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Interview With a Difference Maker Version 9.1

It's been a while, but we are back with a very meaningful interview with a real news and difference maker!

Get Maeve’s book here!

Links that can do a much better job than I discussing Maeve’s corporate experience:


New York Times

Fox Business

New York Post

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!

Dear readers: Please comment, please ask questions. Maeve is such an incredible woman, so giving, so caring. There is no other person, in the actual news, who would be so responsive to me, my little blog and so gracious with her time, and to ask me to meet online and just talk, the way women do.


20 Responses

  1. Kandi, first of all thank you to both you and Maeve for the foregoing.

    I have read ‘Maeve Rising’, in fact I was straight onto Amazon after you mentioned your conversation with Maeve to do the Kindle download. It’s not a short book but such a compelling book that I’d finished it within a day! I’d recommend anyone here to read it as even though we may have our feet firmly planted in the non-transitioning CDer camp, there is much to savour.

    What I found particularly compelling was the point – ‘…I got from, “I want to wear makeup tonight,” to “I have wanted to be a woman all my life.’ – which, of course, is related in far greater detail in the book. I think that’s a situation many of us can identify with, whether it takes weeks, months or years to come to that realisation and it also allows us to add the rider ‘but I want other aspects of my life more’ if that’s how we personally feel.

    As I said above, the book is definitely recommended reading as far as I’m concerned. It pulls no punches, particularly about Maeve’s alcoholism & the destruction it wielded on her life and the lives of those around her – it doesn’t take much imagination to realise that her story could have had a very different outcome. But control was regained and brought all aspects of the story to a very satisfying outcome for all concerned.

    Thank you again to both you and Maeve for bringing this to us.

    1. Hi Amanda,

      Thank you for your kind words. You are absolutely right. The outcome of my life could have been very different if I had not gotten sober and had the realization I am trans. It’s not a foregone conclusion that I would receive these gifts, and I do consider them gifts. I’m very grateful.


  2. Thank you Kandi for bringing Maeve to our attention. What a fascinating person she is.

    I would like Maeve to give her thoughts on how her work environment might have been if she continued working at Goldman. I’m sure some people and clients would have been very unaccepting of her. Would that changed work dynamic have forced Goldman to take some kind of action? I know the answer is speculative, but Maeve’s thoughts would be interesting.

    Thank you both.


    1. Hi Jocelyn,

      Good question. Just in the four years between me coming out and now, the workplace has become more receptive for trans people. There are more trans people out at Goldman, Goldman has beefed up policies to support them and is now also spending resources supporting employees who have trans children. Goldman also recruits openly trans people directly from colleges.

      Not every company is like that so I was fortunate to work there. One interesting point you raise is clients accepting transness. I was in a non-revenue producing division (communications). I’ve heard from trans people who are client facing that they have the concern, in addition to being accepted by work colleagues, about whether they would be accepted by clients. I did not have this issue but I think it is a real one, especially if you have clients in parts of the country that are not trans accepting.


  3. Maeve mentions that her realization followed shortly after getting sober. It seems that with sobriety came fairly sudden clarity. With the benefit of hindsight, does she feel that repressed gender identity have contributed to abuse of alcohol.

    1. Kim,

      Absolutely. I cannot talk about coming out trans without talking about getting sober. It’s one of those chicken and egg things though. Did I always know I harbored a great secret and doused it with alcohol to prevent it from bubbling to the surface or by drinking did I never have an opportunity to know myself. You’ll drive yourself crazy thinking about this stuff and to be honest, it really doesn’t matter. After I got sober and started working a recovery, I became able to know who I am.

      There is too much drugs and alcohol in our community and I honestly believe you cannot truly know who you are when you are drinking and drugging excessively.


  4. kandi,
    Thanks for bringing Maeve to our attention , I’m really looking forward to reading her story .

    I can understand her comments about attempting to write our own story , some days the words flow in a torrent and other days can be dry . I found the dry days were full of recollections and at times forboding , questioning if we should expose ourselves and our family and friends to the public . I decided not to continue but evenso the act of bringing thoughts together proved a great exercise in settling old scores and putting bad thoughts to bed , I felt a better person by fully exposing myself to ME .

    I feel many of us have to live under a cloud , Maeve struggled with alcohol as a prop to support the deeper problems in her life . To find ourselves we need to clear whatever is clouding our lives to be able clearly state we are transgnder and hopefully come to terms with it .
    Her story shows how different we are when dealing with transgender issues , some are slow burners where it’s a gradual process of adjustment but Maeve was more of a quick fuse , the use of makeup suddenly becoming an awakening . At times I feel it’s a very thin veneer but amazingly that thin layer reveals so much of what lies within , I see it as a window to the World of our true inner feelings and it’s the only way we can reveal it to them .

