Get Maeve’s book here!
Links that can do a much better job than I discussing Maeve’s corporate experience:
My focus here is on the logistical side of how she got to this point and where she is now in her life. I was fortunate to have had a web conversation with Maeve, before sending her questions via e-mail. I am not a real journalist (or a real writer, or a….), so I prefer getting the interview subject’s responses exactly as they intend.
I am interested in how you got to that breaking point, the realization that you are transgendered. In many of the articles published on your journey, you discuss your alcoholism. You have children, you have been married. You worked in a very testosterone-filled profession. In our conversation, you said that while you dabbled with women’s clothing, you really did not do it as often as many of us did or as long. Describe that pivotal point in your life, the genesis of Maeve.
I know my story is a bit different from others but I literally had a thought pop into my mind, telling me to go out and buy makeup and wear it to a gala fund-raising event happening that evening. I was compelled. Over the course of the next week, I got from, “I want to wear makeup tonight,” to “I have wanted to be a woman all my life.”
It seemed sudden, but I had gotten sober nine months earlier and I believe that experience was the catalyst. Obviously, when I reflect upon my life I realize there were signs much earlier that I was not male but I dismissed them.
Once you reached the conclusion that you are transgendered, what did you do, how did you move forward from that point? Admitting to one’s self that this is what you are is one thing, but creating a life that allows you to live that reality is quite another. There are logistical things that you have to undertake. For me personally, once I reached my own place of self-acceptance, my presentation and how I wish to be perceived by the world was an almost an unconscious thing. Walk us through going from being your male self to walking in that door at Goldman the first time as Maeve.
Within a week of that realization, I told close friends in recovery, began buying women’s clothing, and changed my grooming. Within two months, I was seeing a specialized therapist, told the HR department at work I was transgender but wanted to keep it quiet, and began hormone replacement therapy. All of these reflected conscious decisions for me. I was driven to do all of this, I think because I had waited so long for it to happen.
I was not out as Maeve in the workplace as 2019 began but by this time I was driven to change to a woman’s appearance on the way out of work. Thus began a true double life, which continued until April when I attended a panel discussion at Goldman on how to make the workplace more welcoming for transgender people. At that point, I decided to come out at work and I worked with Goldman to execute a plan to come out right after Memorial Day.
Talk to us about where life has taken you from that first day Maeve punched in, so to speak, to where you are now. Was it your intention to have your story become so public or did that have its own momentum? What is your life like now?
The interesting development coming from the publicity surrounding my coming out at Goldman Sachs was that I discovered how my story and experience could benefit others. I did not seek these news stories. The New York Times decided on its own to pursue a story on my coming out and I decided to cooperate. Within hours after that story came out, I had messages from a half dozen trans people in various stages of coming out wanting to share their own stories and ask questions about mine. I left Goldman Sachs last year so I could have more time being of service to the LGBTQ community.
I finished and published a memoir, “Maeve Rising”, have started a novel and have written other shorter pieces I hope to get published. Writing will be a big part of my life going forward. I sponsor and mentor many trans/queer people and I serve on the board of multiple queer non-profits. It’s a very good life. I just need to figure out how to make a living out of all this but to be honest, that’s not my primary focus.
Can you discuss the process of writing the book? When did you decide to write it? Was the process of literally writing it cathartic? Did you enjoy it?
It’s like life. Somedays you are inspired and words cascade onto the page and on others everything in your being conspires to prevent you from sitting down in front of your computer.
I’ve always wanted to write a memoir and a novel. Up until the point I got sober and had my trans realization, I didn’t have enough to say. What the memoir has allowed me to do is to go back and view my life through a sober and out trans lens. Not surprisingly, my life looks very different from how I have traditionally viewed it. That process, indeed, was very cathartic.
The most enjoyable part for me was at the end where in a couple of places I attempted to summarize my life and my life philosophy in a couple of paragraphs. That was incredibly challenging but when I got the words right, wow, what a sense of accomplishment!