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James Ward, a lawyer in San Francisco who transitioned about six years ago, put it this way: “We have the ability to just walk through the world and not have anybody look at you twice.” One day in court, Ward and his opposing counsel were making a big request to a judge.Ward knew their question would not go over well, so he wasn’t surprised when she reprimanded both him and his opposing counsel for asking.“He never would have said that when I was female.” Many trans men I spoke with said they had no idea how rough women at work had it until they transitioned.

“We weren’t out the courtroom door when he said that to me under his breath,” Ward says.“If I’m going off-the cuff, no-one really questions it,” Ward says.“It’s taken as, ‘He’s saying it, so it must be true.’ Whereas while I was practicing as female, it was ‘Show me your authority, you don’t know any better yet.’” Mitch Davis is now a director of organizational development at Planned Parenthood Federation of America in New York City, but he’s worked in HR for many different companies since coming out eight years ago.S.; it’s nearly impossible to know how many of them are trans men.) Yet experiences of trans men can provide a unique window into how gender functions in American society.In the last few months, I’ve interviewed nearly two dozen trans men and activists about work, relationships and family.