Working While Female
Nicole Hallberg

I am a professional musician. I normally get plenty of respect from men, women and others alike as I play folk music and that means that my co-workers and audiences are generally some of the kindest, gentlest and most enlightened people one can meet but one day, a female fiddler told me she really liked my playing because “You don’t play like a girl.”

I was dumbstruck, literally. Couldn’t say a word. Later I was furious and raged up and down our house venting my anger and frustration. Much later, the fiddler transitioned to male and was a much happier, more relaxed person. I was (and continue to be) really glad for him. I have always meant to ask him what he meant by his comment but now it’s years past and I bet he doesn’t even remember saying it.

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