Saturday, September 19, 2009

"I saw this really, really interesting documentary last night."

Yesterday I was at an all day training for NVivo8 (a qualitative data analysis software). There happened to be two folks from my department, or at least folks that work with the faculty that I support. Anyway, we all decided to go to lunch together. While eating, the conversation turned to movies and documentaries. Colleague 1 is Indian, and they were talking about representations of gender in bollywood films with colleague 2. Suddenly colleague 2 announced,

"I saw a really really interesting documentary last night"

Suddenly, I knew it was trans related. I don't know how, but I just did. This could not go well...I thought. Every time someone says a sentence like that I brace myself. lol.

"It was all about these transvestites....errr, I suppose they were transsexual women from somewhere in Southeast Asia who were now in Israel, who performed in dance/drag shows in the evening and worked as caretakers for very orthodox older adults during the day to make a living."

Now, if you can follow all of that, you win. They discussed trans identity (awkwardly) for the next few minutes. It was very strange. But I mean, what was I going to say, "Hey, interesting....and guess what?...I'm transgender too!"

I feel so torn in those situations. It's not that I want to be "stealth" for goodness sakes, but having intense conversations with colleagues, who I'm not even sure how long, or how well I will get to know, about my identity seems very strange. It's not relevant, but again, it is. I mean, if they ever ask me about my own personal research interests I don't think I would be able to fully share with them my passions without providing some sort of context.

Eventually I'll talk to folks at this new will just be interesting to see what that eventually looks like....

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