Trans Eye for the Cis Ally: Ensuring an Inclusive Community

3ac261bc00db481f5af8da3070341694?s=47 Julien
June 08, 2019
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Trans Eye for the Cis Ally: Ensuring an Inclusive Community

Trans and non-binary people are becoming increasingly visible in the workplace, as well as in community spaces such as meetups and conferences. Most managers and event organizers want to be inclusive and welcoming but frequently, in spite of their best intentions, often come up short. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an actual non-binary trans person just tell you what you should be doing and why? VOILA! Allow me to swoop in and fix your interview process, your community event, even your office space! Can you believe? Shamazing!

Related links:

"Managering in Terrible Times" Lara Hogan
https://larahogan.me/blog/being-a-manager-in-terrible-times/

Otter Tech Diversity and Inclusion Consulting
https://otter.technology/

Flying While Trans
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/17/opinion/tsa-transgender.html

TSA Defends Treatment of Transgender Air Traveler
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/us/shadi-petosky-tsa-transgender.html

3ac261bc00db481f5af8da3070341694?s=128

Julien

June 08, 2019
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Transcript

  1. 1.

    TRANS EYE FOR THE CIS ALLY ensuring an inclusive community

    Julien Fitzpatrick @_jbfitz Hey what’s up everybody? Welcome to Trans Eye for the Cis Ally
  2. 2.

    JULIEN - they/them - former cartoonist - software engineer @

    Artemis - powerlifting - dogs - Freddie Mercury - QUEER EYE @_jbfitz my name is Julien, and I use they/them pronouns. I used to be a cartoonist and now I’m a software engineer. I’ve been working as a programmer for the past 4 ½ years or so
  3. 3.

    @_jbfitz I work at Artemis, which is an indoor agriculture

    management platform. We are hiring, of course, so feel free to talk to me later if you’re interested in that!
  4. 8.

    ok but what even is this @_jbfitz So what is

    Queer Eye? before we get into the actual topic of this talk, I do need to give a little bit of background regarding Queer Eye, just so we’re all on the same page. Queer Eye is a show on Netflix that, on its surface, is a makeover show where 5 gay guys take one person each episode,
  5. 10.

    @_jbfitz their FEELINGS. Usually it’s someone who’s had a hard

    time in their life and has struggled in some way and the Fab 5, as they’re called, come together to help them get their whole life together.
  6. 11.

    @_jbfitz Almost every episode of the show ends up being

    pretty emotional, so if you’ve never watched it before and you really want to watch a feel-good kind of tearjerker show, I highly recommend it.
  7. 12.

    @_jbfitz I should also mention before I go on that,

    even though I’m definitely a superfan of the show, I don’t think it’s perfect and there have been a lot of valid critiques of many aspects of the show. So even though I’m not gonna talk about those things right now, I am happy to talk about various critiques of Queer Eye in the hall or on Twitter or whatever, if any of you want to do that later!
  8. 13.

    ok but why are we talking about it @_jbfitz So,

    moving on, what does this have to do with what we’re talking about right now?
  9. 14.

    @_jbfitz This talk is called Trans Eye for the Cis

    Ally, after the title from the original version of Queer Eye, which was “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” I’ve never watched the original so definitely don’t ask me anything about it, I don’t really know that much about it, and it’s honestly pretty different from modern Queer Eye. Anyway.
  10. 15.

    @_jbfitz In this case, I’m the trans eye, and you’re

    probably the cis ally. If you’re here, you’re likely interested in making your workplaces and events more inclusive for trans people, which is awesome!
  11. 16.

    @_jbfitz The truth is, there are so many small things

    (and some larger things) that you can do to not only give your existing trans co-workers and community members a good experience, but also to make sure that even if you don’t currently have any trans co-workers or community members, you’re providing a space and an experience that will be welcoming for us in the future.
  12. 17.

    THE BASICS OF THE BASICS @_jbfitz So let’s start with

    the basics. Not even the basics, but even the basics of the basics.
  13. 18.

    THE BASICS OF THE BASICS What is cis? What is

    trans? @_jbfitz So what is trans? What is cis?
  14. 19.

    WHAT IS TRANS? Not identifying with the gender you were

    assigned at birth @_jbfitz So, the simple answer is that trans means not identifying with the gender you were assigned at birth. That’s it. Not everybody who feels this way ends up identifying with or using the word “trans” to describe themselves, but the word is there if they want to use it! For example, a trans man is someone who was assigned female when he was born and figured out later that he was male. A trans woman is someone who assigned male at birth and then later realized she was female. It’s not super complicated!
  15. 20.

