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  • #633680
    Tina Que
    Participant
    Registered On: April 14, 2021
    Topics: 58
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    I am on the verge of coming out to everyone at work. I have told 5 people at work who I felt were accepting and would keep it confidential until the appropriate time. I have found an overwhelming sense of acceptance and support from these people. It makes me feel confident that it will go well when I do. I don’t think I would even consider it if one of my best friends was not part of that accepting, supporting group at work.

    I am not sure the best way to approach coming to work dressed. My workplace is a combination of sales, service, warehouse and administration. I am an Operations Manager who spends 80% of my time in the office and 20% in the shop and warehouse only to manage people.

    I am looking for examples from any of you that have come out at work. How did you do it?

Viewing 15 reply threads
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    • #638192
      Sarah Kanter
      Lady
      Registered On: April 25, 2019
      Topics: 13
      Replies: 153
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      Hey Tina,
      I dress up for work about once a week on average. I work in one of the few environments where it really works, and I know a lot of us don’t have that privilege. I teach at a university in a very open minded and diverse department, so dressing up is not a big deal at all.
      When I came out, I didn’t feel the need to warn anyone or get permission from my boss. I just started doing it. Everyone in the department asked about it the first time they saw me. Some asked if this was some kind of social experiment (I teach sociology), or new identity, or if I was transitioning. I just said, “No, it’s just for fun, I like to dress up sometimes. I’ve always enjoyed dressing up but finally got the courage to do it in public.” A few people haven’t said anything about it at all, and just acted like it was a normal part of life. Actually, I kind of wish people would ask me more about it, as I kind of wonder what people are thinking, and it would be nice to have my story told the way I want it told.

      In my opinion, the most important things to consider are these:

      1. Dress appropriately for your workplace. I always hate to sound like I’m telling people what to wear, but cross dressing for work shouldn’t detract from your work. You don’t want something that makes work more fun, to get in the way of your ability to do your job well. If part of your job involves walking around a warehouse, your clubbing heels probably aren’t the best choice. You want to look professional for whatever the job is. I work in an office, and professional office styles work well on me, so this is easy for me.
      2. Own it. If you’re going to do it, just be bold and honest about it. Confidence is key to success. The more you act like it’s not a big deal, the easier it is for other people to be cool about it. If you’re nervous and awkward, the vibe will spread to others.
      3. Give other people space to adjust. Accept the fact that there will be questions, and that some people will take time to get used to the idea. Obviously people should still be kind and treat you with respect and what you’re wearing really shouldn’t change those basic expectations, but just be prepared for some people to need some time to adjust and think through it.
      4. Moderation. I am not trans, and I know everyone thinks about dressing up differently. It means different things to different people. For me it’s important, but primarily just for fun. Some moderation (dressing up once or twice a week, rather than every day) creates a good balance. Dressing up on “casual Friday” might be a way to ease into it, and dressing up every day for work may not work very well unless you’re considering a full transition.
      5. It might be wise to talk to HR or your supervisor if you think there might be some problems. I knew nobody would care in my department, but that isn’t the case for everyone.

      Good luck, and most importantly, Have Fun!

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #638249
        Tina Que
        Lady
        Registered On: April 14, 2021
        Topics: 58
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        I agree with everything you said. A year ago, when I started ramping up my wardrobe, my intention was to keep it in the house so my clothing purchases reflected that. Although there are some tops that are appropriate for work, I needed a few more and pants. I had one pair. I now have 6 pair and 5-10 tops appropriate for work. I do have one pair of running shoes, one pair of shoes (flats) and one pair of boots (flats) that would be appropriate for work. I think one more pair that is cute but sensible and comfortable and I will be set for awhile.
        I am giving a small preview this week wearing my new pink coat and purse. I only wear it in to and out of the building so many don’t see it anyway.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #638213
        DeeAnn Hopings
        Duchess
        Registered On: November 10, 2019
        Topics: 11
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        The company from which I retired had some fairly progressive policies. However, gender presentation was a one-way street. It was fine if you were transitioning, but you could not go back and forth…

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #638221
          Sarah Kanter
          Lady
          Registered On: April 25, 2019
          Topics: 13
          Replies: 153
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          That’s a good point. Like I said, everyone thinks about this differently, and I think my approach is unusual here. The main thing is you have to find what works for you, that increases confidence. I still use male pronouns and my male name dressed up, so people don’t need to go back and forth. I consider myself a male in women’s clothes, and I know that’s not how everyone feels about it.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #638242
            Tina Que
            Lady
            Registered On: April 14, 2021
            Topics: 58
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            I am not to concerned about which name or pronoun they use but will find it wierd initially if anyone pages Tina over the intercom.

