Looking Forward

Looking Forward

What a busy month or so it’s been; I’ve come a very long way in a very short time. I just moved up to the Lehigh Valley for a new position as a website designer at a small local company, and I cannot even begin to express how positive of a change this new start has had on my life. I truly enjoy my job, my new apartment is absolutely gorgeous, and I’ve even started making some very good friends in the area. Given how long it has been since I really contributed to this blog, and since so much has changed, I wanted to do something of an introduction/get to know me post.
My name is Ashley and I am a 24 year old transgender woman. I identify as female, and I express as female (two distinct characteristics). As far as my orientation, it shifts somewhere between lesbian, bisexual, and pansexual, depending on the day. I am not closeted; I am very out about being a queer transgendered person. That being said, in the past few months, I’ve learned a lot about when it is appropriate to explicitly come out or to stay quiet and let people think what they will. If someone specifically asks a question though, I have no problem answering. I’m fortunate enough to work for a company that respects and values my decision, and I do not have to worry about being out at work.
I started hormones in the fall of 2009, just a few weeks after becoming the president of my college’s GSA. Over the next year, I became very involved in queer activism and advancing rights and acceptance of LGBTQIA individuals on my campus. While it was incredibly challenging to participate in over a dozen groups and university committees on top of being a full time student and working 20 hours a week, I thrived and was able to make significant change on campus and in the immediate surroundings, with the help, support, and guidance of several amazing people. Just a few of the most significant changes at my university include the establishment of an LGBTQIA committee made up of administrators, faculty, and students, several awards being presented to the GSA or to myself, and a new standard ensuring a gender neutral bathroom included in any major building renovations or new buildings that are constructed on campus.
Since graduation, I’ve shifted my focus to my career as a website developer. I’ve found that website design allows me a unique way to combine my creativity with my technical skills. Very recently I have come to the realization that I can even use website design as another tool in activism. Because of my experience, I can help small groups get a website up and running, improve an existing site, or help come up with creative solutions using technology to answer some of the consistant issues in activism, such as educating people in the entire alphabet soup without overwhelming them.

The past year has been a chaotic whirlwind of trials, growth, and change. Now that things are finally starting to settle down, I want to gradually get back into activism. Updating this blog is just the first step of many to come.

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