I was summoned to the Managers office this week … and asked to shut the door … Gulp!

My mind was in turmoil as to what I had done wrong, was I being moved to another platform, had there been a complaint about my care, … all this flashed through my mind in a nanosecond as I slipped in to the office … my anxiety crept up another notch when I was asked to sit down and pull the chair up to the side of the desk …

As you may know, I work on an offshore oil production platform in the North Sea as a nurse (platform medic) and have been on this particular platform for over 13 years. We have recently had a change in the platform management team, with a new platform manager joining the company and assigned to the work with us.

I have been out and proud on the platform since I arrived here and tend to take my Transgender status for granted, it’s just ‘normal’ for me and I get on well with the platform core crew as well as the vendors and visitors.

 

However, even though I am out and everyone knows I am Transgender, I tend to dress in a somewhat androgynous style with unisex green overalls and pastel coloured tee shirts, along with my dyed shoulder long red hair and thin shaped eyebrows; so I’m not exactly a shrinking violet then! Heels and skirts are just not done on an oil platform and not appropriate for my situation.

Back to the office … my anxiety and paranoia were working overtime and I was sitting rather uncomfortably on the edge of the chair waiting for whatever came next…The new manger was a large, macho, rugby fan who had a commanding aura about him that encouraged you not to question his decisions.

‘I understand that you are Transgender’ he says … with me taking a breath worrying what is coming next …  ‘…and would like to know how you would prefer to be addressed …’ asked my manager… He continued with ‘I have never worked with someone who is openly Transgender before and know very little about it … so I don’t want to upset you in any way.’

Needless to say the wind was knocked out of my sails and I took a few seconds to recover my composure and explain my relaxed tolerance to how I was addressed as I presented mostly male due to my name being that on my contract etc.. with a strong feminine lean.

 

I was asked how I balanced my life between male and female time, about my partner and how they dealt with things, and my own preferences and how that fitted in with my work and leisure time.

What followed was a 15 minute discussion about how he perceived my conduct to be extemporary and professional, giving declarations of full support from the manager in however I wished to present myself.

He used words like ‘pioneer’, ‘ground-breaking’ ‘complete person’ and ‘role model’, complementing me on my work ethics and my managing the balance of being transgender and professional in my conduct on the platform, which he sees as one of the most macho work areas possible, where very few Transgender people work. I was told to let him know if I had any issues with transphobic comments or bullying as he would not tolerate these in any form.

Happily, I was able to explain that I had phenomenal support from the core crew team who often defended me when new people made uneducated comments about my gender status, and that they were all comfortable enough around me to have some light hearted banter without meaning anything detrimental.

So, what was perceived as a potentially worrying interview by my paranoia, turned into an amazing offer of support in all areas of my work and private life, and a request for more information on the subject, to help him give better informed support in the future.

I was a little emotional after and had to take a minute to absorb what had just happened and reflect on the issues I had in the past where I was subject to a ‘constructive’ removal from a post due to an unsupportive (transphobic) manager, and how I was being offered support without asking or prompted.

This event just goes to show that you never know where support will come from, or when, or how. It was an amazing but humbling boost to my personal and professional life from a source that I had least expected, in an area not known for its sensitivity but truly welcomed.

 

I hope this gives some hope for others who are not in such a good position as myself, and shows that there are great managers out there and you never know where support may come from when you need it most .

Thanks for taking time to read my article and please feel free to take the time respond to any questions I’ve noted below.

Sincerely, Dawn

Have you ever had an uncomfortable situation at work because of you being transgender?

Have you ever been in an area as a transgender or open cross dresser and been accepted where you least expected to be accepted?

Have you been accepted by anyone who you least expected to accept you as being transgender such as what happened to me in this article?

 

 

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Long termTG living next to the sea side in the Duchy of Cornwall, UK, with my wonderful partner and 2 batty cats ! I enjoy canoeing, cycling, Traveling and burlesque. I work as a nurse practitioner in the Oil and Gas industry, and supports many people from the Transgender community. I have been out and about for many years, and spend a large portion of my time fem.

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Scarlett398
Editor
Trusted Member

Girls, I love this article of Dawn’s. For all you trans girls and cross dressing girls out there. You’ll never know were you’ll get the strongest support from and most of it may come from people outside your immediate or extended families! I want to encourage as many of you girls who read this article to respond to Dawn’s message and Dawn’s questions. We both thank each and everyone of you for taking the time to read this important article and message Dawn is driving home in her writing. Thanks a bunch, girls and we hope you have a very… Read more »

Leonara
Ambassador
Active Member

Thank you Scarlett
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all the lovely ladies here at CDH..
Hugs….Leonara

Scarlett398
Editor
Trusted Member

Thank you Leonara! You’re always so sweet to me!
Merry Christmas and Happy Safe Holidays!

Love ya! XOXOX Scarlett

Terri
Baroness
Member

First of all I want to thank you Dawn so much for writing this article. I actually had tears in my eyes reading it. It really showed how much things have changed. I am so happy for you. There will always be people who will never accept the TG community. But more and more people are accepting us. Its not perfect but what is ? Thank you again
Yours Terri

Donna James
Lady
Active Member

Great article Dawn. Wonderful to hear how in a very male dominated and full of banter environment you have been able to thrive happily. An inspiration to us all. Keep enjoying.

Giselle Reeves
Lady
Active Member

great post Dawn and to have such support and understanding in macho environment is amazing.

Leonara
Ambassador
Active Member

Dawn
Such a great article and thank you for sharing..
I sensed your anxiety being “summoned” to the
manager’s office and yet I felt too your sense of relief
In support of all areas of your life..again thank for your inspirational article
Happy Holidays and healthy new year,
Hugs….Leonara

Madelynn Fox
Lady
Member

What a wonderful thing to happen. And, how empathetic is that manager to want to be educated on how to make Dawn’s workplace environment more inclusive. Such a great thing!

Natalia Ro
Member
Member

That’s amazing Dawn 🙂

skippy1965 Cynthia
Ambassador
Trusted Member

Great article Dawn. I think your experiences-both the earlier slightly negative one, and this recent very positive one-are illustrative of the slow steady move toward acceptance of the community. While a corporation may espouse their diversity and acceptance, it remains to the local, immediate management and coworkers that determine how our community is treated. The best we can do is what you have done- do our jobs professionally and to the best of our ability and not be ashamed of who we are.
Thanks for sharing this story.
Cyn

janedon
Lady
Member

WoW—you are very very Lucky—Most of us would be unemployed within a week (they would Find another reason)-

Sophie Underhill
Member
Member

What a fabulous account Dawn. I’m so pleased. It gives real hope for the future.
Sophie

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