As of today, I now volunteer for 3 organizations:
- Arts Westchester
- And the local GLBT Center.
My goal is to use experience that I gain, as well as any contacts that I develop to gain a new job. Ideally, I will be able to work in Marian mode - especially if the job is local. NPWJ is more than comfortable giving me a reference to one of her non profit organizations, so that I can work as Marian instead of as Mario.
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Working the web pages does not require me to have my face in public. However, the Arts Ambassador position with Arts Westchester will have Marian up front in public. This means that I run a much higher risk of meeting someone who knows me as Mario. But, given how different I look in the two persona, I expect that most people won't give me a second glance.
What would happen if someone recognizes me? I'll tell the truth, and ask that they don't make a big deal over it. I'll also mention that I'm still living in two worlds, and will continue to do so while my dad is alive, then fully transition afterwards. For the most part, I don't expect many problems. But some people may also be curious, and I'll ask that they talk to me later on.
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One of the blogs I read is written by a transgender female who took her volunteer experience and parlayed it into meaningful work for a while. Rhonda lives in Florida, and seems to have her act together, as she is out and about as Rhonda "all the time", and accepted for who she is. She is a model for what I hope to do with volunteer work - help others, and also help myself in the process.
I figure that if I can't give others a leg up, who will be there when I need one....?