I’ve been a writer, I suppose, for a few years now. There’s really not some moment in time that I could point to and say, “after this thing happened, I was a writer.” But I am now. Writing is like long hair, or getting older, or falling in love–you realize, at some point, that you’ve been there for a while, and then you have to deal with it. I suppose I should blame my friend Nicole, or the Opensource.com team, since I’ve been writing there for over two years now, and that’s all their fault. But it’s not just that. I just felt like, for some reason, I had something to say, and started saying it. And here we are.
Somewhere along the way, as I approach my 50th birthday, I realized that living openly and honestly in all aspects of my life was, for me, the path to happiness. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but being honest with myself requires that I then be honest with the people around me, and open about who and what I am.
I’ve lived in the tech trade for my entire adult life. I’ve been a software developer, a system administrator, a hardware geek, a network admin, even a manager for a bit. I’ve been in open source communities for a decade now, and find that I feel comfortable with open source teams.
I’ve been a transgender woman now for 8 years. That, too, I have done openly. When I transitioned, it was still somewhat common that transfolk would try very hard to “go stealth,” change their name and career, and start over. But I had a long career at my back, and people I cared for, so that wasn’t an option for me. I decided instead to be open, to be that person who will unflinchingly answer those hard, embarrassing questions, while reminding you that asking others those same questions might not be the best idea.
Along the way, I’ve learned a few things. Hard lessons, easy lessons, inspiring lessons, lessons that made me cry. But every one of them was valuable. The most valuable, perhaps, is this one: people matter. People always, always matter. And the greatest currency anyone can have or earn or give is kindness and empathy for other people. Furthermore, you can spend it, and not run out. It’s not pie.
All of these lessons and experiences of a half-century of muddled up existence on this wild and crazy world of ours–I’ve learned from them, and want to share them, in the hopes that someone else will benefit by them, grow from them, or avoid the same mistakes I made along the way. So that’s what my blog here is about. I call it “an open source life.”
How did I get to be where I am now? What makes Ruthie the person that she is? Just ask. I’ll tell you. And I’ll speak from my heart, and show you how it feels to be me, just as easily as I’ll tell you the nitty-gritty facts.
I’m glad you’re here, reading this. I’ll be talking about an assortment of things–technology, LGBTQIA+ activism, living in Houston…could be anything; you just never know what’ll come up on any given day. So follow along, join in…and hang on. My life is many things, but boring is rarely one of them.