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, and I’m in the process of transitioning.
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 general FAQ on the topic. 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.
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, and I wanted a name that reflected that. My previous name contains several family names. And I also 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, and 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.

It’s OK if you screw up my name or pronouns sometimes; so do I.

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. The norm that has emerged over the last several years is to always use someone’s current name and gender, even when referring to their time pre-transition.
But, but, you’re married. How’s Erin taking this?

Shouldn’t you be asking her? (Please do! She’s happy to talk about it.)

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

Erin is amazing.

What about your job?
It’s great! Thanks for asking. 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 the summer of 2015.