It has been a while and I finally find myself back writing to you about what is going on in my life and what is happening to me as I continue my struggles forward. I have divided this post into two parts to try to keep different concepts separate, one of the things that have brought me down, and then one on what I have been looking into recently to find myself not only as a growing woman but also as a spiritual being. I hope you have all been doing well yourselves and while I know writing is therapeutic there have been some things that to this day I still haven't been able to write about. I will at some point share these aspects and things that have come bubbling up from my past that I had probably suppressed for a reason.
Ok, recent happenings, since I last wrote I had been going down to Boston twice a week for three weeks to take part in a research study, where I got to meet some of my fellow sisters. I will be honest to see the discrimination and place some of my sisters are in is disheartening, hearing stories still of trans girls dropping out of high-school because the bullying is too intense, hearing stories of these girls having to work for minimum wage and unable to get access to the healthcare and services needed for their transitions, then turning to sex trade to be able to afford basic things and actually pay for their transitions. It's not an easy world out there for us, as we are one of the few and last groups that is largely unprotected, many of my sisters have died, and we remember them at our annual day of remembrance, but I also see that the world turns a blind eye. Parents who have disowned their children, trans-women who wind up dead and police departments who decide it's a 'waist' of resources to investigate the death. We are often the lost and forgotten, we are no different then anyone else, but people tend to fear what they don't know and shun them.
For myself, I have yet to find a job, I'm up to having applied for about 250 jobs, not because I'm not capable, I believe I have stated my expertise before, but for those of you who want to see it in detail here is my resume:
Accounting and Finance Professional
Top-producing, accomplished, enthusiastic accountant with a distinguished career of 8+ years as an accounting professional. Goal-oriented and results-driven with ability to utilize cutting-edge technologies to perform accounting functions needed. Strong decision maker with a proactive management style. Record of consistent achievement, proven P&L management skills, personal commitment, and positive growth. Able to execute multiple projects simultaneously, communicate ideas to others, and bring functional groups together to achieve a common goal. Team orientated, highly organized and committed. Integrity is crucial to maintaining internal controls and performing all due diligence and attention to detail in every accounting and financial function.
Highlights of Qualifications
· Master’s Degree from Southern New Hampshire University in Accounting / Finance
· Bachelor’s Degree from Champlain College in Business Management – with focuses in Human Resources and Finance – graduated with honors
· Ongoing communications with 26 clients that have established loyalty to my services and prefer to work with me over any other accounting professional
· In-depth industry knowledge; proactive approach to forestall problems.
· All requirements met for CPA exam, plan to sit and pass the exam within 2 years
· Mastery in Excel, Word, Lotus, QuickBooks, Engagement, Accounting CS programs and Pro-Series
· As part of a public accounting firm team, was selected and headed a number of financial audits; including audits, reviews and compilations
· Diverse background, with experience in many areas from working in medium to small accounting firms was the point person on a wide variety of projects including payroll, bookkeeping, financial planning, amortization schedules, sales tax, quarterly, monthly and annual filings as required by law, budget planning, internal controls, reconciliations and month end close processes
· Highly trusted individual and articulate communicator who functions effectively in a team atmosphere
PTIN issued by the IRS, valid for signing tax returns as needed including payroll tax returns.
CPA Certified – planned to be completed within 2 years.
Volunteer: Organizational Director
The Promise Place School 5/13 – Current
Helping with accounting needs, through budgets, forecasts and finance meetings and planning. Member
of the Board of Directors; currently working on writing company policies and procedures including
internal control documents, risk management documents, employee job descriptions and employee
Accounting firm #3 11/12 – 5/13
Small public accounting firm, one of only two accountants in the office was in charge of reviewing
and overseeing the bookkeepers work on tax returns, payroll, and financial reporting documents.
In addition handled my own client load, and dealt with projects such as IRS audits, compilations,
Corporate, Non-Profit, and Estate Tax Returns. Also managed to bring in twenty-four new clients in
a six month period of time.
Accounting Firm #2 9/11 – 6/12
Medium sized accounting firm, accountant as part of a team of accountants assigned projects
by the CPAs of the firm, partners and manager level employees. I was chosen to head some audits,
compilations and reviews, took part in financial report preparation and mastered tax preparation of
highly technical tax returns. Within six months I had brought in nine new clients, competed and was one
of the top contributors to marketing efforts, along with receiving and being recognized in the 2012 day of
Caring. Held an 89% realization rate for my first year with the firm.
