So I guess this is just becoming a space for me to write about trans things now?
I wanted to share three things about the ongoing process of surgery, recovery and life. They’re all transparency issues – things I think that people looking at transitioning or thinking about top surgery might want to know. It’s a little late for transgender day of visibility, but here I am, still being seen, like I am every day. Hi.
First – burn follow-up.
As you may recall from my last post I got chronically bad advice from Dr. Medalie’s office about caring for a non-dissolving suture, which left me with large second-degree burns. Those have now mostly healed, but they’ve left a big scar and I still have considerable pain if my skin is stretched or pulled. I never received any follow-up about my injuries either. Since the treatment advice they gave me didn’t even actually work I went to my regular doctor and they got rid of the suture in one 15-minute visit with a simple snip. I am REALLY frustrated and sad that such good surgery was wrecked by such carelessness and lack of thought, and that I have to carry around the consequences. Still, it is not as bad as it could be – the graft itself seems undamaged, and I have got sensation back.
Second – insurance.
I tried to do everything right with health insurance for my surgery. My plan offers 60% back, and I schedule a call and two in-person meetings with my provider’s office to make sure I had all the right forms and documentation. Except… they gave me the wrong form and told me to send it to the wrong place, so my claim never actually got processed and now I may not get health insurance at all. *sob.* My provider’s office are in touch with my insurance and I may be able to make a partial claim? Maybe? Again frustration and anger that medical professionals don’t know what to do with trans healthcare, and that trusting them has got me hurt.
Third – job!
I’ve also written on this blog about job hunting while trans, and specifically about applying to jobs as an openly queer, non-binary-pronoun-using human. I was INCREDIBLY surprised to get interviews, and then campus visits, and then job offers from two tenure-track positions, in the South no less! At one of those visits I got more stress than I wanted around my identity (including students laughing about it), and I’m not entirely sure why I got the offer at all. It was also less of a good fit for me in general. The other position, however, is a DREAM job. Tenure track, teaching, history, studio classes, choreography, graduate-level classes, well-funded, amazing colleagues, good program, enthusiastic students… I could not have asked for more, so in the fall I’ll be moving down south and incredibly happy about it.
I want to highlight that I come from a couple of identities that I’ve been taught to believe make me risk on the job market. My queerness. The fact that I’m an immigrant. The fact that I’m anxious and awkward and my brain gets sick a lot. The fact that I practice broadly rather than as a specialist in one thing. I went into my job applications trying to be open about all those things. I used my pronoun to everyone, I didn’t hide the shape of my chest, I included my public research (where I discuss my identity) on my resume, and I spoke truthfully about my vision for a more egalitarian vision of academia. And I got two tenure-track job offers.
So if you are out there scared, and any of who I am describes you… know that your dreams are possible. I signed an offer letter that’s better than I ever thought I could get as a first job out of grad school. I feel validated in my self and in my professional choices. I am valuable.
So are you.