Episode 54: Maeve DuVally, Managing Director of Communications, Goldman Sachs
In this episode, Maeve DuVally, Managing Director of Communications at Goldman Sachs, shares her story as a transgender female, the evolution of which occurred while working at the financial services giant, Goldman Sachs.
Maeve DuVally is a managing director in Corporate Communications. She serves on the Structured Products Committee and the Americas Regional Vetting Group. Maeve joined Goldman Sachs in 2004 as a vice president and was named managing director in 2010.
Prior to joining the firm, Maeve worked in media relations at Merrill Lynch. Before that, she was a financial journalist and editor at Bridge News for nearly 15 years.
Maeve serves on the advisory boards for the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship and the Association of Foreign Correspondents; and, the community board of Connecticut-based LGBTQ health provider Anchor Health Initiative. She earned a BA in English from Providence College in 1983 and was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism School in 1994.
Intro Voices 00:04
Where do I go? It only happened once. I think I was singled out. The phone calls began about one month ago. What is hazing? Something happened to me when I was younger. I'm worried about my safety. He said he was sorry. Can someone help me? Where can I get help? Can someone help me? This is you matter, a podcast for the NYU community developed by the Department of Public Safety.
Karen Ortman 00:34
Hi, everyone, and welcome back to You Matter, a podcast created to teach, inspire and motivate members of the NYU community who have been victimized in some form or fashion and to identify resources both on and off campus that can help. I am your host Karen Ortman, Associate Vice President of Campus Safety Operations at the Department of Public Safety, and a retired law enforcement professional. Today, I welcome Maeve DuVally, Managing Director of Communications at Goldman Sachs, Maeve is here to share her story as a transgender female, the evolution of which occurred while working at the financial services giant Goldman Sachs. Maeve, welcome to You Matter.
Maeve DuVally 01:19
Thanks, Karen. I'm very excited to be here.
Karen Ortman 01:20
I am very excited that you're here. Let's begin by talking about your career at Goldman Sachs. How long have you been working there, and if you could maybe segue into the transition piece that we're here to talk about today?
Maeve DuVally 01:44
Sure, I'd be happy to do that. From the earliest time I can remember, I wanted to be a writer, and I ended up being a journalist. I went into financial journalism. I did that for a number of years. After a while, I wanted to do something a little bit different, so I ended up going to Merrill Lynch and then to Goldman Sachs, where I worked in corporate communications. I've had a very good career in journalism, good career in corporate communications, but there was always something wrong with me. I've had a drinking problem my entire life. I recently got sober about three years ago.
Karen Ortman 02:21
Maeve DuVally 02:22
Thank you very much. I'm very happy. The drinking problem just exacerbated this low self esteem I had. I never really liked myself that much, in particular, I never liked anything male about myself. I never thought that maybe I was transgender. I thought that just came with the territory. It was General self loathing, and that's how I live my life up until two years ago.
Karen Ortman 02:52
Does this go back to childhood?
Maeve DuVally 02:53
Yes, it does. Where you didn't like anything male about you as a child? That's right.
Karen Ortman 03:00
Where did you grow up?
Maeve DuVally 03:01
I was born in Ireland. I've lived in the northeast most of my life, since I've been in the United States. I also lived 10 years in Japan, but I grew up in Massachusetts.
Karen Ortman 03:13
And how did that translate into your self loathing as as a little boy, growing up in Massachusetts? Is that where you were a little...
Maeve DuVally 03:24
Karen Ortman 03:24
Maeve DuVally 03:25
Karen Ortman 03:26
Growing up as a little boy in Massachusetts, how did your self loathing manifest itself? Did anybody know, or was it something that you just kind of kept internally?
Maeve DuVally 03:42
There were really two aspects to it, there was that internal aspect where I, basically from a very early age, until quite recently, I could not look in a mirror. For decades I could not look in a mirror at myself, so there was that private piece. How it manifested itself socially was, I had a great fear of people. I believed that people would reject me, so I was very hesitant to reach out to people and take risks in terms of forming relationships with people. A little bit later in our conversation, I'm going to talk a lot about the word acceptance, because that's a huge word for me, and I it I think it's an important word to talk about in terms of my transgender experience, and the broader transgender experience.
