“No No No!!!” These were the words my new boss had scrawled in red ink across my draft memo. After more than a decade as a big-firm lawyer in the area of complex insurance coverage contracts, I was rather shocked to see such a savage display of temper, and even more shocked to think that my writing, always rated rather highly by other employers, merited such treatment. Little had changed over the past decade – not my hard-driving work ethic nor my clear writing style. The explanation seemed obvious to me, though at first I didn’t want to believe it: I was now a woman.
I had transitioned from male to female in 1998, and my new employer neither knew nor suspected that I was transgender. Now I was receiving the condescending treatment that some of my female colleagues had complained about all along.