    Identifying with the gender you were assigned at birth WHAT

    IS CIS? @_jbfitz “Cis” means you do identify with the gender you were assigned at birth. This is most people! So, if the doctor said “it’s a boy” when you were born, and you’re a boy, then you’re cis.
  16. 21.

    TRANS ✅ CIS ✅ TRANSGENDER ✅ CISGENDER ✅ TRANSGENDERED CISGENDERED

    ADJECTIVES! @_jbfitz Transgender/trans and cisgender/cis are adjectives. People cannot be “transgendered” or “cisgendered” so if you want to be respectful, please try to use the words correctly.
  17. 22.

    Your gender falls somewhere outside of the typical male/female binary

    WHAT IS NONBINARY? @_jbfitz Non-binary simply means your gender falls somewhere outside of the typical male/female binary.
  18. 23.

    There is no one (or even two or three ways)

    to be nonbinary! There are infinite ways!!! WHAT IS NONBINARY? @_jbfitz There are a few common misconceptions about what “non-binary” means. It doesn’t mean someone who is gender neutral or androgynous. It doesn’t mean someone who was assigned female at birth and leans a little bit masculine. “Non-binary” could mean a million different things. There’s no one way to be non-binary! There’s not even two or three ways! All it means is you don’t fit into the binary.
  19. 24.

    Nonbinary falls under the trans umbrella, but not all nonbinary

    people consider themselves to be trans. WHAT IS NONBINARY? @_jbfitz Technically, the term non-binary falls under the trans umbrella, but some non-binary people don’t consider themselves trans! This is totally fine and if someone tells you they’re non-binary but aren’t trans just accept it! Everyone is different.
  20. 25.

    IT’S OK IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND! @_jbfitz It’s ok if

    you don’t understand! Something really important that cis people often don’t get is that it’s ok for you to not understand trans people in order to respect us and treat us with dignity. I don’t know what it’s like to be cis, or straight, but it doesn’t stop me from being able to respect others. You don’t have to totally understand what it’s like to be someone in order to respect someone.
  21. 26.

    PRONOUNS! EVERYWHERE!! @_jbfitz Pronouns are a perfect example. When someone

    first comes out to you as trans, or if you meet a trans person, they might want you to use different pronouns than you’re used to. You might not understand, because to you they might not look like someone who would use those pronouns, or maybe they want you to use “they/them” pronouns and you’ve never done that before!
  22. 27.

    JUST TRY! @_jbfitz Just try! All you have to do

    is try. You don’t have to “get it.” If you mess up, or if someone else corrects you, just quickly apologize and correct yourself. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Eventually it’ll be second nature.
  23. 28.

    @_jbfitz While we’re talking about pronouns, I should mention just

    as an aside, a person’s pronouns are just a person’s pronouns. My pronouns are they/them. It’s become common for people to say “preferred” pronouns, but only when talking about trans people. Actually, everyone has pronouns and they’re not preferred, they’re just our pronouns.
  24. 29.

    @_jbfitz Also worth mentioning: sometimes people think that using “they/them”

    for everyone is a simple solution to having to remember different pronouns for different people. This is bad! If you have a trans person who is using he/him pronouns and you call him “they” you’re actually still misgendering him! Think of it this way: you have to learn a different name for everyone you know, you can definitely learn pronouns from a set of like, maybe 3 different kinds. Compared to having to learn all those names, it’s pretty easy!
  25. 30.

    @_jbfitz So, now that we’ve discussed some basics, let’s move

    on to the next level and talk about what you can actually do right now to make things better and more welcoming for trans and non-binary people at your company or event or meetup group or what have you.
  26. 31.

    PRONOUNS! AGAIN! @_jbfitz So, back to pronouns. For me, as

    a non-binary person, it’s impossible for someone to guess what my pronouns are just by looking at me, so my life has become a series of awkward situations in which I have to figure out how to tell a person or a few people or a whole room full of people that I use they/them pronouns. This can be the case for binary trans people, too! Just because I have to do it all the time doesn’t mean I’m particularly good at it or that I’m used to it. I kind of hate it!
  27. 32.

