Choices I Never Thought I’d Need to Make

I just ran into an “interesting” quandary.  I’ve been updating my LinkedIn profile, working hard to get this job search off top dead center, and now I need to decide how to handle recommendations that were written for my former male self.  All the recommendations are written with my male name and with male pronouns but my LinkedIn account is written for Denise. These are recommendations that I earned because I do a good job on time and that should have nothing to do with my transition to an authentic self.

I can see where a number of people have accessed my profile over the last few months.  How shall I account for my obvious name change?  Should I even try?  Should I return to previous clients/customers, some of whom don’t know of my transition and that I don’t really care to come out to, and ask them to either edit the original recommendation for name and pronoun or allow me to edit the original recommendation?  Is it ethical for me to just edit the recommendation myself for name and pronoun?  And just how much difference is this making in a prospective job environment where I’ve sensed some measure of de facto discrimination even when state law prohibits discrimination based on gender identity?

I never thought I’d need to deal with such questions.  I can’t think of anybody other than trans people who ever need to ask such questions.  Such is the terra incognita of life as a person outside the perceived gender binary.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Roxie
    May 08, 2012 @ 16:22:17

    I don’t think you need to ask people’s permission to make the changes you are concerned about since these are “your” letters of recommendation they belong to you. Your performance has nothing to do with your name, gender etc. so as long as you don’t change the content as it relates to your job performance I can’t see where there would be a problem. The snafu might arise if these individuals were contacted and had no idea of the changes you have made in your life. They would have no idea who in inquiry was for. Just a thought. Give me a call when you can i have some additional news to share with you.

    Reply

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