Before I began this process, I read time and time again that I should be ready to be ostracized, lose my family, my children, my friends, be fired, and/or be homeless or end up having to live with 4 other transgender people in a one-bedroom apartment. It can scare the absolute crap out of you if you allow it to.

I am here to tell you, that it doesn't need to be that way.

I came out to company management a couple of days ago. The night before, I wasn't able to fall asleep until 11:30 PM. I woke up at 3 AM and didn't go back to sleep. I drank 4 cappuccinos (!!!) at home and stressed until it was time to go to work. My meeting was at 11 AM, and around 10, I felt the emotions coming. I called a very close friend and let it out to her... through my tears I told her how at no time, in this process, was I ever scared, until now. And I was. I was scared. I didn't have any doubt about what I had to do, but I was scared. Letting that emotion out on the phone really helped.  I needed to get it out before the meeting.  We don't need a drama queen in the office.  Anyway, I felt much better, and didn't feel scared anymore.  I just needed to get it out.

I met with our HR director, and long story short, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. She had already guessed this about me... the first words out of her mouth after I told her what she already knew, were "we are here to support you and make this as smooth a process as possible." (!!!)  I'm the first person that has transitioned at my medium-size company of around 400 people.  Since this was new to her, she took it upon herself to do quite a bit of proactive learning/research before our meeting. I can't say enough about that, or the manner in which handled the meeting itself. I explained what was going on with me, my plan, and a rough timeline. We met for about 90 minutes. The whole thing was collaborative, cooperative, and it could not have gone any better. I left our meeting an ecstatic and optimistic. I emailed her with a thank-you and some documents I promised her (Standards of Care, etc.) afterwards, and this was part of her response:

"I’m glad you felt good coming out of our meeting yesterday, so did I! I think you are doing a great job communicating what you need, and I really appreciate you being reasonable. So many employees – regardless of what they are asking about – are just not reasonable, and it makes it so much more difficult. I’m excited to be partnering with you as we work through this process."


We agreed that she would spread the word up the food chain, and I told her I'd meet with my project managers and inform them.  Emails from our CEO, company legal counsel, and others quickly followed, expressing their support. I spoke with my project managers today and one of them had already guessed... he told me that he thought to himself when he met me about 4 months ago, "this person is not a male." (!!!) I've been overwhelmed by the level of support and understanding from the people I've communicated with on this after only one day. We are all working on a plan together to pick a date that I will come to work as myself. It will probably be sometime in the next 3 or 4 weeks.

So, I'm out to everyone. There will be an email sent to certain folks at work about me, and I will have a meeting with my project team before I come to work as me, but that's pretty much it as far as the coming-out process goes. I can't wait for the first day that I come to work as myself.... although I took a gander in my closet this weekend and I have two tops and one pair of pants that I could wear to work. (!!!)  I have quite a bit of shopping ahead of me.

I read this over, and it sounded very low-key.  I need some exclamation points in here or something... after all, this is a flipping BIG DEAL!!  So, anywhere above you see (!!!), they were gratuitously added afterwards.

P.S.  Oh, and the project manager I mentioned above... the one who "knew," during our meeting, after I came out, he was referring to me, and said "she."  He paused, and said, "Wow.  That came out totally naturally.  I didn't even think about it."  Who knows, maybe he's been thinking of me as a girl the whole time.

P.S.S.  I think the gratuitous exclamation points work. They're gratuitous, but they fit.  :)


Hey, thank you for stopping by my blog; yours is great! It seems as though so very many of us are on the same track, our transitions following along with each other.... Kind of exciting that. I am so dying to pierce my ears, but I feel that that will be the complete give-away, though not sure I can hold out much longer!

BTW, I took down that link tonite...

~ Keri

Great girl! Glad everything went well. As for "it doesn't have to be that way"....true. It's just dependent on the other people / job in your life. =/

The more stories of acceptance and the more examples to the wide world that this just works the quicker we will live in a world where there are no sleepless nights and fear of the world collapsing around our ears.

Like me you seem to be surrounded by a better class of human, congratulations.

Caroline xxx

Jerica... it is dependent in the other people/job in one's life, but that is largely dependent on her.

Caroline... oh, I'll find something else to lose sleep over. :)

I'm so glad that everyone you dealt with was so positive and supportive.

I hope that when the time comes for more than my HR department to know that people are equally as positive.

Faline, I could repeat the other comments -- how happy I am that things have gone so well, etc. -- I support all of them. But, what I'm really thinking is this: sure, a part of how everything is going (positive or at least not heinous reactions) for you is fate, luck or whatever -- but, I happen to believe that a big reason you are getting such positive reactions has to do with the fact that you are being incredibly real, honest, open and loving of yoruself and the rest of the world as you go through this.

Also, I can't resist telling you -- as some one who has made a career out of PR, marketing, communication, etc -- you are an incredible writer. I know you're not the only person who has blogged on what you're doing/becoming but, I do know that you have a gift girl. Please consider taking what you've written here and turning it into some sort of more public article or book. I'll be your publicist. (And to do that, we are going to have serious fun fleshing out your TV-ready wardrobe :) XO, Lisa B

this post makes me unspeakably happy. :)

Thanks for such a great post about your life and your comming out to your HR staff. Some of us don't need to bridge that gap that you have done so well and some of us are just plain scared to do so. Me, I don't know; just living in this life that I've been given and it's good.

Hugs, Elly

This is an immensely wonderful beginning to the transition at work process. I'm glad you're sharing your story. There are a lot of negatives that many of us face, it's truly important to share the positives. It is possible to navigate this complex path successfully. Congrats!

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