    BE PROACTIVE!! <- especially if you’re cis @_jbfitz A really

    simple way to mitigate this is by being proactive and making sure that people are given every opportunity to state their pronouns. At the beginning of every meeting when a new person is introduced, have whoever is running the meeting start by stating their name and pronouns and have all the other employees follow suit. Make it a super normal thing! If you have an employee page on your website, have everyone include their pronouns! This also helps prospective employees know you at least intend to be a trans inclusive space.
  28. 33.

    PRONOUNS AT EVENTS @_jbfitz Same goes for events! Anywhere a

    person’s name is listed, be sure to include their pronouns as well, and always offer pronoun stickers or pins, or have a way people can write their pronouns on their badges large enough that people can actually see them easily (and write yours too, even if you’re cis! Actually, especially if you’re cis, and encourage others to do the same). Anytime someone introduces themselves, make sure pronouns are part of the introduction. This picture is of the pronoun stickers they use at a meetup where I live in Portland, called Donut.js
  29. 34.

    PRONOUNS IN INTERVIEWS @_jbfitz Make sure people know if they’re

    interviewing candidates, to introduce themselves with their name and pronouns and make sure candidates do the same. If your company or your event has a Slack, make sure everyone includes their pronouns either in their profile or their display name. Don’t make it be a thing that only the trans people have to deal with, normalize it for everyone so there’s never any doubt!
  30. 35.

    MISGENDERING AT WORK: WHAT TO DO? @_jbfitz On that note,

    you might want to consider that if you do have a trans employee or co-worker, you might want to ask them directly what, if anything, they want you to do if another employee misgenders them. Don’t assume that everyone is bold enough to correct others, especially if they’re new! By the same token, don’t assume the person wants you to say or do anything! Let it be up to them, but be sure you find out in advance because it will probably happen and it’s best to know the correct response ahead of time.
  31. 36.

    DON’T ASSUME: ASK! @_jbfitz On that note, if you have

    hired a trans person or someone has just come out as trans, and you’re wondering if something is ok, you should not assume. You should ask. For example: you have a non-binary employee and usually, when you go to conferences as a team, everyone shares rooms with same-gendered employees. Don’t assume which person the employee wants to room with! Just ask!
  32. 37.

    BUT SOMETIMES: DON’T ASK!!! @_jbfitz On the other hand, there

    are a TON of things you should NEVER ask. Luckily, this is pretty easy to figure out! If it wouldn’t be ok to ask a cis employee, it’s not okay to ask a trans employee either! Don’t ask if they’ve had “the surgery.” (“the surgery” is not a thing by the way, but that’s a conversation for another day) Don’t ask literally any question that has to do with their body and especially their genitals! Don’t ask invasive medical questions! You might think that this is obvious, but it happens all the time! It’s extremely common as a trans person to have people you barely know casually asking you about what’s in your pants. Don’t do this. It is not appropriate.
  33. 38.

    HEALTH INSURANCE: FIND OUT NOW @_jbfitz Health insurance: don’t wait

    until a trans person is interviewing for a job at your company to find out if you have trans inclusive health insurance! Find out today! Most insurance companies these days have some section in their literature specifically about what is and what is not covered with regard to trans healthcare. Take some time to familiarize yourself with it so when someone asks, you have an answer.
  34. 39.

    BATHROOMS @_jbfitz So, bathrooms come up a lot. You probably

    don’t put much thought into them yourself, but for many trans people it can be a minefield, and I think it’s really important that you know about the extent to which we sometimes fret and worry about them so you can try to do better.
  35. 40.

    BATHROOMS @_jbfitz One of the reasons I love working remote,

    personally, is I never have to think about the drama of using a gendered office bathroom. Even in the best, friendliest scenario I always feel some amount of anxiety. Sometimes I’ve gone out of my way to wait until all the men are out of the office or in a meeting before using the men’s room in an office, especially if I don’t know all of them. On occasion I’ve even left an office to use a gender neutral bathroom at a coffee shop nearby. If I’m at an event, like a conference or a meetup, and I don’t know the bathroom situation ahead of time, I’ll often stop drinking any liquids hours ahead of time even if I’m thirsty, and won’t eat anything before or during the event even if I”m hungry, just to avoid having to use the bathroom while I’m there, UNLESS I know there’s at least one gender neutral restroom available.
  36. 41.

    BATHROOMS: WHAT YOU CAN DO @_jbfitz So what I’m saying

    is, for some trans people (not all of us mind you, but definitely a lot of us), we put a lot more thought into bathrooms than you might think. So what are some ways you can deal with this?
  37. 42.