Karen Ortman 04:36
You mentioned that you couldn't look in a mirror for decades. What did you fear would happen if you did?
Maeve DuVally 04:45
I would just be flooded with self loathing. If I looked in a mirror, I just detested my physical appearance.
Karen Ortman 04:53
Anything that looked masculine?
Maeve DuVally 04:55
In particular, masculine, when I began getting facials hair as a teenager, yes.
Karen Ortman 05:05
Oftentimes we walk down the street and we walk past storefronts and we see our reflection. What did that do? Or, did you not look?
Maeve DuVally 05:16
I quickly looked away if I inadvertently came upon a place where I might see my reflection, and I quickly looked away.
Karen Ortman 05:22
You also mentioned people rejecting you. Does that go back to childhood...
Maeve DuVally 05:29
Yes, it does.
Karen Ortman 05:30
And why would you think that people, assuming you're talking about peers? Or is this anybody?
Maeve DuVally 05:37
Karen Ortman 05:38
Why would they reject you?
Maeve DuVally 05:41
I think it just tied into my low low self esteem. I'm not sure really why that developed, ut that was there from the earliest time I can remember.
Karen Ortman 05:53
So you talk about self loathing for what sounds like most of your life?
Maeve DuVally 05:59
Karen Ortman 06:01
And yet you are very successful. You are at Goldman Sachs in a prestigious position. How were you able to achieve professional success in light of your self loathing and your low self esteem? How did you sort of sell yourself to even get the job?
Maeve DuVally 06:30
Well, I became very good at compartmentalizing. A lot of people become very good at compartmentalizing and I compartmentalize my career. My family also, I've also been married twice. I have three children and I had some happiness in my marriages. I had a very strong work ethic, I also have a very strong exercise ethic as well, and those brought me some degree of satisfaction. The the human relations side of things in my job, I had to work very hard at that.
Karen Ortman 07:11
And how did you do that? How did you even know how to do that?
Maeve DuVally 07:18
Boy, that's a good question. Well, I watched other people, I watched other people and and I did enough to get by, that wasn't always, I wouldn't say that human relations was the strong point of of my performance at work, but it was an aspect and I did okay on that. I made up for my weakness there with other parts of my job, just discipline working hard, and things like that.
Karen Ortman 07:47
Would you call yourself a workaholic?
Maeve DuVally 07:52
Yes, in the past I have been a workaholic. I'd like to think, now I have a better perspective on what's a good work life balance.
Karen Ortman 08:02
So you're at Goldman Sachs. How long have you been working there?
Maeve DuVally 08:06
I've been at Goldman Sachs for about 16 years.
Karen Ortman 08:08
Maeve DuVally 08:09
Karen Ortman 08:10
And you were hired by Goldman Sachs as a male?
Maeve DuVally 08:16
Yes, I was. I worked there as a male for the majority of my career.
Karen Ortman 08:21
So your name prior to Maeve was Michael. You were Michael to DuVally?
Maeve DuVally 08:29
Karen Ortman 08:32
Tell me about your career at Goldman Sachs up to the point where you realized that you were not the gender assigned at birth. Tell me about that journey.
Maeve DuVally 08:49
Sure. My story's a little bit different than some other people's story. You hear a lot about people who knew they were transgender from an early age, they might have had a certain preference for clothing, a certain preference for toys, but I wasn't that way. I told you some of the feelings I had towards myself. In retrospect, that was a sign to me that something was going on. As I mentioned, before, I drank off and on for nearly 40 years and I I've been trying to get sober for a couple of decades. I finally, in recovery, you never say I finally got sober because it's one day at a time, but I got sober. I worked a recovery in a way I've never worked one before, about three years ago. Almost immediately, that led to me feeling better about myself. That lack of connectivity that I had with people all my life, I began to get that connectivity. I began to feel better about myself.
Karen Ortman 09:56
How did you do that though? How did you learn how to connect with people?
