This article about people who transitioned after years in the workplace, tackles a really important issue: sexism in the workplace that is subtle enough that, even if you’re read as female, you won’t notice it unless something drastic happens… such as transitioning and experiencing being read as male.
Some quotes from the article (emphasis mine):
I have had the thought a million times: I am taken more seriously.
When I was a woman, no matter how many facts I had, people were like, ‘Are you sure about that?’ It’s so strange not to have to defend your positions.
I used to be considered aggressive… Now I’m considered ‘take charge.’ People say, ‘I love your take-charge attitude.’
And from an MTF trans* person:
Men are assumed to be competent until proven otherwise, whereas a woman is assumed to be incompetent until she proves otherwise.
The article considers the increase in confidence a person experiences when going from presenting at the gender assigned at birth to their true gender, and offers a reason as to why this might not be why transmen are treated better after transition:
Indeed, some suggest that transmen might experience these workplace benefits partly because, post-transition, they are happier and more comfortable, and that this confidence leads to greater workplace success. But if that’s the case, one would expect that transwomen, armed with this same newfound confidence, would see benefits. The opposite seems to be true.
Aha! We got you, sexism!
The article does note that if an FTM individual is black, being read as a black male is not always a positive change. Racism: the only card that trumps sexism.
Read the article in its entirety to read about why one transwoman chooses not to speak up, and why these researchers believe this is the last chance to do this kind of research on gender with individuals who transition later in life.