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Since I’ve been looking for a new job, one of the things I’ve been absolutely terrified of is being clocked during a job interview. Of course no one in their right mind would say anything to me, but I’m always worried that during a hiring deliberation someone would say something like “I kind of like the girl with the Adam’s Apple, but I’m afraid she could take me down with a flying tackle.”

Since I lost my job, I don’t have a retirement account to rollover my 401(k) account, so I’ve got some money in my savings and it’s burning a hole in my proverbial pocket. One of my friends suggested using the money to get a trach shave done since it would help so much with my passability, to say nothing of helping with my self-confidence during the interview process.

After giving the idea a fair shake, I booked a date in June with Dr. Ousterhout in San Francisco to do the cartilage reduction– I’ll be laid up for about a week with a minor sore throat, but that’s a small price (and so is the $4K) for the boost to my self-confidence.

I’ve also started the second week of work at a temp job that I landed– I think I got lucky with this job since it takes the financial pressure off and gives me a place to earn some money while I re-coup from surgery. Unfortunately, it is only a temporary position and I’m not holding my breath that it will turn into something permanent. Right now, the best case appears to be that I’d be able to extend out my contract, but I still wouldn’t earn vacation time or a key card that gets me into the company’s fitness center (yes, they have a fitness center and it kills me that I can’t do yoga classes every day just because I’m a temp).

I’m not out to anyone at the new job and no one has asked about anything, but of course I’m still terrified. I feel like an impostor when I go into the ladies’ room, but where else would I go? On one hand, it’s terribly witty that the men’s room is labeled “XY” and the women’s is “XX”, but I’m also reminded of the fact that I don’t fit in every time I have to pee. I wonder if I’m being too hard on myself, or if I just have trouble adjusting to being an out outsider.

Being part of the in-group has always been important to me, so much so that I pretended that I was a normal guy for most of my life. But the biggest fear that I have at the moment, more than being outed at work, is that I’m putting too much hope in the surgery basket, whether that’s a trach shave or GRS. Surgery will change how I look, how I feel, but it’s not going to change how I see myself, I think, and I have to figure out a way how to do the latter regardless of the former. Surgery is only a tool, not the solution. The solution is really the answer to a completely different prayer– that I need to be happy with who I am, the way I am, and to realize that I couldn’t be me if things were any different than they are. This realization is only the first step. Lately, it seems that actually putting it into practice is the thing I’ve been struggling with the most.