An Algorithm Just Convinced Me I’m Trans
Thanks for the nudge, Medium
This morning I woke up to an email announcing that I was now a top writer in LGBTQ. This confused my sleep-addled brain for two reasons:
- I’m not a writer.
- I’m not LGBTQ.
I’m a database architect by trade. I’m also a straight male who’s posting about his struggles with gender dysphoria and identity, which may or may not be causing depression. Or at least, that’s what I was yesterday. Today, as it turns out, I’m a queer writer.
I wasn’t ready to accept this part of myself yet. I’m not out to anyone in the real world except my wife and my therapist, and even with them I only talk about having gender dysphoria, not about being transgender. That’s not a word I use to describe myself.
Naturally, I started trying to reverse-engineer the data mining algorithm behind the top writer designation (like I said, database architect). As I was pondering read ratios and engagement metrics, I suddenly realized I was more concerned about the quality of my writing than I was about the LGBTQ tag that gets attached to it. That part made total sense. Of course the algorithm would peg me as a trans writer— everything I write is about being trans. I’m freaking trans.
So thank you, mathematical formulas operating on bits in a cloud server, for telling me what I wouldn’t believe when it came from actual humans. You were the cold, uncaring voice I needed to push me toward acceptance.
I am transgender. This is part of who I am. For better or worse.
Now. What the hell to do about it…