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    • #637736
      Jane Don
      Lady
      Registered On: March 4, 2020
      Topics: 3
      Replies: 100
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      WoW– I don’t thing the vast majority of us could come out at work & still be employed next week–Labor & human rights laws are only for those with some money (well off)–Winning a lawsuit (that takes YRs) after losing my house & everything else is not Winning to me–

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #637942
        DeeAnn Hopings
        Duchess
        Registered On: November 10, 2019
        Topics: 11
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        Also remember that in roughly half of the states there are no legal protections for LGBT people…

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #637946
          Tina Que
          Lady
          Registered On: April 14, 2021
          Topics: 58
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          Canada is a little bit better on that front.

          • #638188
            Jane Don
            Lady
            Registered On: March 4, 2020
            Topics: 3
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            Canada is only Better IF you have the Right job & or are well off–If you can’t afford to be out of work & wait Yrs–too bad for you-

    • #634847
      Ashley Konners
      Lady
      Registered On: August 15, 2020
      Topics: 40
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      I know how your feeling as I’ve come out to my female boss at work and she has been amazing with me.  She always encourages me to be myself and when I’m ready to tell others she will have my back.

      • #634866
        Tina Que
        Lady
        Registered On: April 14, 2021
        Topics: 58
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        I have a male boss and he is having a manager’s meeting next week on my day off to reiterated the harassment policy with the other managers to share with their people. Some have already done that and specifically pulled people aside that are highly probable to say the wrong things. The support from my co-workers is just incredible.

        The VP for Western Canada said he would fly out if I wanted him there when I announce it.

        Even though I didn’t require it, it shows the overwhelming support.

        5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #634822
      Cece X
      Lady
      Registered On: April 8, 2020
      Topics: 34
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      Hi, Tina. I work at a LGBTQIA organization, so my work environment would be different from yours. When someone at our organization decides to transition either HR or more likely the person’s supervisor makes an announcement of the person’s new name and pronouns at an all-staff meeting or by memo.
      I have never seen a person come to work as one gender one day and as the other gender the next day. I have seen only gradual changes so far, usually starting with make-up and lipstick at first along with androgenous clothing.

    • #634760
      Tina Que
      Lady
      Registered On: April 14, 2021
      Topics: 58
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      I am officially out at work. I drafted up a statement that I gave to some to read. I changed my email signature to say Tina Que (She, Her) below my male persona. Can’t unring the bell. I don’t think it could have gone better. The worst reaction I got was neutral. Many expressed how hard it must be yo come out and that I am brave to do so. Many said ‘you got to be you’. Many people know someone in the LGBTQ+ community so it is not really a big deal to virtually everyone.

      Tonight is shopping for new work clothes with a co-worker/great friend and a friend of hers. Apparently they are brutally honest about how you look in the clothes you try on. I am looking forward to it. This will be the first real time in public. Exhilarating and scary at the same time. I have a great supportive friend who will be my rock tonight.

      I think April 18 is the first day I will come to work dressed.

      • #634823
        Jill Quinn
        Lady
        Registered On: July 24, 2021
        Topics: 1
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        Tina,

        That’s wonderful news! I’m happy for you! I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible and that it’s a dream come true for you.

        Hugs, Jill

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #634173
      Bianca Everdene
      Lady
      Registered On: April 11, 2017
      Topics: 30
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      Hi Tina

      I came out individually to about 6 colleagues at work who encouraged me to be my true self… at a Christmas night out with 24 colleagues!
      I told my boss before the night and reassured him my workplace persona would not change. I’m a staff nurse and we all wear the same drab uniform at work, no nail polish, no jewellery, minimal make up, so no real chance to bring it to the workplace,  Had a fabulous party night in a gold sequin gown, make up and wig. Not a bad word said, and the acceptance, encouragement and approval I got was overwhelming.

      Any work parties coming up? A chance to let Tina out to play?

      B x

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #634176
        Tina Que
        Lady
        Registered On: April 14, 2021
        Topics: 58
        Replies: 298
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        The next party would be christmas. I don’t really want to wait. I have come out to 7 people but there are about another 50 at the branch. I am know fairly well at the corporate level and that would be hundreds of people that know me.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #634161
      Tina Que
      Lady
      Registered On: April 14, 2021
      Topics: 58
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      UPDATE

      I had a meeting with the VP and he 100% supports it and said how brave I am many times. He would even fly out to help me with announcing it if I needed.