    SINGLE STALL GENDER NEUTRAL RESTROOMS! @_jbfitz The best case scenario

    is you have single stall gender neutral restrooms. This is the least anxiety inducing bathroom scenario. If you already have single stall bathrooms but they’re gendered, degender them! There’s no reason at all for a single stall bathroom to be gendered.
  38. 43.

    OTHER SOLUTIONS! @_jbfitz Maybe you have a large office or

    event space with bathrooms in several locations. Can you put new signs up on one of them and make it gender neutral? Sometimes events (like this one!) will put up temporary signs over one set of bathrooms to make them gender neutral for one event only. If you do have gender neutral bathrooms but they’re somewhere hard to find, be sure to put up signage by the gendered bathrooms letting people know where to find them.
  39. 44.

    COMPANY EVENTS: DO A LITTLE RECON @_jbfitz It’s also worth

    putting a little thought into the bathroom situation if you’re hosting a company event or offsite. It would be great if whoever puts events together could do even just a little recon on the bathroom situation at the venue in advance so trans people can be prepared in advance if the situation is less than ideal.
  40. 45.

    FRIENDS MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER @_jbfitz And this might be a

    little bit of an unusual tip, and maybe totally unnecessary depending on your company, but personally if I’m in a situation where I have to use gendered bathrooms I like to have a bathroom buddy who will scout the bathroom right before me to tell me if anyone’s in there, if there are any stalls, if there are doors on the stalls, stuff like that. Occasionally I like for my friend to go in with me so I feel safer.
  41. 46.

    FRIENDS MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER @_jbfitz Usually for me this comes

    up in bars that have a lot of like, masculine cis straight men, like sports bars and such. So, I’m not saying you have to do anything huge, but if you already have a pretty good friendship with a trans co- worker and they use the same bathroom as you, it may be worth privately asking them if it would be helpful for you to do this kind of favor for them.
  42. 47.

    NOT EVERYONE WANTS OR NEEDS THIS! @_jbfitz Not everyone will

    want this, and as I said it depends a lot on the kind of relationship you have with your co-worker, but I’ve had friends do this for me and it’s been really helpful. It really sucks to be out at a bar with your coworkers and you feel like you have to leave earlier and miss out on things just because you don’t feel comfortable using the bathroom. In some cases, depending on the event and who’s there, it can also mean missing out on pretty important networking opportunities, so it’s worth keeping all this in mind when planning events or offsites.
  43. 48.

    AIRPORTS! @_jbfitz Speaking of company offsites and events, sometimes you

    might find yourself traveling to and from an airport with a trans co-worker. You probably already know a little about how terrible TSA is but you might not be aware of just how awful the experience can be for some trans people. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot you can personally do about it, but there are ways you can be supportive.
  44. 49.

    AIRPORTS! @_jbfitz You may or may not be aware of

    this, but the scanners they put you through at the airport require the operator to decide over the course of a second or two whether to put you through as male or female. The way the scanner scans your body for bombs or whatever is that it sort of compares your body to what it expects either a “male” or “female” body to look like. For example, before I had top surgery but after I’d been on testosterone a while, I got stopped and frisked every single time for “chest abnormalities.” I still sometimes get flagged and frisked for “groin abnormalities.” I had to get into the habit of stepping into the machine and immediately yelling “I HAVE BOOBS” to the TSA agent who usually looked at my quizzically before running the machine.
  45. 50.

    AIRPORTS! - Stay close by in the security line -

    Be prepared to serve as a witness - Consider having your phone ready to record - Be prepared to ask your co-worker if they want you to accompany them @_jbfitz So, sometimes, literally depending on the mood of the TSA agent and how transphobic they are, this can go extremely poorly and can result in a really humiliating experience if you’re trans. If you’re the cis person in this situation, you don’t have to do a lot, but just make sure you’re close by in the security line and pay attention to how the TSA is treating your co-worker. Be prepared to serve as a witness if things go badly. Consider having your phone ready to record if something really bad goes down and you need proof. If the TSA tries to move your co-worker to a different location, be ready to step in and ask your co-worker if they want you to follow.
  46. 51.