Accounting Firm #1 9/07 – 1/12
Small accounting firm, one of only two accountants in the office, effectively handled 60% of the client
load by myself. Developed a mastery of individual tax return preparation and bookkeeping skills,
including mastery of QuickBooks, financial support, quarterly tax returns, payroll services and account
management. Also prepared and worked with Corporations, Non-profits and Estate returns and services.
Anyone interested in my services or who knows of a possible job lead, feel free to contact me through email and I will entertain possibilities. But as you can see, I have 8 years of public accounting experience, have put myself out in the market to do volunteer work and keep my skills sharp by using them on a day to day basis. I hope to find a company who can look beyond the outside cover and see what I am capable of, because I know I am a born leader, and just need a chance to show what I am capable of to be able to shine. I don't fail, I may fall, and I may make a mistake, but anything I have done in my life I have found a way to get the education needed to make myself successful. I understand not having a CPA may be holding me back, but unfortunately unemployed with very little money, I have little choice as I really need to take the refresher course which costs about $3,000 to take because I want to be successful and be able to pass the exams on the first tries and not throw funds away taking a test only to have to take it again.
Anyway, I didn't get the one job I thought I was a perfect fit for that I nailed the interview for because of some internal restructuring they are doing. I do likely have a guaranteed job with the School when we get the funding and get the facility up and running, though raising $10,000,000 is a big task, so I don't want to hold my breath and wait for a job that may or may not be there in 3 months, 6 months, a year or two years. I'm sure the school will come into being, and I know there is a need for it, but getting everything off the ground in 12 months to open is optimistic. I'm sure we will try our hardest to make it happen, and likely will have some form of opening in Jun 2014, though to what extent and what funding we have available to pay staff, I'm uncertain.
With the job horizon looking dismal, I do know that during tax season I'm likely to be able to get a seasonal job from mid January - April 15th which is something. Though honestly I'm tired of working 80-100 hour weeks for firms and then being laid off in the summer only to worry about where my next job is going to come from so I would much prefer a stable 40 hour a week job year round. Though I'm sure many of us who are unemployed are in the same boat.
That said, when I went into Boston I would say I was mis-gendered probably 50% of the time, being called sir instead of ma'am. Mostly by vendors or individuals who I spoke to. I know I need to work on my voice more proactively, I'm just not sure where to start and again a voice training therapist costs money. I'm sure I'll get there, and I don't think my voice is THAT bad. I'm sure there are cis women who get called sir all the time, I probably just have to get thicker skin, and over time the 'clocking' as we call it will diminish. I always thought though that Boston would be more progressive, and don't understand why I actually have more issues in the city then I do here in Southern Maine. When I go out here a lot of the time I get complimented on my bracelets, my new purse, and when my partner and I go out together we generally are called ladies.
We had some in-fighting among the transgender community, which really ticked me off. Going a long distance to go to a meeting and talk to my sisters, only to have them fight amongst each other is hard. I mean we face a lot of discrimination in the world outside dealing with strangers, I would hope that we could have some sympathy and understanding for one another to have a safe space to be able to be heard, understood and accepted. One girl actually told me I should go interview and apply to jobs in 'boy' mode. I said, no, that's not possible for me anymore, I can't imagine going backwards or having to 'pretend' again to put myself back in a box would be tragically disastrous. I mean all my optimism about finding a job and moving on with my life was that I could now go to interviews as the real me, smile, impress and not have to be that 'boy' anymore. I'm sorry to say it, for those of you who may not realize it but the 'boy/man' that was once Zax is dead, he's gone, I suppose he's still a part of me, but a lot of what others saw was me pretending to be something I wasn't. So a lot of the behaviors, personality traits and other known factors have changed because I wasn't just lying to the world, I was lying to myself. Regardless, the infighting among trans has to stop, we have to support each other band together and have safe havens so that we can be our true selves without persecution.
I know writing here, blogging and being an activist on twitter probably doesn't help me find a job either, unless it's related to that activism field. But I'm not going to sit down and be quiet, there are too many of my trans brothers and sisters dying out in the world for me to not try to give my support, for me to not lend an ear and for me to at the very least offer words of encouragement. People still ask me about the difficulties I've had and everything I'm going through and I tell them that I wouldn't change my decision for the world, choosing to be true to myself is more important than any job, any money, any physical possession. So if I end up on the street, alone and starving, so be it, I will die as myself, not spending 60+ years trapped in a prison of my own creation. Now I know maybe that's not the inspiration you're looking for, and it's hard to hear. I hope my own situation doesn't come to that, but when I stare the decision in the face and am looking at a worst case scenario, I would still transition because the pain and difficulties of not being true to myself is worse then death.