A few minutes ago I stuck a foot out of the closet at work. During my weekly coaching meeting with my manager, I asked to speak with him in private. In a small break room off the main floor, I sat across from him and in a meandering, halting way told him I was trans. First I spoke of the mysterious medical issue he knew I have, then I told him it was related to something I’m doing, and finally I managed to force myself to mention that November is Trans Awareness Month and then quickly follow that up and tell him that I am trans and I am transitioning.
His reaction was excellent. He told me that any further details were between me and HR, unless I wished to divulge them to him, and cited the law that enforces this. He assured me that the process of transition from an employer’s perspective is well understood by HR, and that it would be easy to switch my accounts over to my new name. I think I’m a lot more reassured by his instant and scrupulous adherence to HIPPA than if he’d tried to “be my ally” or something like that. My relationship with this company is strictly professional, and I don’t want them to get too personal about this. I’m much more comfortable with a formal process, strictly regulated by Oregon state law, and with HR aware of just how big their liability exposure could be if they screw me on this.
I’ve seen other trans folk here at work, I kind of expected this to go well. Still, it was the scariest thing I’ve done in months. After telling my manager, I clocked out for lunch and went to sit on the toilet until I stopped shivering. I think I’m okay now. I don’t think I’d have had the courage to say this if I’d waited another day. I hadn’t intended to do it today, but after making the decision last night, it seemed, all of the sudden, that I should do this immediately before I got cold feet. It went as well as it could, and I still feel kind of nauseated and shaky.
Tomorrow I talk to HR and keep moving forward. Can’t look back. Can’t hold still. Gotta keep rolling before I get stuck.