Thank you for writing this. It’s given me an insight into a type of nasty discrimination I’ve not experienced myself.
I know I’m privileged. I’ve been to many tech and business conferences since coming out in mid-2001, and I honestly don’t know if any people have an issue with me being trans as I’ve found that such people don’t tend to say anything (I don’t know if that’s a sector thing or a cultural thing, or a mixture of both. Regardless I’m glad it’s like that).
By contrast allies (and fortunately there are many, at least in my little bit of the UK tech community) are more vocal. I’ve met some great people along the way, and it’s not only boosted my confidence but has helped them to better understand trans people and to open some very constructive dialogues about diversity, inclusion Codes of Conduct, etc. It’s all been a very positive experience for me and other trans people I know who go to the same conferences.
Empathy is so powerful, and I wish more people would learn to use it.
Those who don’t are the ones I fear. I know that being as visible as I am (ight now I have a “Trans and Cool” badge on my coat) could potentially be very risky in some settings.
Quite honestly I doubt I would cope well in the environment you describe as my instinct would be to call out the bigots and bullies.
When those bigots and bullies are your customers that can get messy, but if they are aggressive and potentially violent as well I hate to think where that could lead.
So I’m glad I haven’t experienced anything like that.