Attending Linux Conferences – Before and After

I’m on my way home from my second Linux conference since transitioning and I’m beginning to pick up on some of the differences between attending as a man and attending as a woman.  The biggest difference I’ve noticed is that people seem to remember me now.

I attended a few events before transitioning, and the people I met in 2011 had largely forgotten me by 2012.  I guess that makes sense, now that I think about it.  I would quietly keep to myself and that usually meant that other people left me alone.  People saw me as just another guy at a Linux conference, and that made me almost unmemorable.

That’s all different now.  I re-met a lot of people in at the Linux Plumbers Conference last September, and they actually remembered who I am this week!  And everybody from recruiters to new friends are actively starting conversations with me!  I would be surprised if being a woman at a Linux conference didn’t play a part in this change.  But I’m also way more comfortable with myself, and I would like to think that makes me more approachable.

In my opinion, being social makes these events way more enjoyable.

How did I pick my cat’s names?

I adopted both of my cats at the same time last November – they even shared a cardboard carrier when moving into my home!  So of course I had to find two names that go together.

I thought about Doctor Who names first, but which pair of companions should I choose?

Ian and Barbara?


Maybe 50 years ago.  Amy and Rory?


Too recent.  Tegan and Turlough?


They were never actually a couple.  That’s about when I remembered that everybody knows I’m a big Doctor Who fan, so nobody would be surprised if I named the kitties after Who characters.  Naturally, I thought about Star Wars next.

Han and Leia?


Too obvious.  Luke and Mara?


Now we’re getting somewhere, but people would still know where “Luke” comes from.  How about … Corran and Mirax?


I have no problem naming my kittens after a Jedi and his smuggler wife!  And as a bonus, these names are geeky enough that most “entry level” geeks won’t figure it out.

Now if only I knew somebody with a pet named Booster