coming-out-at-work, trans-at-work, transgender

The First Week (Back To Work)

It’s Friday afternoon. By the time you read this, I will have completed my first week back at work. So, “how did it go”, you may be asking.

In a word? Wonderfully.

After a restless Sunday night’s sleep, I woke up at 5:30AM Monday morning. The butterflies were already buzzing in my stomach. I was able to pinpoint exactly when I last felt like this: as a kid when I came back from summer vacation. Not only would I see my peers again, they would get to see me…and how much I’ve changed.

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coming-out-at-work

Coming Out At Work: The Big Day (Part 1)

Today’s the day.

In just over 60 minutes, I’m gathering my colleagues at work to share my news about my time off to complete my legal transition. I’ll be surrounded by my team members, a few other colleagues I work with, and a group of senior leadership to show their support.

To make this interesting, I’ll be writing two posts today: the one you’re reading now and a recap after the deed is done. Let’s be honest, my site could use the traffic. 😉

Here we go.

Knowing that my laptop’s been turned in already (to change my user account settings) and that my meeting is at 11AM, I took the time to sleep in. I know, the struggle is very real. As I was sipping on my morning coffee, I get a call from my HR manager. She’s anxious for me and called to check in, go over some last-minute details & reassure that everything would be ok. I feel like I’ve made a real friend in her. It took some effort to pull my voice back from cracking.

It’s finally sinking in that this is for real. This is one of the final steps. In just a little while, my boy clothes are officially redundant. I can begin the process of packing it all up to give to family and/or Goodwill. (Sidenote: sorry, friends. My brother’s getting my soccer jerseys.) I’m not sure if I’ll spend the day packing those things, go get a celebratory cocktail with friends nearby, or simply go about my day. I may go to the local courthouse to see if my legal name & gender change went uncontested in person, and have lunch downtown.

In any case, I’m off to the office. Wish me luck.

coming-out-at-work, transgender

Coming Out At Work: The First Meeting

Ok, friends. I’m a day late on this post but I was, frankly, emotionally spent and needed to collect my thoughts before writing this. I promised my experience coming out at work would be a new feature here and, oh my, is this post a doozy.

Yesterday, I had my first meeting with someone from my company’s HR department. We met at a coffee shop near our offices to allow for a little privacy. My HR rep is incredibly sweet and, despite only having one other interaction with her, I felt deep down this would go well.

After some light chit-chat, I segued (clumsily) into the purpose of our meeting. Immediately, she assured me that the company was behind me 1000%. That, however, was just the start.

The way it was framed went like this. Since this would be the first time anyone in my organization has transition, I was assured that I was not alone – we (both my colleagues and I) are taking this journey together. Needless to say, I had to breathe a little to keep my composure after hearing that.

It only gets more emotional from here, so grab a tissue for the rest of this.

After some back and forth on my timeline for going full time, my HR rep got real. She told me I would be her “special project”. Why? It’s personally important to her that she get this right. Any failure is not just a failure on the company, it’s a failure on everyone as people (her words, not mine). At this point, I’m fighting back tears…as was she. Finally, we both let ourselves get a little misty before composing ourselves and walking back towards our offices. (I can’t imagine what a casual party thought seeing two people have this genuine moment of mutual empathy would’ve thought).

Walking back to our offices, I offered any help I could in making this easier for the company. This includes referring them to a few friends in HR that have helped people transition in the workplace before. I also assured her that my easy-going nature would still stay intact so I was free to answer any questions anyone has (within reason).

I ended the day with two thoughts as the day went on:

  1. I am incredibly fortunate that every person I’ve come across in my journey has been supportive. I don’t know what I did to be this fortunate. (Damn it, I’m welling up just typing that!)
  2. Regardless of what & how my colleagues may feel about my transition, I know that I have the support where it counts.

Until next time, be good to one another, and be open to compromise. Life is too short to do otherwise.

coming-out-at-work, transgender

Coming Out At Work: A New Feature

Hi friends.

I have taken a big step today towards living full-time as my authentic self: I told my boss about my transition.

The conversation was a quick one, and it went smoothly. I’m not sure what the next steps are (to be honest, I don’t think he or the company know either) but I’m glad to get such a huge weight off my shoulders.

To that, I’ll be documenting this part of my journey in a new feature on my blog called “Coming Out At Work“. I’ll be writing about my thoughts & experiences as I begin to transition in the workplace. If nothing else, it will give people a barometer on how they can navigate their transition as well.

Stay tuned…