘And bring two shots of Jack for me and my best buddy.’

“The trans woman found a dark corner and tried to disappear.”

Ashley gave out a long sigh. “That’s not much of a joke.”

I nodded. “Sometimes I don’t think I have much of a life.”

Ashley caught me in her stare. “Sarah, I know you’ve told me that you spend those nights in a hotel because you don’t want me to lose respect for you.”

“I . . . ah. ...” A tear escaped my right eye when I saw the unconditional love in Ashley’s face.

“I will always respect you. I love who you are. I also respect your judgment -- but from everything you’ve always told me about Terry and Dale I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t totally accept you as Sarah.” She fluffed her pillow, and then continued. “I’d be very proud to walk into that reunion next to you looking marvelous in your new dress.”

Five minutes later I spoke quietly. “I’m going to make a resolution to never allow people to force me to live differently than what I want. By this time next year, I’m going to be much more assertive of my personal rights. The timing just isn’t right for me to announce myself. I’ll save my LBD for some occasion in the future.”

“Fine,” Ashley said, but her Mona Lisa smile condemned my decision.

The End

Thank you to Joannebarbarella and Emma Anne Tate for helping me with this story. The older I get, the harder it is to have reasonable continuity. They helped take off the rough edges and focus on my theme.

Please give our story contest your consideration. If you know of a writer who writes TG fiction for other sites and doesn’t post on BC, please make them aware of the contest. If you are so moved, please write and enter a story. Please read the stories entered and leave comments and kudos. We are a community that supports each other.

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How You Play the Game
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Imperfect Futures
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Comments

lovely story

thanks for sharing it!

DogSig.png

Seeing past labels

Emma Anne Tate's picture

I love this story. It's so easy to put people in boxes based on the things we know -- or think we know -- about people who are "like" them in some way. A firefighter. A banker. A Republican. And when we have to make decisions based on limited information, falling back on stereotypes isn't always crazy. But it's important to remember that stereotypes are often wrong in particular cases because every person is unique.

I empathize with Sarah tremendously. She was part of a team, of champions. They were a unit, thinking as one, moving like dancers in a choreographed ballet. Sure, years pass and people move on, but I can well understand why she would dread the possibility of being cast out, no longer welcome, shunned by the people who meant so much to her, during one of the highlights of her life. There are people we just don't want to disappoint.

Naturally, I was rooting for Ashley to help Sarah find her courage, to trust the people she admired so much, and to see past the stereotypes. But it's a very big thing, and I can only admire Jill's integrity as a writer for her decision to take the harder road and keep the story real.

Bravo!!!!

Emma

Years Do Pass

Yesterday, I received a Christmas card from a high school classmate. He said, "One of the things I remember from high school was watching a film of our football game and the coach playing a play you made over and over. You had three blockers coming at you but were able to use your arms to push them down and make a touchdown-saving tackle."

I thought I was the only one who remembered.

Without relying on stereotypes we wouldn't be able to get through the day. We would spend all our time making judgments. We just have to be open to the reality that stereotypes are often wrong.

Sarah/Josh are who they are.

Jill

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Lovely story

and nicely told.
Coming out of the closet is hard even if you have a loved one supporting you.
this:-
“Fifty years ago, the trained professionals finally decided that same-gender attraction isn’t a mental illness
is something that MAGA want to reverse ASAP. Then they can put us all in camps and brainwash us (or worse) legally. This whole idea of huge camps should make sure that decent people don't vote 'RED' in any election from here to eternity. The holocaust deniers are gaining strength. Along with the Jews, the LGBT community all have big targets on our backs.
Thanks for telling the story
Samantha

You Make Me Feel Like Josh

joannebarbarella's picture

Here I am, in a team, and metaphorically, I feel like I'm the smallest member, sandwiched between two superstars, Jill and Emma, but the truth is, we are a team. You can't have a two-legged stool, can you?

You probably wouldn't believe how much work has gone into the preparation for our 2024 New Year's Contest. We've contacted literally hundreds of authors, potential authors (yes, Dallas, I'm looking at you. I believe in you) and contributors and commenters on this site and others, old friends and new, hoping to get the support that BC needs to remain viable.

I think it's going to bear fruit.

So now you have seen our stories and they're all actually Different. We didn't collude in writing them, although we each commented on and edited each other's drafts and it's up to you readers to judge the results, and write your own stories.

I read quite a few drafts of Jill's tale here and it got better and better as she added flesh to it along the way. I think it's now close to perfect. I so totally empathise with Josh/Sarah and , like you do when you're watching TV, shout at her to stop being silly and trust her team-mates, who are such decent people.

Yes, they will probably do a double-take when she walks into the room in her LBD, but then they will accept her unreservedly. But she's got to give them the chance. Ashley says it all with that final "Fine."

It's a wonderful take on the insecurities of people like us and the problem of stereotyping people in whom you should have faith.

Please prove us right.

Amy Schneider

I'm currently reading Amy Schneider's book. She won forty games in a row on Jeopardy.

Her book spends a lot of time speaking to the insecurities of growing up trans.

Jill

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Another non competing contribution

To help to illustrate the human condition. To know you're right, those you love and trust to support your decision. And still we resolve to stave off the inevitable on other conditions. Good job, Jill.

Ron

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Interesting story

Wendy Jean's picture

I love stories where the protagonist still gets to have family.

Those of us on this site fight every day against stereotypes….

D. Eden's picture

Yet we are all guilty of using them just like those we condemn. If there is one thing to take away from this story, it is the fact that we should only care about our own opinions of ourselves, and the opinions of those who love us.

We spend too much time worrying about what others think of us, and worse, we assume how people will feel or react. We are just as prejudiced as those who rant against us. Josh demonstrates this in his assumptions about his friends - based upon their careers, he has already condemned them to be anti-trans and assume they will be against Sarah.

Sarah is incredibly blessed to be loved by a woman who loves her as her true self. A woman who has absolutely no qualms whatsoever about her living her life as she chooses. A woman who would stand by her no matter what, and is encouraging her to be herself around her friends. A woman who is very understanding, but who is also disappointed that she doesn’t have the courage to do so.

I am a registered Republican - and yet I am perhaps the most liberal person I know regarding social issues. I am a fiscal conservative, hence why I joined the Republican Party in 1978 when I registered to vote. I have repeatedly debated changing my voter registration, but I was also taught that the best way to change the party is from the inside - although I have become so disenchanted over the past decade that I cannot even begin to express how I feel.

My point being, is that if all you know is that I am a Republican, you would assume like Josh did that I am anti-trans. And yet, here I am, living my true life and supporting others to do the same.

I spent 20 years in the military, an organization many believe to be very anti-trans. And yet I was surrounded by a team that knew the real me before even I faced up to it - and not only supported me, but protected me with their lives.

I now work in logistics, a very male centric industry. When I transitioned, I was positive that I would lose my job and my career. I did in fact run into prejudice which cost me three separate jobs, and thousands of dollars in salary. And yet, I have found that the industry is not as bad as I assumed. I have found multiple employers who are very supportive of me and value me based on my experience and abilities, rather than my gender identity. Yet based on my job, the average person would assume that I am conservative and anti-trans without ever meeting me.

But what is worse, I (and most of the people here as well) make the same assumptions that Josh did in this story.

Perhaps we should practice what we preach.

D. Eden

Dum Vivimus, Vivamus