Farewell and Welcome Home
Python in Two Genders
The opinions and life described are my own.
I make no other warranties, either expressed or implied
It is revolutionary for any trans person
to choose to be seen and visible
in a world that tells us we should not exist.
When I was born in a small town in Nebraska
the doctor declared, “it’s a boy!”
He was wrong.
I was transgender
sometime before I was born
my brain chemistry/structure had been set to female
I didn't really understand at first,
but eventually I learned about
I decided that I could not let this be me...
(we will never, ever speak of this image again)
I struggled to fit in as boy, so I was a geeky kid
I made telescopes
that was very odd…
Many years passed...
Open Source Software
I started a LUG
I learned Python
(we will never speak of this image
I became involved in the Python community
Life was good...
But I was still transgender
It was with me every hour of every day.
I came to think that death was my only way out...
but I wasn’t dying fast enough.
The only other option…
was to embrace my truth
But transition meant giving up
the community, the talks, PyCon, and the rest
that made me sad
but I had to move forward
Then I started to think...
how could I stay in the community?
what if I transitioned openly?
There were codes of conduct
people seemed supportive
I decided to take the chance
to transition as openly as possible
I spoke, I taught, I went to PyCon…
and it was all good
the summit went well
people were supportive
the more open I was, the easier it was
(for others as well as myself)
The community’s commitment to diversity is real
So everything’s rainbows and unicorns, right?
I don’t think we get a cookie...
I am (almost always) the only (openly)
trans person in the room
I am not “real”
I have become a thing, a curiosity
People are sometimes embarrassed to be seen with me
I have lost friends, family, a career
My life, my experiences, my emotions
are often the punchline of a joke
Most states won’t protect my right to work,
enter a store, go to the bathroom, or get medical care
I’m much more likely to
be beaten up… or worse
This is the price I pay to be who I am.
I wouldn’t change if I could.
I have seen things others haven’t
as both male and female,
as both privileged and marginalized.
I’ve come to know other women in tech
scary smart women
women who aren't always recognized
women who don't always feel welcome
women who don't always feel safe
I was a newcomer in a world I thought I knew
I am now often the only woman in the room
I am now “invisible”
I am now ALWAYS judged by my appearance
I can no longer assume personal security
Double standards are now the norm:
as a woman I’m simultaneously “too nice” and
I’ve learned what it means
to be marginalized.
If you're marginalized...
Accommodations for you are “special” and “extra”
You're never quite sure you’re welcome
If you object to (or even just report) something, you are:
“angry” and hurting “your own cause”
“bullying” or starting a “witch hunt”
“asking for it”
In the business world
there is a “business case” for diversity:
diverse groups solve problems better
skilled team members are precious
In the open source (and Python) community
shouldn’t the same business case hold?
Doesn’t “Open” imply inclusion and diversity?
So what do “we” want/need?
Understand that everyone’s different
Codes of Conduct matter
Safe spaces matter
“Open”, “Fair”, and “Inclusive”
should be true for
(and please buy my book - http://manning.com/ceder)