Monday, January 11, 2010

The View From My Kitchen Window

Greetings Ducks, from the home office! Which isn't even really an office, but it is in my home. My kitchen, actually: space here in The Great American Metropolis is at a premium, let me tell you!

Lately it has become an actual office of sorts, because of that gig I mentioned last week, which I do from the comfort of home. Well, relative comfort: while I'm no longer unemployed, I am underemployed; I need to do about 50 hours a week at my current rate to make my monthly expenses. I'm not really complaining...well, I am a bit, because this is way below my former rate, alas.

That's the economy, folks.

I do have a view from my window, of sorts--it's on the air shaft between my building and the one next door. Now, this was supposed to be an improvement, way back in the 19th century, over just having buildings cheek-by-jowl; but the reality is that they don't help all that much. The shafts let in almost no light (in the spring, I sometimes get some light in through the shaft in the afternoon) and they have no draw whatsoever, so you don't get much in the way of cross-ventilation. And my view is a brick wall.

Still, it's nice to have an office with a window.

Working from home doesn't particularly bother me--writer, remember?--though it is a drag to be chained to my chair all day long without being able to run out for a while (I'm on a timeclock, and I'd have to punch out if I was up from my keyboard for too long.) It's a bit ironic that I should end up with this gig, though (and not just because my brother used to work for them, something I didn't know until I applied for the job.) Ironic because a lot of trans people end up either wanting a job like this, or having to take a job like this because it's the only job they can safely do.

Trans folks come in all shapes and sizes; and sometimes those shapes, for whatever reason (most often because the person is still in the middle of transition), are harder for cis people to "peg" as one gender or another. This causes enormous discomfort on the part of the cis person (see unboxedqueer's groovy post about this today at Below the Belt), which they immediately pass along to the trans person. Because, that's like the totally fair thing to do, right? I mean, it's the freak's, I mean, your problem, right? Right?


So a lot of trans people have to look for work that doesn't involve interaction with other poeple. (And yeah, the phone often counts, if you're MtF--phone voice is the hardest voice to manage.) I'm fortunate enough to have a skill that lets' me do this and still survive; many other folks aren't. But it must be their fault, right?


Back around Halloween a lot of folks like this Onion bit about finding costumes for your effeminate boy. I wasn't one of them, though--to me, the bit ultimately felt pretty cruel and lost the point of laughing at the bigoted announcers in favor of indulging in some cruelty towards the kids. You know, like...holding people up to your own standards of gender presentation? Which never ever hurts anybody, or makes it hard for them to get a job? Yeah. I much preferred this SNL bit instead:

Until you come around.

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