Maeve DuVally 10:01
I learned how to connect with people basically by practicing with the people in my recovery support network. That's the beautiful thing about recovery, you're surrounded by people who are very supportive, and people who, once you get a little bit of recovery time under your belt, you're expected to be supportive to other people. I got the support from other people, and then as I got some momentum in my recovery, I started to care about other people in a way that I'd never cared about people before. I wasn't actively selfish, but I was so self absorbed that I really didn't have the capacity to really care about other people in the way that I do now.
Karen Ortman 10:43
Wow. That's inspiring, I'm sure, to listeners who are contemplating their own recovery.
Maeve DuVally 10:54
I'm very sold on recovery, it's a great thing. It's changed my life. That will lead me into, it's a nice segue into me realizing I was transgender. About eight or nine months into my recovery, I had a sudden realization that, well, it started out, there was one day I had a work event and it was in the evening, it was a big kind of fundraising gala, right around here in Midtown, New York, I had this sudden desire to wear makeup to that event. I don't know where that came from. Within a week, I got to the point where, I think I want to wear makeup. Then, I think, I want to dress like a girl, I think I want to be a girl. I've wanted to be a woman all my life. Over the course of a week, I got from that point to that point. It was very surreal for me. I kept testing it in my mind to see whether it was true or not, or if it was just something ephemeral that was just popping up in my mind. But, it rang so true to me. From that little kernel, his whole wonderful, beautiful plant has flourished.
Karen Ortman 12:17
So this gala that you were preparing for, how long ago was that?
Maeve DuVally 12:22
This was almost exactly two years ago. It was in October, not that long ago, it was October of 2018.
Karen Ortman 12:30
And you were thinking about wearing makeup to this Gala? Up to this point, had you ever experimented with makeup, with women's clothing?
Maeve DuVally 12:42
I had a little bit for a couple years when I was in Japan, but I didn't think anything of it. This was in the 1980s.
Karen Ortman 12:51
When you were in Japan?
Maeve DuVally 12:52
Yes, when I was in Japan, yeah, 1980s new wave, everyone was wearing makeup, had the haircuts. and I just thought it was that. Maybe it was something else? I don't really know. I don't spend a lot of time dwelling on my past because it you know why I didn't realize I was transgender earlier, and it doesn't really matter. I'm where I am today, and I'm happy.
Karen Ortman 13:16
So did you end up wearing makeup to the gala?
Maeve DuVally 13:18
Yeah, I did.
Karen Ortman 13:19
And how did you feel about yourself?
Maeve DuVally 13:21
I felt really good.
Karen Ortman 13:24
Was this the first time that you had worn makeup amongst your peers at Goldman Sachs?
Maeve DuVally 13:30
Karen Ortman 13:30
And what was their response?
Maeve DuVally 13:33
Well, I tried to do it in a little bit of a passive aggressive way where, I had enough on where I felt I had some on and I felt good about it, but I thought I was doing it in such a way where people might notice that was something different about me, but maybe not notice what was different about me. That's going to be a theme throughout my transition. I tried to do that a number of times and most of the time it didn't work because I would do too much and people would would notice and they would ask me, but that evening, none of my co workers asked me.
Karen Ortman 14:09
Okay, yeah. Did there come a time when your co workers asked you about that event where you were wearing makeup for the first time?
Maeve DuVally 14:17
No, my co-workers really didn't, because as time passed, I almost immediately came out in my private life, but I wasn't out at work. I tried to keep the two separate but I couldn't completely keep them separate. Sometimes I would come to work in makeup, sometimes I would come to work in yoga clothes because I go into yoga class beforehand, and they would be really feminine yoga clothes. I think people wondered, but nobody really felt comfortable asking me.
Karen Ortman 14:59
At what point point did you decide, because this is only two years ago, the gala was in October of 2018. At what point did you decide I'm all in I'm, I am a female, and I'm going to live my life as a female?