    AIRPORTS! Most of the time it’s fine, this is just

    worst-case scenario preparation! @_jbfitz Most of the time, it’s fine, maybe awkward at worst, but things can and do go very wrong for trans people moving through TSA and it’s good to be prepared in case this happens to your co-worker. Speaking from experience, being traumatized by TSA is a pretty terrible way to start a work trip.
  47. 52.

    AIRPORTS! Flying While Trans https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/17/opinion/tsa- transgender.html TSA Defends Treatment of

    Transgender Air Traveler https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/us/shadi-petosky-tsa- transgender.html @_jbfitz If you want to learn more about what it’s like the fly while trans, there was a great article in the NY Times recently called “Flying While Trans” that I invite you to read, as well as a piece that is referenced in that one about a specific extremely bad experience one trans woman went through.
  48. 53.

    WORKING REMOTE @_jbfitz One thing you might not have considered

    or realized is how much more trans friendly your workplace becomes when you allow people to work remote. Even if you have a primarily IRL office, if you allow people to work remote as much or as little as they’d like (caveat: WITHOUT having to necessarily explain why, just “I’m working remote today” or “I’ll be working remote this week”) you end up unintentionally solving a lot of common issues trans people face in the workplace. Bathroom issues are solved, yes, but there are other less obvious things.
  49. 54.

    WORKING REMOTE HELPS MANAGE DYSPHORIA @_jbfitz Some trans people can

    have days or weeks or even months where their dysphoria is really bad. (If you don’t know what gender dysphoria is, I encourage you to look it up, it’s kind of hard to explain but it can be very debilitating) When that happens, it’s often far easier to work remote than have to manage their dysphoria in an office setting where there could be a thousand different triggers. I don’t personally experience that much dysphoria anymore, but for example when I used to have to wear a binder, there were days when the way my clothes fit me over the binder would be a huge dysphoria trigger. On one occasion, I had a panic attack at an event because of this and I had to go home.
  50. 55.

    WORKING REMOTE HELPS MANAGE DYSPHORIA @_jbfitz Other times, I had

    to wear a binder that was uncomfortable and restricted my breathing or made my chest hurt and if I had to go into the office and then to a meetup after work or something, I’d be wearing it far longer than the maximum recommended 8 hours and I’d end up having breathing problems and my ribs would be in pain for days afterward. But, if I was working remote, I wouldn’t have to put the binder on at all until I left to go to the event, which saved me from a lot of unnecessary pain and discomfort. This is just one obviously personal example, but there are a lot of different situations where the ability to work remotely creates a much more trans friendly workplace kind of by default, and it’s worth considering.
  51. 56.

    WHEN THE NEWS MAKES YOU STRUGGS TO FUNC @_jbfitz “struggs

    to func” means “struggle to function.” This is something that really goes for any marginalized group. You might not be aware of it but these days trans people’s rights are on the line, almost constantly. We’ve become a popular target of public discussion in the news and a large variety of other media. If you’re trans, it’s almost impossible to ignore and it can be extremely hard to deal with. I’ve had days where I could barely function because I read something about how the Supreme Court is about to decide whether I should be protected from discrimination in the workplace. There’s also been discussion recently about rolling back a lot of healthcare protections that would make it so trans people can be refused medical care, even if it’s not related to their transition. This is terrifying and it’s hard to not let this kind of news affect you when it has to do with your day to day life, especially when it sometimes feels like no one else even cares that your life is on the line. So, what can you do?
  52. 57.

    WHAT YOU CAN DO “MANAGERING IN TERRIBLE TIMES” by Lara

    Hogan https://larahogan.me/blog/being-a-manager-in-terrible-times/ Show support publicly online (Twitter, blog, etc.) Show support in the office (little things like flags are good) @_jbfitz I strongly recommend reading a blog post by Laura Hogan from 2017 called “Managering in Terrible Times” that talks a lot about this and makes a lot of wonderful suggestions. (https://larahogan.me/blog/being-a-manager-in-terrible-times/) Personally, I at least like to see some kind of public show of support from my co-workers. Even just seeing them tweet support is great. At my last job, during Pride, my boss put a bunch of little trans flags around the office (including right on the front door), which was awesome and kind of subtle and a pretty small thing but it made a big impact for me.
  53. 58.