    She was very brave in allowing the New york Times to reveal her story , the press are notorious for re-writing and missrepresenting , I hope in Maeve’s case they stayed true to her words , it’s possibly a price many could pay for living a high profile lifestyle .

    1. Well said Teresa. You can never control reporters because they are autonomous human beings but having been a reporter and then worked with reporters in media relations, I generally understand how the press works and there are always steps you can take to increase the likelihood of getting a good result. In particularly, I’ve simply been nice to reporters through the years and that has created goodwill. We should never underestimate the power of good relationships.


  5. I have read much of the news about Maeve as I also work in the financial industry. I applaud her ability to focus on the immediate goals as well as recognizing the long-term aspirations of transition. The clarity she achieved on becoming sober may have been the most important step in saving her life and becoming the vibrant woman she is now.

    While I am nowhere near as public-facing as she was, my position as a technology engineer is just as male-oriented. Yes, there are several very smart female engineers, but for those of us who learned about computers and software in their infancy, it has been overwhelmingly male. There is one engineer who publicly transitioned in my company, and she has done very well.

    Seeing and reading about Maeve and others who have transitioned successfully is inspiring, yet also reinforces for me that it is not a step I would be taking in my own life. I am content to have a feminine side of me that gets out infrequently, like Christy has talked about in her posts.

    1. Totally understand Tina. I lived out in my social life but not out at work for seven months. By the end it wasn’t working for me. As we all know, each one of our experiences is different. That’s what makes this whole beautiful thing so interesting, right?


  6. Thank you Maeve for your kindness and openness to Kandi
    I know in my own situation coming out at work was quite scary even though my work place is quite open to diversity in our workplace
    Still it’s never easy
    One issue I’ve discussed with my workplace our gender neutral bathrooms
    You see I work more as a gender fluid person and to be honest I’m not always comfortable when I use the male restroom
    I know bathrooms are a hot topic everywhere but in some places it would be nice to have that option
    Thanks again for your thoughts and all that you have done

    1. Totally understand that Rachael. We have pushed Goldman to create more single-user gender neutral bathrooms. This is absolutely necessary everywhere. And you know what, they are good for cis people as well. There are cis people who don’t like to be in a multi-user space either.

      And before I came out bathrooms and locker rooms at work are what gave me severe anxiety. I absolutely did not want to be viewed as voyeuristic. So, I have to admit that I had been influenced by this debate that the transphobes have fueled.


  7. Kandi,

    Thank you for sharing this interview. Maeve is definitely a difference maker. Anyone who knows you would have to say that you are too. We are all thankful to have sisters who support, share, teach, and live as an example for us. Maeve is like that, ass it took courage for her to come out at a firm like Goldman Sachs. I definitely plan to read her book!

    Thank you for highlighting her story.


    1. Thanks Lisa. And, I’ll give a shout out to Kandi too for providing this forum. It’s amazing.


  8. I first read of Maeve’s transition in an interview with her published last month in The Messenger.

    It was interesting to read here in Kandi’s interview how she has turned to writing as a way of helping support the trans community. I constantly participate in two other trans web site’s forums and have written three articles here on Kandi’s site with the hope that what I write may benefit someone on their personal odyssey. But I have also found that writing about my thoughts, feelings and experiences has also helped me as well as I moved into living full time as a woman. I’m curious to see if Maeve feels that her writings have also helped her as well as others.


  9. Fiona,

    There are two things about writing that I will comment on. Firstly, writing my memoir was extremely therapeutic to me because it allowed me to connect my sober and trans life to the rest of my life when I thought I was a very different person. Realizing you are trans or coming out trans does not break the continuity of your life, it just kind of changes the trajectory of the life you thought you were experiencing.

    Secondly, as it impacts other people, storytelling is powerful. It allows us in the community to identify with each other and know that our experiences, as much as we’d like to think they are unique to us, aren’t. There is a good chance there are trans people out there who have gone through stuff that we’re going through.

    And, some of us have to tell our stories to show the world that our experiences are legitimately human. That may sound ridiculous to say but I think the transphobes are out to delegitimize our experiences.


  10. Maeve,
    I agree there is a need to relate our stories . Sadly many of us experience transphobes on our own doorsteps , you only have to read forums or listen to other transgender people to witness the ( horror ) stories from close family and friends . I personally didn’t turn to drink but considered the more drastic action of ending my life . Good or bad those stories do need to be told to others in the hope they may not make the same mistakes . Luckily I found enough help from my GP , counselling and to some extent meeting other transgender people . The bottom line is we’re not alone , there is no need to suffer in silence , the great thing is life can be good at other end of the road .

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