A number of things have jumped out at me in recent days which I hadn't noticed before. When I'm out people are saying “Hello Louise” in shops. They are friendly and welcoming, which is wonderful. However the downside is that in some places I visit I also get some mild aggravation from people who are obviously not accepting of my gender status. A transgender friend and I had this in a hostelry in town the other evening..
When talking to a man friend, some women sidled over and whispered in his ear “ Do you know you are talking to a man” He wasn't bothered, but what prompts people to get so worked up? Is it jealously, their own insecurity or what? I'm at a loss to know frankly, but I'm getting so used to it by now that it's water off a duck. I was even refused a drink in a well known bar this week with a friend by a barman, who I think was embarrassed a tad, but we shall see where that one ends up.
Some transgender friends are telling me that while they are very well qualified in the jobs that they do and are applying for promotion they are being overlooked. I suppose part of that lies in the fact that they are seen as women and perhaps have the usual female glass ceiling to break as well as being seen as transgender women. It seems Ireland has a long way to go and I can see one of the consequences of all the recent publicity over the Dr Lydia Foy case and my own case that the transgender profile has been raised and perhaps employers are being a little cautious in employing transgender people.
I hope that is not the case in reality, but with some other people I'm hoping to set up a register of employers who are comfortable in taking on transgender employees and also happy to publish such information. Most multinational companies who work here in Ireland have realised long ago that there is no place in work for homophobia or transhobia and that the bottom line shows this to be true. Lets hope we can convince the SMEs in Ireland of the same benefit to their bottom line sooner rather than later.
On a slightly more weird note I was booked to do the photography at a Civil Partnership by two gay gays only to be told two hours later that one of the guys parents had a difficulty with me being transgendered, and they canceled and wanted their deposit back. (They didn't get it BTW) This really took me to the fair. Gay people I had thought would show more back bone, but it seems not...I don't hold out much hope of their partnership lasting if parents have so much influence, but good luck to them.