Maeve DuVally 15:14
Almost immediately in my personal life. The nice thing about recovery, as I said, it's a very supportive environment. I was very comfortable altering my appearance and talking about my new identity, as I realized it, to my friends in recovery. For work, for whatever reason, and I'll go back to the word acceptance here, because I think all we transgender people want, and all people in minority groups want, we want acceptance, and, for whatever reason, I had fear that I wouldn't be accepted at work. There was about a seven or eight month lag between when I came out in my private life and when I came out at work. During that time I was, I was generally dressing as Michael and being Michael during the day and on the way out of work. I was changing into female clothing while at work on my way out, and then becoming Maeve, and then going to whatever I went to in the evening,
Karen Ortman 16:32
What were the challenges that you faced prior to making the decision to transition, including, you know, in any internal dialogue that was going on? Maybe family issues? You mentioned you have three children, are there any sort of personal challenges that you faced that you want to share?
Maeve DuVally 16:54
Partly, as a result of my years of drinking, my marriage - my latest marriage unraveled about three and a half years ago. It unraveled under not so great circumstances. I was very estranged from my family at that point. I think for me, getting sober was the most important thing that I've ever done in my life, but realizing I was transgender is by far the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me. You know, I like to think that most of my life, I felt like I was alone and afraid in a dark room, and now I have light, and I'm not afraid anymore. It's really good, but once once I realized I was transgender, I really wanted to make sure, because I put my family through so much, that I was able to tell them in a very sympathetic way and one that kind of took their circumstances into consideration.
Karen Ortman 18:13
Their circumstances, being your ex wife?
Maeve DuVally 18:17
Karen Ortman 18:18
Being your children?
Maeve DuVally 18:20
They were living in Westchester and I moved into the city. So we were living separately.
Karen Ortman 18:25
Okay. Did it affect you professionally in any way?
Maeve DuVally 18:30
There are general concerns. As I said, it comes back to acceptance. I recently watched the Netflix documentary DISCLOSURE, that basically interviews a lot of transgender actors and actresses who talk about how transgender people have been portrayed over the last few decades in movies and TV shows. To me, it was shocking, because I really hadn't realized it. Generally speaking, transgender people have been depicted as psychotic, disgusting, and, you know, these types of portrayals, they they really impact people's attitudes. I worried that, that's how people were gonna see me now.
Karen Ortman 19:19
Do you recall the first conversations that you had with your supervisors, or supervisor at Goldman Sachs regarding your decision to transition?
Maeve DuVally 19:34
In April of 2019, Goldman Sachs had a panel for our employees in which they talked about best practices and things you can do to make the workplace more favorable and comfortable for transgender people. I attended, and there was one person who was already out, transgender at our company and two people from the outside. I actually went to that event, even though it was in the middle of the day, dressed as Maeve, it was the first time I walked around our building that way, I didn't do it on my floor.
Karen Ortman 20:15
Maeve DuVally 20:17
Because I hadn't told anyone I was coming out and I just kind of sat in the corner listening to the people on that panel. I felt such a sense of relief. I decided at that moment that I was going to come out. That day I reached out to our Human Resources Department and said, I want to set a date to come out. We decided on the day after Memorial Day. In advance of that, I started out by talking to the people around me at work who I have a real friend relationships with, not just a co-worker relationship. And, then I gradually worked out from there. Everyone was very supportive. They just wanted to make sure that I knew what I was doing and I wasn't going to get hurt.
Karen Ortman 21:10
They cared about you.
Maeve DuVally 21:11
Karen Ortman 21:13
Did you experience any conflict within your extended family with, I don't know what what religion you are and perhaps you don't practice but anything, you know, cultural or religious. Any impacts to your life there?
Maeve DuVally 21:38
Yeah, I grew up as a fairly devout Catholic. I haven't really considered myself Catholic in decades. I consider myself spiritual now, so religion really wasn't an issue for me. For my immediate family, my ex-wife, and my three children, I obviously was apprehensive, but they've been all very supportive. Some have taken a little bit longer to get used to this than others, but everybody has been very supportive. My extended family up in Massachusetts, I was a little bit concerned about how they'd react to things. I don't think they understand the fact that I'm transgender in the same way that my family down here does, but they know they can see that I'm much happier, so they're happy for me. I can't ask for anything more than that.
