I am tired of being angry and writing about hate and politics.
All my life I hid, no one knew the real me, I kept it so far hiding that no one had a clue until one day…
At work back in the late 90s we got this newfangled thing called an IBM PC (All you Mac fans out there in business it was all IBM pcs because businesses had Mainframe. IBM PCs worked with mainframe and we used MAPICS and the PCs had an emulator to connect to the mainframe.) and they connected to something called the Internet. We had 4 T1 phone lines. Wow!
But computers were old hats for me, back in 1969 I had my first introduction to computers, in college I learned FORTAN IV on a IBM 1620 which used punch cards, that was followed by BASIC on an IBM 360.
I had my first computer back in 1977 with an amazing about of RAM memory 4K! Yes, you read that right, not 4M but 4K. The computer was a Rockwell AIM 65 with a BASIC Assembler, the AIM 65 used a Rockwell 6502 processor. Then I read something about an Apple coming out with something entirely new a disc operating system and I had to have it! (Somewhere I have the original bill of sale for it) and I got mine months after they went on sale, it also used a 6502 processor but had 64K memory. At home I had a dial-up modem (Which my parents hated because I tired up the phone for hours at a time) and was connected with DELPHI via GE Timesharing Systems.
At work with the IBM PC and the internet my boss asked me to find a replacement for a transformer that we used in a power supply that we made so I went online to the search engine Lycos and typed in “Transformer” and what popped up?
All of these sites about crossdressers, drag queens, and transsexuals came up!
I quickly turned off the computer and sat back and digested what just happened.
At work they offered an interest free loan to buy a PC and they gave us a copy of all the software that the company used. I got up from my desk and marched down to accounting and said I want to buy a computer.
At home I connected up my brand new PC to the internet and started searching, I found the web sites of Melanie Phillips and Dr Becky, along with all the support groups. It was one of those support groups that I found on-line that I went to, Connecticut Outreach Society.
Reading the stories of our early pioneers gave me hope that maybe, just maybe I could survive being an out trans woman. I joined the Connecticut Outreach Society and started going out in public with the group.
And guess what, my world didn’t collapse, no one really paid any attention to me… I could do it.
Computers untied the world and made a community for us, but it also united the hate.