Thursday, October 27, 2016

Haunting My Work & Other Transgender Fun

Well, it's official. I'm starting work as Faith on Monday, November 11th. And yes, I even drafted a written plan for my supervisor and for HR, because that's the kind of worker that I am. Here's a few highlights:

2. Communication and Training Plan
Having identified the different stakeholder groups, I think this will provide a guide in the levels of communication and information required throughout the organization.
My goals for communication and training are:
  • To minimize disruption and create as little spectacle as possible. Emphasizing, as much as
  • is feasible, that this is an ordinary, normal event.
  • Emphasize that I am still the same person and that I will continue to act professionally.
  • Explain that this may be difficult to understand, but that all I ask is that people treat me with the same respect that they would any other employee.
  • Make clear that my name is Faith, it is my legal name, and that she/her are my pronouns.
Generally I’m comfortable with people just asking me questions, though I understand that with issues of gender, sexuality or protected status such conversations could easily veer off into unprofessional or unproductive areas. 

Yes, that's just how I am. My work has actually been pretty cool and I've had a few meetings with different people so it's coming along well. They're  going to be working in some extra transgender elements into our annual EEO (equal employment opportunity) training and everyone I've talked to has been really nice about it.

But I'm seriously ready to come out. I'm bursting at the seams to come out. When I have conversations about makeup with coworkers, when I buy a new pair of cute ankle boots and want to tell one of my work people. I just really want to be out and be me. 

Obviously, I'm still super nervous. I don't want to be seen as some sad, ridiculous person. So I'm reminded of what one of my trans-heroes, Kate Bornstein said "you have to let your freak flag fly." So I think as long as I'm confident and rock this without apology then other people will pick up on it. Friends have told me that I seem happier and more confident as a woman, so hopefully that'll be something that I can project. I'm hoping. 

So, there's a lot going on at this stage of transition. On Friday I've got one more court visit left to get my name paperwork completed. Then that day I can pick up my gender change letter from Callen-Lorde so I can also hit the DMV for my new driver's license. Then from there I've got to get multiple name changes sent around to bank, health care and other places. I've got a Google doc going and it seems like every time I turn around there's another document or account with my name on it. Then it's out at work.

There's a reason, I guess, why they call it transition and not immediate change. It's a process and when I started, people told me "It'll be longer than you think." It's been taking a while, but it's getting there. It's about a year since I officially came out transgender and started taking HRT. So that's kind of a nice symmetry I guess. 

Well, the other day I had off work for a doctor's appointment and so afterward, I took a stroll through my work area in girl mode. I even stopped at the deli, got a sandwich and ate my lunch outside like I normally do when there's nice weather. It felt normal. Wonderfully, wonderfully normal. Hopefully it'll be normal for my coworkers too. 

So, a few more weeks and that'll be every day. I even put a photo of my girlfriend and me (in girl mode) up at my desk. We'll see if anyone notices. A part of me is terrified of coming out, being full time, starting work. But another part of me can't hardly wait. 


  1. It's been a long time coming! Congrats : D

    1. oh oh, edit: I forgot to mention: I love the communication plan :) It is so well done, but true to the documents I work with as well that I almost forgot to acknowledge it!

    2. Thank you. I kind of want to post the plan in its entirety, but I'd have to edit it to remove a lot of personal details. Maybe sometime in December I'll start working on some new "How To" guides like coming out at work.

  2. This is terrific, Faith. I'm so happy for you I'm even crying a little. I love your plan. Coming out and transitioning at work was the hardest thing I ever did until I did it. People have been overwhelmingly terrific. There are very few sourpusses and they pretty much steer clear. The students are great!

    1. Hi Erica, thank you. That's really encouraging. I'm hoping for a similar experience.

  3. And suddenly it all rolls, also wonderfully orchestrated by your employer. Love your desk btw ;)
    Good luck!

    1. Thank you! I've been happy thus far with how they've responded.

  4. Congrats
    i would wish You luck and i do wish You all the best.
    You dont need luck cuz girl You have it together.
    A well written plan You go conquer the world because YOU are FAITH !!!!!