Many moons ago I worked at a company that made video games. I started as their QA Automation manager and got fed up and changed to the ops team as they needed a Linux admin and I was pretty handy with Linux. There was a guy on my team who was pretty solidly every New England dudebro stereotype just rolled up into one. Always the hat, the crass jokes, the love of the Sox and the Pats, etc. He was unhappy though. When you spend a lot of your life unhappy you learn to spot your own.

Anyway, years later I saw a photo and they now had a new name, and long hair, a dress, and a smile. She looked so happy wearing “she” and even though we weren’t really all that close I was genuinely happy for her. I think that’s maybe when I first started including “he/him” in all my online profiles. The idea that one is “normal” and the other isn’t…I don’t think I care for that very much. I think maybe some folks who are less compassionate maybe see it as performative.

I just see it as a nod in the direction of other folks who are human, acknowledging that we’re all human and that when you roll up all the possible permutations of that, it’s the only normalcy to be found. I don’t think I’m particularly performative, I just try to be kind.

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