Karen Ortman 22:39
So what does transgender mean to you?
Maeve DuVally 22:47
So, we talked about our gender identity, and transgender is an identity. Karen, you can look at me and attest to the fact that I'm wearing makeup, I'm wearing a dress, I've talked publicly about so I don't mind talking about it. I don't encourage people to ask transgender people unless they really know them. I have had one surgery, and I'm having another surgery soon. I'm taking courses to adjust my voice, hopefully. Those are all external things, and the external things are very, very important, but at the heart of it, I want to be accepted as a woman. The most gratifying experience I can have is to be with n intimate group of women and be accepted as one of them. That's what transgender identity means to me, acceptance.
Karen Ortman 23:50
Yeah, it's very important. Tell me about the name Maeve, which I love, by the way.
Maeve DuVally 23:56
Yeah, it's a good name. And that's another good thing about being transgender, you get to choose your own name, and have your parents do that. I was I was born in Ireland, I lived there about four or five years, so I definitely wanted to choose an Irish name. I just always liked the name Maeve. Maeve was a warrior queen in Ireland around the time of Christ. In English means she who intoxicates, which I just love. I kind of love the play on the word they're given. I'm an alcoholic and recovery. So it just for me works in so many ways.
Karen Ortman 24:36
Beautiful name. If you could address any misconception regarding transgender people, what would it be?
Maeve DuVally 24:45
One has to do with what we were just talking about, the the difference between the external and the internal. I think there's some people out there that think if you get if you get the surger, then you're a woman, and before you get the surgery, you're not a woman. It's not that way. If you say you're a woman and you believe you're a woman, you are a woman. I think that's an important point. Then sometimes people conflate the whole idea of gender identity and sexual identity, they, they get a little bit confused about that.
Karen Ortman 25:29
So clarify that for listeners if you can.
Maeve DuVally 25:31
My gender identity is is female. In terms of my sexuality, I've always been attracted to women. I'm still attracted to women, so that makes me a lesbian now.
Karen Ortman 25:47
Okay, yup. So gender does not equal sexual orientation.
Maeve DuVally 25:52
It does not.
Karen Ortman 25:52
Maeve DuVally 25:55
Karen Ortman 25:56
Thank you. Why do you think that society gives people who don't follow gender norms such a hard time? Because you could have somebody conceivably, who is seemingly male who likes to wear women's clothes, and is not transgender.
Maeve DuVally 26:23
There are a lot of people that.
Karen Ortman 26:25
Yes. We have a society who is, in their thinking, very binary. Speak to those people who don't understand that our world is full of people who are more than those two assigned genders.
Maeve DuVally 26:57
Yeah, up until this point in time, I think a lot of people, even in urban centers like New York, hadn't really encountered transgender people that often. It's recently, in the past five years or so, it's really kind of exploded publicly. A lot more people are aware of it. I think it's just deep seeded discomfort. People have learned that if you're born a female at birth, you're female, if you're born a male at birth, you're a male, and that's that. By some estimates, one in 200 people in the United States are transgender. That's a lot of people. There's a good chance that you know somebody who's out, the parents, of somebody who has a child that's out, or you somebody that's not out yet because of those one and 200. A lot of people aren't out for various reasons, so I think it's a great time to come out if you're transgender, the time has never been better. Obviously, if you live in different parts of the country, you have to be aware of the circumstances in that part of the country. And, if I could take a moment to digress, you know, I've been relatively privileged to come out in New York City, which is a relatively tolerant place. I'm white, I work for a very well established company that has very open and liberal policies on LGBTQ people. I feel very privileged, but it's not that way around the country and around the world. The Human Rights Commission has recently published a figure that 30 transgender people, mostly transgender female and females of color have been murdered, so far, in this country. Over 300 have been murdered around the world. The reality is that number is probably a lot higher, because if you think about it at a homicide scene, the people are not going to spend a lot of time making sure they got the gender right of somebody. It's a matter of life and death for a lot of people.
