It does say on my job description that I am encouraged to attend conferences. But even at her most optimistic my boss couldn't find an angle to justify this one on work time.
Last autumn I participated in a research programme run by a grad student from the University of the West of England in Bristol. She was interviewing trans-people for her thesis on transgender issues, and since having supported my wife through her postgrad years I have a soft spot for those at that particular level of academic struggle and her approach to the whole issue was very sensitive and well thought out I was only too happy to oblige.
In a couple of months time the same department will be running a conference: "Trans-cending gender norms", and it was this that I was discussing with my boss. Depending on a few other factors I should be able to attend the event.
Now it might be said that someone in my slightly annoying position should see an occasion like this one as a rare chance to spend a day in the real world in girl mode. And I can't deny, that's a thought not without attraction. I can do it. But in this case I think the scruffy bloke is more appropriate. People expect a girl like me to be trans, discovering the same of a bloke like me is definitely one of those moments of widening perception.