    WOMEN’S EVENTS AND INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE “WOMEN AND NONBINARY” “WOMEN AND

    FEMMES” “WOMXN” @_jbfitz So, in recent years I’ve noticed a trend among meetups and conferences and other events or groups that were formerly for Women in Tech that have been attempting to re-name themselves to be more inclusive. Unfortunately, it often seems like they’re not really sure who they’re trying to be inclusive OF, so they end up naming their groups things like “women and nonbinary” or “women and femmes” or the confusing and really not good in any way for anyone, “womxn.” Usually, but not always, this is truly a well-meaning attempt by event organizers to be inclusive of trans women, possibly inclusive of non-binary people, and maybe but probably not trans men.
  54. 59.

    “WOMEN AND NONBINARY” “WOMEN AND FEMMES” “WOMXN” # WOMEN’S EVENTS

    AND INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE @_jbfitz I think there’s a lot of confusion right now among cis event planners regarding who they actually want to be inclusive of, and what the best wording for the event actually is based on who they really want to include. If you’re already confused, I don’t blame you. It’s a bit of a cluster fuss.
  55. 60.

    WOMEN’S EVENTS AND INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE @_jbfitz So let’s break this

    whole thing down from the beginning so we can figure out what’s wrong with most people’s current approaches and see how we can do it properly.
  56. 61.

    WOMEN’S EVENTS AND INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE IT MAKES SENSE FOR WOMEN

    IN TECH TO ORGANIZE! IT STILL MAKES SENSE! @_jbfitz First of all, I’m going to assume that whatever event or group we’re talking about, it probably began as something for women because women are an underrepresented gender in tech. Many women experience misogyny and discrimination in their workplaces and in many tech spaces. Many women were also raised to conform to some particular personality traits, like not rocking the boat, not speaking up, not being pushy, etc. and that can affect their careers in pretty big ways. This is a male dominated field and as most men are raised to be the opposite of all the traits I just described, that means it can be exceptionally hard for women to forge a path. So it makes sense that over the years, groups and events have popped up so women in tech can organize, commiserate, and network, among other things, in a safer space.
  57. 62.

    WOMEN’S EVENTS AND INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE WOMEN’S EVENTS AND INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE

    Women’s spaces want to be inclusive of trans women (which is great) Women’s spaces are becoming aware of non-binary genders largely because current members come out as non-binary The group doesn’t want to exclude anyone who was already there @_jbfitz In recent years though, women’s spaces (which were formerly mostly actually cis women’s spaces) have become aware that they should be more inclusive to trans women, which is great because trans women are women and it should be obvious that if something is for women, it should also be for trans women. As people have become more aware of the existence of trans women and their collective need to be a recognized and accepted part of women’s spaces, they’ve also become aware of other marginalized genders, most notably non-binary people. Usually, though, women’s spaces first become aware of non-binary people because someone in the group who formerly identified as a woman comes out as non-binary, and the group doesn’t want to exclude that person, so they start calling themselves “women and non-binary” or the more inscrutable “women and femmes."
  58. 63.

    WOMEN’S EVENTS AND INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE WOMEN’S EVENTS AND INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE

    - Non-binary means a LOT of different things - “Femme” also means a LOT of different things - Trans men are completely excluded @_jbfitz This is where we start getting into issues. Non-binary means a LOT of different things. “Femme” also means a lot of different things. So the messaging with both of these can be really confusing. There are non-binary people who were assigned male at birth and who don’t consider themselves “femme.” There are people like me who were assigned female at birth but took testosterone and now, for lack of a better turn of phrase “look like men” to most people. Even though we’re all non-binary, a lot of us wouldn’t feel comfortable going to an event called “women and nonbinary” or “women and femmes.” Not to mention, trans men (who are an often completely ignored or forgotten marginalized group who sometimes have experienced many or all of the same or similar problems as women in tech) are completely excluded.
  59. 64.

    WOMEN’S EVENTS AND INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE SO WHAT SHOULD YOU CALL

    IT??? @_jbfitz So if this is you, what SHOULD you call your group or event?
  60. 65.

    - No obligation to include other genders - Think CRITICALLY

    about the mission for the group - Who are you including? Who are you excluding? - Give serious consideration to explicitly including trans men WOMEN’S EVENTS AND INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE SO WHAT SHOULD YOU CALL IT??? @_jbfitz First of all, I just want to get this out of the way, it’s absolutely fine and ok and good to have something that’s just for women. You are under no obligation to include more marginalized genders. All I ask is that you think about the mission for the group and think critically about who you are including, who you are excluding, and why. I especially ask that you give serious consideration to why you are excluding trans men (because you probably are).
  61. 66.

