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
- 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.
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).
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
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
In short, we’re together, we’re supporting each other, and we’re a
Erin is amazing.
- What about your job?
- It’s great! Thanks for asking. I’m fortunate enough to work for 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.