Karen Ortman 29:22
So, what you're saying, is that at a murder scene, someone might not know just based upon visual observation that a person is transgender.
Maeve DuVally 29:30
Karen Ortman 29:30
Okay. You made reference to transgender people across the country who are not in a urban setting, such as New York, which is very tolerant. If you could speak to that younger person who's in a very rural area, who doesn't have a lot of resources. Is there any guidance that you can give that person, any resource to help them navigate this challenging journey, for anybody, but particularly for somebody.
Maeve DuVally 30:09
There's a lot of information on the internet, particularly, the Association for Transgender People and the National Transgender Equality Association, they have a lot of good information on their website. There's a couple other groups too, but, you know, the most important thing when somebody realizes they are transgender, in my case, or wants to, wants to come out, it's really, really important to get counseling. It's very complex. For me, the early part of self discovery, it was beautiful and a time of growth. I look back very fondly on it, but I was very confused and I needed a lot of help. I think therapy with a trained professional, who has worked with transgender people, is an absolute necessity. That's pretty much the most important step that people can take initially.
Karen Ortman 31:19
How about you, when deciding that this was your path to transition, was there any inspiration or anything you can share that was helpful to you?
Maeve DuVally 31:40
First of all, I spoke about that panel in April of 2019, that inspired me to come out at work. One of the people on that panel was a transgender woman named Sarah McBride, she's actually running for State Senate in Delaware. If she wins, she'll be the highest ranking openly out transgender person elected to public office in the United States. She's just a really poised, put together person and very, very inspiring. I was very inspired by her. The other thing I'd say is that, as a result of the support network I have in recovery, and the nice thing about recovery is there's all these little groups in recovery who you can tap into, and I was able to tap into a group of transgender people in recovery, which is just fabulous. We have both being transgender and in recovery in common. So, it just brings me to the point that, there were so many people who helped me in recovery, so many people who helped me in my transgender journey, people who I reached out to. I really feel a strong obligation to help other people that reached out to me. The other point I would make is, I'm in Corporate Communications at Goldman Sachss, and the cardinal rule for somebody in Corporate Communications is, you never want to be the story yourself, because if you're the story yourself, that means somehow you've mishandled the story and then journalists are pointing the finger on you. I've talked about what my personality was like for all my life. I think it's safe to assume that I've been very introverted most of my life, so doing something like this, sitting for interviews, the first time this happened was the New York Times wrote a story about me coming out at work, these initially made me feel uncomfortable, but I saw that I had an opportunity. Every time I did one of these I had people reach out to me and I was able to share my experience with them, and through my experience, hopefully, give them some inspiration or ideas how they could handle the situation and their lives. So, that whole virtuous circle of people giving to me and now giving back, that's just so important.
Karen Ortman 34:14
There's such value in listeners hearing from you, particularly if they are transitioning themselves, or thinking about it, or struggling with the idea, or don't have support.
Maeve DuVally 34:32
And, that's why I was very happy that you invited me to come on to this podcast, because a lot of the speaking engagements that I have are in front of corporate audiences in financial services, and that's great. I'm mentoring people at Goldman Sachs and I'm talking to people in various stages of coming out at other companies, and that's great, I have a lot to contribute there. But I'm happy to, through this podcast, to be reaching out to your wider audience.
Karen Ortman 35:01
And I'm grateful for you for agreeing to do it, because I know you are impacting people. If there's one thing, or two things or multiple things that you could tell somebody in terms of sensitivity towards someone who is transgender, or they know is considering transition, what would you say to that person to ensure that they are sensitive to what is happening with the people that they care about?
Maeve DuVally 35:54
Well, it's always good to offer to help. Even somebody needs professional help, or wants to really get help from other transgender people, it's always good to get help. Once somebody becomes more confident in their transition - and you know when somebody's confident in your transition -the way I feel about things is most questions are not off limits. There's a couple that are off limits, like, I'm comfortable talking about my surgery, but I don't think you should just generally ask someone if they had surgery, because you wouldn't in a normal conversation, ask somebody about the size of their sexual body parts in a normal conversation, I think it's kind of akin to that. Most other things. I think, if somebody's asking from a place of kindness, and kind curiosity, that's fine.. I'm always happy to answer those questions and educate people, because they might be able to help me more. They might be able to help another person, and it just makes for a better relationship for everybody.