    - Most likely you really mean “no cis men” -

    If so, consider changing the name and/or mission of your group accordingly WOMEN’S EVENTS AND INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE SO WHAT SHOULD YOU CALL IT??? @_jbfitz Most, but not all of the time, these groups and events actually mean to include everyone who isn’t a cis man. This would include everyone who was assigned female at birth, everyone assigned male at birth who doesn’t identify as a man (which includes many non-binary people and of course trans women), and some intersex people. If you’ve taken a long time to think about the mission of your group or event and decided that yes, you do want to include all marginalized genders (not just trans and cis women), then I strongly recommend you consider changing the name and/or mission of your group or event accordingly.
  62. 67.

    - “Marginalized genders” - Avoids describing in opposition to something

    (“no cis men”) - Describes who it is FOR - Can always put an asterisk with a full description at the bottom WOMEN’S EVENTS AND INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE SO WHAT SHOULD YOU CALL IT??? @_jbfitz My first suggestion is to use the phrase “marginalized genders” to describe it. This avoids describing your group in opposition to something (“not cis men”) and instead describes who it is FOR. You can always put an asterisk next to the name and at the bottom be more descriptive, or just put “not cis men” in that space. Otherwise, be sure your naming accurately describes who the group is for,
  63. 68.

    Otter Tech Diversity and Inclusion Consulting https://otter.technology/ WOMEN’S EVENTS AND

    INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE YOU CAN PAY SOMEONE TO HELP! @_jbfitz and if you have any doubts, there are consultancies such as Otter Tech Diversity and Inclusion Consulting (https://otter.technology/) that can help you figure this stuff out.
  64. 69.

    - Don’t look up trans people! - This can be

    anywhere from just uncomfortable to actually extremely devastating - If you’ve never known my birth name it’s kind of special for me WOMEN’S EVENTS AND INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE MISCELLANEOUS TIP! @_jbfitz Finally, I have a miscellaneous tip that didn’t quite fit anywhere else and that is: don’t look up trans people. This happened to me when I playfully teased in a meeting that I had published work under a different name so no one would ever find it, and one of my co-workers actually went and found it. Fortunately he messaged me privately about it but it would have been extremely devastating for me if he had posted about it in any of the company wide channels. It made me uncomfortable that he knew my old name but at least no one else knew. Please please please don’t underestimate the devastating power that someone’s birth name can have, especially if there are a lot of people around, like in an open office or a company wide Slack channel. Personally, the more people I meet and get to know who never knew my birth name are a really special gift. I know they’ll never mess up and call me the wrong name and it feels great to know that someone has only ever known me as the person I want to be known as. So please, think twice before googling a trans co-worker, especially with other people around. It can have seriously devastating unintended consequences.
  65. 70.

    DON’T WAIT! GET IT RIGHT ~TODAY~ @_jbfitz In closing, I

    just want to reiterate that everything I mentioned are things you should be thinking about today. Don’t wait until you’re interviewing or hiring a trans person to start worrying about this stuff, not only because you want to be prepared for the future but also because you might have a closeted trans person working with you right now. You also might have a stealth trans person working with you and they would like to be out but aren’t sure if they can be, at your company. One of the biggest reasons I ended up at my current employer, Artemis, was because they were already doing a lot of this stuff so I knew it would be a good fit for me.
  66. 71.

    COME FIND ME!!! @_jbfitz I’m also happy to speak in

    more detail about any of this stuff after the talk, so feel free to come find me in the hallway, or tweet at me! There were some things I didn’t really get to speak in as much detail as I would’ve liked so I’m happy to talk more. If you have a more complex concern I’ll probably refer you to a consultancy that specializes in this kind of thing, but for most basic questions I’m happy to discuss it! And of course, I don’t represent all trans people, so if an individual tells you something that differs from what I said, please respect that person’s wishes.
  67. 72.

    @_jbfitz Last but not least, I feel bad that of

    all my Queer Eye gifs, Bobby has been unrepresented, so here’s one of very few Bobby gifs I was able to find. Hopefully you can see why I was unable to find a place for it.
  68. 73.

    THANK YOU! Julien Fitzpatrick @_jbfitz Again I’m Julien, @_jbfitz on

    Twitter, I welcome your thoughtful DMs. I’m also always looking to build community with my fellow trans and non-binary tech workers so feel free to just say hi! Anyway thank you so much!