Here’s a brief update about the past couple of days.
The biggest news is that there isn’t really any big news. The transition has gone smoothly. Everyone is using my new name every time, even if it’s still not coming out sounding natural yet. Pronoun slip ups have been minimal and accidental. The number of warm responses and congratulations far outnumber the occasional cold shoulders.
In a way I feel that I have such strong management support, that it’s making people extra nervous around me – even the ones who are being very nice and accommodating. Or maybe the nervousness is just natural because they’ve never seen a trans woman up close before. Anyway, I figure time will help that pass.
Commuting into work has been a little strange. I actually think I’m fitting in better among all those strangers who didn’t hear any announcement about me than among my well-meaning co-workers. The strangers just treat me like any other commuting woman. While at work I’m now kind of … ahem… special. But that’s a trade off we had discussed well in advance – between calling it to everyone’s attention, versus keeping it under the radar. Better to let people hear the full news in a respectful and complete way than to let them catch it from the rumor mill, we decided. I can live with my co-workers’ temporary discomfort as the downside of that.
Another observation I’ve made is that I’ve been fooling myself for months about being “full time outside of work.” I now realize there’s no such thing. You’re full time only when you’re FULL time. If you’re jumping back and forth between gender roles on a regular basis you’re not truly confronted with the full implications of gender transition. I think I benefited greatly from a few months of “full time rehearsal,” beginning last May when I decided to present only as Diana outside of work. It was helpful to me in preparing for this week, and I don’t intend to slam the practice. But I now realize that the full-time clock didn’t really start until this past Tuesday with my work transition.
Anyway my small “trans posse” at work has taken me under their wing and helped me feel supported and balanced through this surreal first couple of days. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve had friends who showed that they cared so pro-actively! It feels good to be a part of an actual community [about which, more thoughts later]. Here’s hoping it’s only the beginning to a healthier, more-engaged life.