TransFor the first time in years I had a plan for my life. Years and years of introspection and contemplation led me to take a number of significant steps over the last 12 months. I began growing my hair out (again), steeled myself against any inquisitive glances and went out as Vanessa as often as my free time would allow and started paying attention to my gestures and movements. I began making more friends in the transgender community, attended Esprit (and made more wonderful friends), lived as Vanessa a week out of every two and began seeing a therapist. I had countless conversations with my wife, fights and tears and love and support and a deep and open sharing.
I even put together a rough transition plan for myself, which went something like:
- Start new job
- Begin hormone therapy in September/October
- Do awesome work on new job and make my employer happy
- Slowly start coming out to more friends and family
- Begin discussions with my manager and HR about living as Vanessa full time late 2011 or early 2012 (unless the hormones cause developments which need to speed said conversations)
- Take a few weeks off to have facial feminization surgery and return to work as Vanessa
- Cue Real Life Experience…
- 12 months later, ‘It’s a girl!’
All neat and clean. As safe and comfortable as one could imagine such a dramatic upheaval ever being. But the plot has thickened, and I must roll the dice again on my tidy plan.
For reasons that are fairly complicated I find myself in a position where I need to tell my employer after only a week and a half on the job. I won’t go into all the details, but there wasn’t a slip up on my part, or anything overly prying on the part of my employer. It’s just an unfortunate side effect of the intersection between company policy, Crossdresser Heaven and my desire to be open and honest.
I have a meeting scheduled with HR this week to try and work through it all. Honestly part of me is terrified. I haven’t had nearly enough preparation for this. I know that I’m relying in far too great a measure on my employer’s lgbt friendliness. Yet I sincerely don’t see this impacting my work or team for at least a year or more, and I’m hopeful that any serious drama can be postponed for at least as long.
Though I’ll also admit that part of me is excitedly anxious for this to be done. Perhaps it’s with resigned acceptance that my transgender journey will never be safe or predictable or fully in my control.
I had discussed with my therapist whether I should start as Vanessa, but we both agreed this would be far too much to handle for all concerned. After this week I count my blessings that I didn’t laden myself with this psychological burden as well – there are so many new things to learn as it is. I don’t think I could learn to work in a new gender role at the same time.
Come to think of it, I’m mostly at peace with it all. I expect a fairly positive reaction from HR, and if I can postpone sharing with my manager until it would impact my team I think it will make it easier when I do decide to share. While I can imagine many variations of a worst case scenario, what will be will be.
I’m going to fetch some water now…
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