lifting heavy things and reprioritizing privacyPosted: August 13, 2013 Filed under: Janitorial work | Tags: genderqueer, janitors, non-binary, privacy, testosterone Leave a comment
I was in Massachusetts last week; I didn’t have internet access! It was pretty great. Back at work yesterday and today, we haven’t been doing a whole lot. We’re in transitional mode – the bulk of summer work is done, and we’re gearing up for the school year. Teachers have been coming in and setting up their rooms, needing things, creating lots of garbage and cardboard to break down. I think next week is going to be busy, but for now, things have been comically slow at times. Like yesterday, my first day back after my vacation, I came in at 6:30am, moved about 3 boxes, and then we went on break until about 8:50am. And I can’t account for that time – I know co-workers were talking that whole time, but I was pretty much in a daze, and it felt like any normal 15-30 minute break.
Then today, we were going to be in the library for a while, cleaning, so I went to go find the radio we’ve been bringing around with us. I looked all over and couldn’t find it. I passed my supervisor in the hall and asked her if she knew where it was. She switched gears and started looking for it; I gave up and went back to the library. She eventually showed up without it. Then my co-worker (who really can find anything we’re missing) went to track it down. He came back and said he found it in a teacher’s classroom, but he couldn’t tell which one was hers and which one was ours. So he didn’t touch them. I then went down to the room to get ours. This all took about an hour. Then we listened to some sweet soft rock, to make our workday fly by. One major facet of our job (especially during summers) is remembering where we last left things that we commonly use. It’s an almost daily occurence that we’ll use a tool and then leave it behind and not need it until the following week and have no idea where we last had it. A lot of mentally retracing steps.
My co-worker has commented more than once this summer about how strong I am – about how I don’t look it, but I can really lift stuff. It’s really nice to hear, and true. I mean, I’ve always gotten right in there to lift heavy things, but I have definitely gained some muscle mass since being on testosterone. It’s the only noticeable physical change going on, and the only one I actually want and feel comfortable with; it’s all working out awesome so far. Also, it’s not noticeable at work to the point where it’s unusual. My uniform shirt is pretty baggy and bulky, so I think his comments are based on the amount I can lift with ease., as opposed to my appearance. It is noticeable outside of work though, like if I wear a tank top or tighter shirt. I’ve noticed some of my shirts feeling tighter / fitting better.
I imagine I’ll write more in depth about this at some point, but for now I just want to note that I am not out at work as non-binary. Nor am I out as trans*. I’m referred to with female pronouns, and I have never seriously considered advocating for that to change. It just feels like it would be draining, beyond belief. I’ve been pathologically private about myself, actually, until very recently when I started forcing myself to talk a little more. And I finally revealed that I have a partner, and that we’ve been living together the whole time all you guys (co-workers and supervisor) have known me (we’re talking like 6 years). But I forgot to drop a pronoun or name during that whole conversation, so I had to later use the word “girlfriend” even though I wouldn’t actually refer to her as such, just to be clear.
I’d been gradually realizing that all this secrecy was working against me and my ability to be an actual person while at work. Since opening up little by little, working relationships have shifted for the better, and I’m feeling significantly more confident and comfortable.