I realized that I haven’t been giving my feature “Coming Out At Work” a whole lot of love lately. So, here’s an update on where I am with making my transition known to my company.
First off, as a whole, I am absolutely floored by the amount of support I’ve gotten at work. The people I’ve confided in have expressed nothing but positivity and have all assured me that I have nothing to worry about. My HR department has been there every single step of the way and is guiding me through a game plan on how to tell my colleagues. Overall, I am incredibly fortunate to work for the company that I do.
I’ve slowly been meeting with colleagues and people within my organization structure, so my company’s management knows what’s going on and aren’t surprised when I eventually start showing up looking a little different. When and how does that happen, exactly? Well, I’ve decided to take a month-long “vacation”. During this time off, as it coincides with my legal name & gender change being finalized, I am going to start living full time. I’ll be spending that time switching all of my documents (social security card, birth certificate, bank accounts, etc.) to reflect my new name.
The Friday before I begin my leave, I plan on having a meeting with my teammates & other colleagues I collaborate with often. Management and HR will be in the room along w/our EAP representative, and I’ll be announcing that I’ll be going on leave and why. Once I’ve said my piece, I will leave the office and come back a month later as my authentic self.
HR has also assured me that, moving forward, people are required to refer to me by my new name & use the proper pronouns. An occasional mistake is forgivable, but refusing to do so is not going to be tolerated.
I’ll say this much. Imaging how things will go once I return gives me major butterflies in my stomach, and there’ll be at least a few more meetings ahead to discuss this whole thing with the right people. Especially in this case, company changes mean I’ll have to have the same conversation with different people…which can be emotionally draining. However, knowing it’s just a matter of time before I receive my new company badge, with my new name, makes it all worth it.