Yesterday was the single biggest day in my life. Everything else either led up to it or will be a result of it, well maybe not, but it was important. Yesterday morning the managing partner, firm administrator and HR person at my firm informed my 112 co-workers that Dianne will be coming to work and Dan will be stepping away as I transition into living my authentic life.
I will be officially full time.
cannot describe the relief and joy that I feel from this! I don't have
to hide any more, I don't have to evade social questions about where I
work, I don't have to shop at the market 2 miles away because there are
so many people from the firm that live near me. I'm just Dianne now.
co-workers amazed me! I wasn't present in the meetings so that people
could express whatever they felt, but right afterwards my cube had a
crowd of people coming to hug me and congratulate me and tell me in the
most sincere way that they support me. I got emails all day long, from
co-workers, partners, attorneys. One male partner broke down in the
elevator and gave me a great big hug because he was so happy! Emails
poured in, people stopped me in the halls, I could feel the joy. Our
managing partner said that he was very proud of the people at the firm
because of the support and admiration they showed.
I carried a fist full of tissues all day.
plan is that I will finish out next week as a guy that everyone knows
is a proud Trans woman. Then on Monday the 29th I'm Dianne to everyone. A
couple of people already started calling me Dianne "so they can
practice." I had four or five people tell me, with pride and relief,
that they had relatives or friends who are trans.
Through it all
I thought of my friends who have gone before me. I thought of the thousands that worked
hard and took knocks and made it easier for me. And now we'll all make
it that much easier for the ones coming behind.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Recently I got a fortune cookie that said it all. It summed up my life up in just a few short punchy words of absolute truth.
"Here we go. Low fat, whole wheat green tea."
Google it. It seems to be a meme in the making. It became the theme for a camping trip with my wife as we simultaneously grappled with its Zen koan simplicity and its inscrutable depth.
So what did it mean for me? Well, on the 18th of October I will be coming out to all 115 people where I work. I'm a computer person who tries to keep my co-workers safe and happy and productive. Most of the time with success. But that's not the point of this post either...
I will be revealing to this group of 115 people something that has been at my very core of being for about half a century. Something that used to be a secret from everyone and a source of shame. I will be telling 115 people, many that I have know for 13 years, that I am a transgender person, that I am a guy on the outside and a gal on the inside. That I am "a woman trapped in a man's body" and that I need to finally come out into the daylight and live my life.
I'm a transsexual. "Here we go."
But, how the heck am I going to do this?!? Well, I'm going to prepare a statement to be read to the owners who will solemnly acknowledge the social and legal precedent and discuss the need for a respectful workplace. Then later there will be a statement to the rest of the company under the guidance of our (wonderful) HR person, my supportive boss and the firm's CEO. Then I'll leave the room while they watch a nice little PFLAG of Denver video followed by a respectful workplace discussion and a Q & A time. How much you want to bet they will all be talking about me?
Then a week later I will be coming to work as Dianne. All the way, all the time. In front of everybody. In front of the last part of my life that doesn't know me as Dianne.
Strangely, that part doesn't give me the Worries half as much as "Coming Out." Because when I'm in front of them, and I talk to them, I will be asking for their compassion and support. It's going to be a leap of faith, jumping across the chasm and praying that I'll land on the other side. I'm sure there will be some people who just can't wrap their heads around it, at first, or at all. That's why there will be a short period of "still a sort of a guy" after the Big Reveal. To give people time to adjust to the concept before I'm right there in front of them. Every person I have come out to has said that they needed a week or two to adjust and digest. I'm pretty sure I would too!
So far there are only 3 people in my corner of the world who have stated that they will not adjust, adapt or accept. Since two of them are the parents of my only grandson I have deigned to be a gracious and understanding person and adapt to their limitations. With them, I will do what I can to look like a guy as long as I can before it becomes just too humorous. I'll slick my hair back in some kind of funky mullet and wear a sports bra and coveralls and use makeup to give myself a unibrow and stubble. I will be fun! We'll go to restaurants and I'll try to pass as a man. I've been doing it for years so it should be easy enough.
I can only hope that the 3 out of 50 ratio holds at work also. That would mean there would be 6.9 people at work who can't deal with me. Now if I could just pick which 6.9 people wouldn't talk to me in future it would be a great day! But there are a couple of dozen that I would absolutely hate to loose.
Now, "Low fat, whole wheat green tea"
Well that's the part I don't understand. That's the part that represents the whole rest of my life from here forward. The part where I don't have the answers. But that's the part that will be the adventure.
OK, Here We Go...