Being A Trans Person in Academia

[This is Part 0 of a series.  Here is Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4]

Hi there! If you have ever read this blog you might know that I am the person behind Biostatistics Ryan Gosling, or you might have followed along for my research on social networks (which sometimes involves chimpanzees) or that I like to try new things with R, or that I enjoy ceramics.  Hi to all of you!

Also, FYI, I am trans.  This is not a new thing, but I guess it is new to my blog.  I have a lot of experience being trans.  It is something that I live in every moment of every day, and I have been doing this for some time.  As a little proof (sometimes people that I come out to try to tell me that I am not trans which is really confusing to me) here is a very grainy picture of me in 2004 at the first San Francisco Trans March holding the “Trans & Proud” sign.  Sadly you can’t tell from this picture that I had a very full head of lustrous wavy brown hair, but that too is real even if it is not pictured.

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It is a little rough to be a trans person these days, but what else is new?  One way I think I can be helpful is to try to share what I have learned along my path so far.  I am going to start sharing some of my experiences as a trans person in academia on this blog.  What experiences? Well, I have applied to graduate school as a trans person and gotten in and also not gotten in.  I did that many times as I now have two masters degrees and a PhD.  I have applied to many academic jobs, and been a visiting assistant professor, and then an assistant professor on the tenure track (twice).  I have published papers, been a Co-I on NIH funded R01s, presented at conferences, and advised students.  All while being trans!  Sometimes being trans didn’t make any difference, other times it really did.  Some times I couldn’t tell if I was having a hard time because I was trans or just because academia is hard.

I am going to revive this dormant blog to tell my academic trans story so that other trans people can hopefully have an easier time.  If you are not trans, feel free to read this as well and perhaps benefit from it, but know that I am not writing this for you 🙂

Stay tuned for my first installment in which I will write about my first time applying to graduate school as a male-identified person who went to a women’s college for undergrad!

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