Karen Ortman 37:11
Is there anything that you would like to add that I have not asked you?
Maeve DuVally 37:16
I think one of the most important aspects of my transition is the realization that it's a journey, I know that's kind of an overused expression, but I see it as a journey. Like most other really good, cool worthwhile things in life, it's a journey where you never really get quite to the destination. it's really, really important that you enjoy every piece, every small part of the journey along the way, and even enjoy the things that on the surface don't at least initially seem very pleasant but you can learn from them. If you get it into your head - if I just do this, if I just do this, if I just do this - I'm going to be happy. For me, that's not the best way to think about it, it's just, I'm going to be doing this for the rest of my life, and you know what, it's really, really cool. I thought I was a man for 56 years, and for the rest of my life, I'm going to get to learn all these cool things, and you know what, I'm going to have a perspective that most human beings don't have. I'm going to be able to have the male perspective that I had in the past, and I'm going to have a female perspective. I think that's something that's really cool, and makes us transgender people unique.
Karen Ortman 38:53
Oh, absolutely. I agree with you. But let's also speak to the person - your experience sounds joyful - at the point you decided, this is what I'm going to do ,it was a pleasant experience for you?
Maeve DuVally 39:14
I had fear, I had fear and trepidation, but I was compelled, especially because I was older. I've moved pretty fast in my transition since I realized it, in part because of the fact that I'm older and I don't really...
Karen Ortman 39:33
...want to waste time.
Maeve DuVally 39:33
...I don't want to waste time. I know where I want to get. I knew, almost from the start, what I wanted to do. It was just a question of making sure I didn't go too fast, and that's what my therapist was there for, to help me go with the right pace. You're right, I almost from the start, as I said, it's been one of the most exciting experiences of my life.
Karen Ortman 39:59
The person who's really struggling though, I would imagine that first and foremost, they are the ones you are speaking to who should seek out counseling?
Maeve DuVally 40:13
Yeah, I think everybody should seek out counseling because it's very complex and multifaceted transition. I'd like to say to the people out there who are maybe a little bit older, and have realized they were transgender, but for whatever reason have decided not to come out, it's never too late to come out. I came out when I was 56. It's never too late to come out. I also realize that my experience has been maybe a little bit different than some other peoples', there's a lot of challenges. In some ways, I'm very envious of really young people who realize they're transgender and they come out really young in life; they have their whole life to live before them in the gender, they believe they really are. But, there are a lot of challenges to that, somebody who's 16, 17 or 18, they're very different than me who's had this kind of long career and all this experience. As I said, I think counseling is very important. But a lot of, you know, it's not just places like New York City and San Francisco that have LGBTQ resources, but any of the LGBTQ centers that might be in bigger urban locations, or maybe even smaller locations, or in the next town over, those are potential resources. If you want to reach out to me, reach out to me. Just reach out to other transgender people, because, as I said, a lot of people helped me and I have a responsibility to help other people.
Karen Ortman 42:02
Okay. If anyone wants to reach out to you, they can contact me at YouMatter@nyu.edu?
Maeve DuVally 42:07
Karen Ortman 42:08
And I will forward the message on to you, thank you so much for that. Thank you to my guest Maeve, it was a pleasure talking to you today. I'm so honored that you came to the studio to have this conversation. I know that it's going to be impactful and very meaningful to our listeners.
Maeve DuVally 42:29
I had a blast. Thank you Karen.
Karen Ortman 42:30
Thank you. And to all of our listeners for joining us for today's episode of You Matter, if any information presented was triggering or disturbing, please feel free to contact the Wellness Exchange at 212-443-9999 or NYU's Department of Public Safety and their Victim Services Unit at 212-998-2222. Please share, like, and subscribe to You Matter on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Tune in or Spotify.