But, today, I got an email from someone way back in the past, sent to my old “male” email address and made out to my old name.
Perhaps my reply to him can be helpful to you as well, if you worry about how to reconcile a “female present” with a “male past.” I basically wrote:
Thank you for reaching out.
Since you interacted with me last, I’ve changed my name and email address. I’m one of the few strange people who was born with a mix of major gender attributes, and for the first few decades I tried to live as a male and that didn’t work out so well. Turns out the reason is that my brain is basically female. So now I changed all my paperwork, got some surgeries, etc.
My correct name is Aquitania Charbury though I go by Tanya. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please update your records.
I’m attaching a picture too so that you can put a face to the name.
Like being gay was not too long ago, being a t-girl used to be social poison and now it’s almost fashionable. Certainly in the Bay area the culture is more open-minded so I’m glad you’re there. I am normally in the Reno area but I’ve done much Bay area contracting.
Either way I’m an IT professional with lots of dev and DBA experience …”
… and from then on the email focuses on the technical aspects though later on I include a paragraph of …
“Though female and low-key I tend to be very principled and assertive in my own quiet way, and I prefer substance over politics so the best places to place me would be where the culture is basically nice or at least functional. Being female, I tend to do best in female-run environments and worst in environments where much of the dynamic is based on macho chest-beating. I realize that rules out maybe 95% of clients and maybe 80% of Bay area clients.”