Frequently Asked Questions

Ray, pretend for a moment that I don’t know anything about metallurgy, engineering, or physics, and just tell me what the hell is going on.
I’m transgender.
Holy shit, really?
Yeah, really.
I have no idea what you’re talking about.

That’s cool. If you’re not yet in the loop on trans stuff, here’s a good, general FAQ. It explains the basics way better than I can. Go ahead and read it—this page will still be here when you’re ready.

How long have you known?
For a really long time. Maybe ask me for the longer version of the story next time we see each other. I hope you don’t mind if I don’t want to go into too much detail, though.
OK. What should I call you?

Call me Tess. For pronouns, she and her.

I'm keeping hober as my username on most things.

Why “Tess?”

My family is really important to me. I wanted a name that reflected that, and I wanted to pick something that wasn’t too big of a change.

Three of my four grandparents died when I was little but the fourth, my paternal grandmother, lived until I was twenty-five. She was a huge part of my life. Her name was Theresa (though we grandkids all called her Nina).

There are a bunch of common nicknames for Theresa. I like Tess a lot. Hopefully you’ll find it easy to make the switch.

I’ve known you for a long time. What name and pronouns should I use when referring you pre-transition?
I get this question a lot. It’s not something that I want to have an idiosyncratic preference on—we need to have a simple and clear cultural norm—and the one that’s emerged over the last several years is to always use someone’s current name and gender, even when referring to their time pre-transition.
Hold up. You’re married. How’s Erin taking this?

We’re together, we’re supporting each other, and we’re a team.

Erin is amazing.

What about your job?
It’s great! I’m fortunate enough to work for a company that’s scored a perfect 100% on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for something like fifteen years running.
What kind of time frame are we talking here?
Transitioning involves many factors and doesn’t happen overnight—it’s a continuous process that doesn’t really ever end. That said, I started hormone replacement therapy in 2015.
Oops, I got your name or pronouns wrong.

You’ll screw up sometimes. So do I. Don’t stress about it too much but please do make an effort. (It’s obvious when you aren’t even trying.)