On trans joy in the workplace (plus, an exciting opportunity for early-career TJA members)

Hello TJA friends,

My name is Xan Dorsey (He/They) and I am a digital content producer at 13WMAZ in Macon, GA.

I came out at work as a non-binary trans man about a month ago! It has been a wonderful journey and my co-workers have been so supportive of me. One thing that has been difficult for me is figuring out how to dress in a way that is true to my gender, comfortable and professional. I am also a plus size person and my options were already limited from the start.

So, how do we start to dress in a way that is true to who we are?

Gender expression can be hard as a non-binary person because my gender is so fluid from day to day and not every item feels right for every moment. I have so much insecurity about people seeing me as my gender that I sometimes forget that transness is about joy.

It is this joy that leads me to want to try new things and be brave. You deserve that too!

I remind myself that I have time to look the way I want. I am choosing to think of this piece of my transition journey as my own personal play area.

I get to decide how I look. I wear the clothes, they don’t wear me.

What you wear not only protects you from the elements but it also is one of the first ways people get a sense of your personality and, in my opinion, a piece of your heart. But, if you’re like me and your heart gives you 50 million different messages everyday…it can be hard to sort through it all.

At the moment, I am trying to be comfortable. I am giving myself the grace to understand that clothes cost money that I don’t have right now as a local news journalist. While clothing is an important part of my transition goals, like all things, it will take time.

I know when I walk into my newsroom, I feel most comfortable in a large cardigan that makes me feel like a main male love interest in an anime or in my favorite skirt and tights that make me feel like I stepped out of my favorite romance novel. What I am really saying is my gender expression is the same as a romance protagonist. My anime boy cardigan is a workplace favorite.

Fashion is vulnerable and it can be scary. I am lucky to work in a newsroom that does not have a super strict dress code. My space for exploration is wide.

If that is not the newsroom you have, I suggest experimenting with color, shape and accessories. In fashion, everything counts, especially the small things.

Give yourself the patience, grace and time to be vulnerable.

The world is wide, beautiful and full of opportunities to be fabulous!

Keep it cute and make it happen,

Alexandria “Xan” Dorsey (He/They)

In other news:

The Trans Journalists Association and Insider Inc. are excited to announce the TJA-Insider Inc. Fellowship! This six-month fellowship program will give early-career journalists hands-on experience working in Insider’s fast-paced digital newsroom of nearly 600 journalists. Fellows will work 40 hours a week across Insider content verticals including health, digital culture, politics, entertainment, and more. The TJA fellow will be assigned a mentor responsible for overseeing the fellow’s career development during the program. Insider will also provide the fellow with workshops to hone their skills and overall professional development.

The TJA Fellow will receive $20/hr as well as a monthly stipend of $1,000. Fellows are eligible for medical, dental, and vision insurance on their 91st day of employment. Fellows will graduate from the TJA-Insider Inc. Fellowship Program ready to enter the industry with a full-time position.

The fellowship will run for six months starting in January and June - July of each year. Potential candidates can learn more about the program and apply on Insider’s website.

Noteworthy reads:

Inside the secret working group that helped push anti-trans laws across the country
Leaked emails give a glimpse of the religious-right networks behind transgender healthcare bans.
Do You Think “Too Many Kids Are Transitioning”? Here’s the Reality.
There’s an empirical argument for affirmative health care.
How Journalists Can Responsibly Report on Trans Kids
Trans kids are more than a topic to debate — they’re humans. Here’s how journalists can do better when covering their medical care.
Opinion | If You Read the G.O.P.’s Anti-Trans Policies, You’ll See What It Really Wants
Gillian Branstetter of the A.C.L.U. explains the Republican Party’s aggressive, wide-ranging push to restrict transgender freedoms.

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