While I don’t really want to write about being transgender, it doesn’t seem like my obscure writing about tech is ever going anywhere. I’m never going to be a part of that “cool kids club” of tech bloggers (e.g. Serenity Caldwell, Rene Ritchie, Jason Snell, et.al.) so what can I do with my time?
And today I saw this tweet in my timeline by a trans woman (presumably) in tech, being retweeted by a prominent “tech-celebrity”/”influencer” that I follow.
And it immediately made me uncomfortable. How would I talk about my life experiences pre and post transition? I can’t pretend to know what CIS-women go through, because I’m not CIS.
It got me thinking about all the little ways that my life is a struggle. I’m not female; nobody views me that way. I’m a third gender that’s basically non-human, even in one of the most socially progressive states in the country.
I’m with my mom, visiting the Apple Store today, she’s looking for a case for her new iPhone SE. The store isn’t busy, there’s easily 4-5 employees talking amongst themselves, not helping any customers.
Nobody greets us or asks if they can help us. We have to actively seek out someone to see if they have the leather case in the color she wants. The employee forgets about us, so my mom flags down another employee. I walk around and browse the Apple Watch display, two employees are talking together one table away. Neither one asks if I have any questions or want to try one on. They do greet and help a young woman and her male friend (boyfriend?) find replacement watch bands.
I keep browsing, this time the iPad Pro. Another woman is there, trying out a 12.9″ model with the Smart Keyboard, an employee walking past asks if he can help her, then moves on when she declines. I pick up a 9.7″ model to try out, then a 12.9, then move to one with the keyboard attached. Nobody ever says a word to me. Eventually my mom and I leave, they didn’t have the case in the Navy Blue color she wanted.
While our visit was short (20 minutes maybe?) nobody ever acknowledged that I was there.
This was a good day, I was just “invisible” to the people there, or at least they were polite enough to act like it. Some days, a lot of days, are far worse.