Jessica Stokes

On Identity

17 Jul 2015

Identity, for me at least, has been a strange, challenging thing.

It may come as no surprise that my @grapegravity Twitter account is not in fact where I spend a majority of my time on Twitter. I have another account which has, at the time of writing, over 50,000 Tweets, nearly 400 followers, and organically grown into a social outlet for me that @grapegravity never got the chance to.

As a trans woman in the tech industry, I spent a long time juggling this “public” identity as well as an “exploring who I am” identity. For a time, this felt both very necessary and quite helpful - things I wanted to share with coworkers and tech industry folk would go to the former, whilst I could vent and be quite open on the latter.

When you’re struggling with your voice, struggling with your identity, struggling to even assert to yourself that the “you” that you feel is a real thing, having a place providing you pseudonymity is an amazing opportunity, and served me well.

Lately, I’m increasingly social within (and outside) the industry, and the inactivity on what has become the de facto standard social environment is starting to feel like a liability. Each time I held down Tweetbot’s Retweet button to share something with both groups of followers, and any time I Tweeted something on the other account that I’d like to share with coworkers I find myself bothered by the distinction.

So, now, I think it’s time to drop the façade.

My Twitter account is @ticky.

It’s much more active, a bit more raw, covers more topics, and is nearly infinitely more “me.” Sometimes it’s technical, sometimes it’s flirty, but hey, this is who and what I am.