Copeland, Ari

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  • Publication
    Gender in the Water Industry One Man of Transgender Experience’s Story
    (2022-04-30) Copeland, Ari
    is a complex topic Most people often confuse gender and sex; Most folks don’t realize that there are at least 57 genders and gender is a spectrum Some people within our workplace and the water industry don’t identify as a man or a woman, and/or their gender is more fluid (gender-expansive. In our day-to-day interactions with others, we often assume someone’s gender based on their appearance, mannerisms, and other social cues that vary depending on the culture Additionally, assuming everyone fits into the gender binary (just men and women is often-times a barrier to being inclusive and making people feel safe and valued People who don’t fit into the gender binary are often referred to as transgender. The term “transgender” is an umbrella term that includes a lot of people who are binary but feel their gender is not in alignment with the sex they were assigned at birth; It also includes folks who do not identify as a man or woman or their gender is fluid (often called gender-expansive or gender non-binary. Some trans people do medical transition while others do not. Trans is a Latin prefix that means “across,” and Cis means “same ” Someone whose gender aligns with their gender and sex assigned at birth would be referred to as cisgender For example, I am a man of transgender experience (also a transgender man or transman). I was assigned female at birth but transitioned to male during the course of my life I have spent a little more than half my career being perceived as male People often assume I am a cisgender man, go by male pronouns, and am straight because of my appearance, I have a long beard and stocky build – very masculine appearance. My gender identity is male; however, I have many interests and behaviors that do not align with the norm of what people assume are male. I don’t enjoy sports, and I often talk with inflection in my voice (my voice goes up and down when I talk – largely because women are taught to speak in that fashion. Based on what I look like, people often assume I am straight. A lot of people often wonder why does this matter in the workplace This article will discuss my past and current experience working in the water industry, as well as some information to help readers foster inclusive behaviors