      I then told my Manager who was kind of surprised by the whole thing. He said he would make sure I was protected which is good. Probably the best I could have hoped for from him.

      I will now let the message sink in so a plan can be put in place to announce it and proceed. Any thoughts on the best way to proceed by any of you would be much appreciated. I have no idea how to proceed other than telling more people one on one. That is not my first choice.

      I do need to buy some more ‘work appropriate’ clothes which will happen on Friday.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #633866
      Lauren Mugnaia
      Duchess
      Registered On: November 1, 2021
      Topics: 15
      Replies: 353
      Has thanked: 3654 times
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      Hi Tina, Wow, coming out at work! As I write this I am sitting at my computer at the security desk of a British Columbia Government Ministry building. I am in full feminine makeup, clothing, jewelry, full set of gel nails, ladies loafers and a very nice looking wig. I am at work. I “came out” last month as a transgender woman to the entire building. I have received full care, support, permission, affirmation and admiration for my decision to transition while working at my job as the site supervisor for security. We all put our pretty heads together and decided that the International Transgender Day of Visibility would be the day of my debut as Lauren at the desk. If I can do it Tina, so can you!! Are you planning on making a full transition? I will only be making what is termed as a social transition, which rules out HRT and surgeries. I was blessed with my mom’s facial features, I’m only 5’7″ and 185 lbs so I can “pass” somewhat well but I’m still on the ‘big’ side of the spectrum. I figured if I am going to embrace being the woman I truly am full time then it was going to take place where I work as well as everywhere else.
      So Tina, embrace your femininity, grab ahold of the rest of your life and live it as the woman I believe you are!!

      Love,

      Lauren M

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #633942
        Tina Que
        Lady
        Registered On: April 14, 2021
        Topics: 58
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        Has thanked: 1196 times
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        Thank you for sharing your story. You are an inspiration to us all. I don’t want to make a full transition, I want the choice to dress as I feel. I’m sure the scale will tip more generously to the feminine side. I have two meetings tomorrow to discuss how to introduce Tina to my company. I am 5’9″ and size 5x. (What is the saying ‘never ask a lady her weight’) I am working on a better feminine look. I told one more person today who is also a Manager at work and he said that many of the people on my list of concerns I actually might not have to be concerned about. I am full of optimism and scared at the same time.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #633863
      DeeAnn Hopings
      Duchess
      Registered On: November 10, 2019
      Topics: 11
      Replies: 893
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      Tina:

      I suggest looking up Dr. Margaret Stumpp and Stephanie Battaglino. Dr. Stumpp transitioned roughly 20 years ago while a VP at Prudential. Battaglino transitioned at New York Life and wrote a book about her experiences: Reflections From Both Sides Of The Glass Ceiling. I’ve read it and it is a very descriptive work from her childhood to more recent times. Both women are retired these days. Both were the first to transition in place in their respective companies…

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #633807
      Abbie Normal
      Duchess
      Registered On: June 13, 2021
      Topics: 13
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      Good luck Tina, so exciting!

      I haven’t come out at work but a coworker did a few years ago and there was an email from HR announcing the change, name, pronouns etc. and how to treat them with respect. They also reminded us of the company’s zero tolerance policy for any kind of discrimination. It seemed a bit awkward at first but probably helped in the long run. The first time I saw her as a woman was at a company casual social function, she went with a bunch of girls from the office so she had a posse with her. The company also regularly has a section in the weekly news email about diversity and inclusion which helps keep everyone on point. I don’t know if she had any hassles getting to and from work since it’s in an office tower downtown without parking, she would have had to take transit or walk a few blocks from a parkade.

      She’s still an employee.

      — Abbie 🥰

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #633818
        Tina Que
        Lady
        Registered On: April 14, 2021
        Topics: 58
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        I like the idea of reminding staff about company policies at the same time as an annoucement.
        I believe I am building a strong posse that will defend me regardless of whether I am standing there or not.

        Thanks

        3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #633799
      Darcy Grigsby
      Lady
      Registered On: July 1, 2020
      Topics: 34
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      I think you may also want to consider what your ability is to replace this income should all of the best laid plans fall apart. This is unfortunately a move that carries risk to your livelihood. If you have dependents relying on your income then their security matters too. Go slow and with caution.

      5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #633820
        Tina Que
        Lady
        Registered On: April 14, 2021
        Topics: 58
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        I believe that the company policies would not allow me to lose my job. They are pushing acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community that it would devastate everything they are working towards.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #633788
      Angela Booth
      Lady
      Registered On: August 1, 2020
      Topics: 9
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      If you are just wanting to come out but not attend work as Tina or in any femme state then what you are doing is fine. If you are considering wearing some female attire or present more female then, As Carole advised, a conversation with HR would be a courtesy as some or all of the below could apply. 

      If you intend to attend work as Tina I offer this,

      As per Caroles suggestion, talk with HR. You have wisely sounded out and gained acceptance of some of your colleagues. This is good as you know that you have support to start with.

      Most companies would have a protocol for dealing with Trans personnel. If not have a discussion about it and make a plan. 

      The first thing would be if there are any adjustments required. The biggest is restrooms usage. Also in this would be if you were considering hormones/ SRS. I only add this as you may need consideration to medical appointments and issues that may affect your work. The company may ask if you are considering a formal name change or just that you want to be known as for your work. You may have dealings with outside agencies, customers and suppliers as this will have to be considered in a holistic approach.

      Second, when this will happen. Setting a date. This could be after a holiday or break.

      The third is how to let the staff know and how to address you. This could be done by an E mail. The staff should be given an opportunity to express any concerns they may have, be that cultural, religous etc ,and offer support for them. It would be proper for the company to outline their policy and any law regarding Trans persons.Then it’s down to  administrative – that is your I.D. card, E mail title .

      This is a loose guide based on experience and rules that apply here in the U.K and as Canada is very progressive it may apply there too.

       

       

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      • #633824
        Tina Que
        Lady
        Registered On: April 14, 2021
        Topics: 58
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        Our HR department works more on policy that making sure policy is applied properly. However, I have a meeting this week with the head of the Inclusion and Diversity strategy committee and the VP for Western Canada who is the executive partner for the committee to discuss a plan.
        Our washroom are single person washrooms and I don’t think the women on my floor would mind if I would use this washroom while dressed.
        I am not transitioning and therefore do not need to worry about those doctor’s appointments. We don’t use id cards but I think I would include both names in my email signature. I will ultimately identify as both on different days.
        I really appreciate your comments as it reinforces what I want to do as well as brings somethings to the table that I need to consider.

        Thanks

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #633782
      Leah
      Baroness
      Registered On: June 13, 2018
      Topics: 3
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      I would talk with Human Resources first to se what support and protections they have in place before you let the cat fully out of the bag.  As it can Never go back in!

       

      What do you hope to gain by coming out at work?  being able to dress at work?  Relieve the stress of hiding?

       

       

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      • #633827
        Tina Que
        Lady
        Registered On: April 14, 2021
        Topics: 58
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        I am not trying to gain anything at work other than reconciling who I am with myself. I want to have the choice to dress as I want (within reason as it will remain business casual). I will be extending this move in my personal life as well which includes an affirming church and going out in public.

        Our HR department is not the direction I am going but tapping into other company resources to aid in the process.

        Thanks for bringing these things to my attention. I am sure that in hide sight I will have wished I did some things differently but that is why they call it hide sight. Everyone’s suggestions will help that there will be fewer regrets.

        Thanks

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #633760
      Carole Dubois
      Lady
      Registered On: July 4, 2019
      Topics: 0
      Replies: 3
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      Coming out at work can sometimes be hard, I found that the best way was to contact HR and have a talk with them, I was accepted as a woman and no body said or did any thing to ruin.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #633761
        Tina Que
        Lady
        Registered On: April 14, 2021
        Topics: 58
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        How did you go about it? Did you announce that you were CD then start dressing at work or just show up one day dressed or something else.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #633756
      Anonymous
      Topics: 0
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      I am not out at work either.   Wouldn’t be taken well at all.  Good luck!

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #633755
      Anonymous
      Topics: 0
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      Dear Tina,

      Congrats, I am happy for you! I am not out and I don’t think that it would go well at my work, so sorry, I can’t give any advice.

      Amy

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #633838
      Tina Que
      Lady
      Registered On: April 14, 2021
      Topics: 58
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      I appreciate everyones comments as they will only make the experience better. I truly believe everyone here is wishing the best for me and others that will attempt this in the future. I appreciate you. I hope my experience will help someone else down the road. All of you will be part of my success.

      Thanks

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #633829
      Tina Que
      Lady
      Registered On: April 14, 2021
      Topics: 58
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      Our corporate policies dictate zero tolerance for harassment. I have seen prominent people lose their jobs for other reasons. They would have no issues making an example of someone that chose to participate in harassing behaviour. Anything less would be a big black mark on the company and heads would roll if not acted on.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
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