Until Thursday nobody at work knew about the real me… even if my boss knows that I am going to counselling about ‘something’. But that has now changed!
There is a girl at work called Joan, she actually works for a recruitment company rather than my employer, but is responsible for all our recruitment needs, and is on-site much of the time. I have dealt with her a lot in recent years as I have been part of many recruitment drives. I chose her to come out to because I am thinking of changing my job anyway, partly because the future does not look rosy for my department, but also because my boss is a misogynist (so heaven knows what he’d make of me) and his rival gets rid of anyone in the department he doesn’t like, and although I have done lots of good work I know he does not respect the position I have attained. But as part of my career change, I want to pick an employer who is a bit more likely to be diversity-sensitive, and wanted a bit of insight as to coming out to an employer.
On Tuesday I had had a chat about opportunities elsewhere, and she does know I am not happy in my job. I had not got one post I had applied for, and she said “At least it was good practise, but it is not like you have a timeline to rush into something else…” and I said “well, I actually kinda do… and it is due to a sensitive issue, but that is something I would have to discuss in private” but she did take me up on it at the time. But on Thursday afternoon I had an email from Joan asking if I wanted that chat… and so we arranged for 5.00 in a meeting room. I choked up at the start and she got some water for me, then after I gave her an amount of apologetic build up about how heavy the conversation would be I told her I have gender dysphoria. She didn’t know what it was, so I explained it from my point-of-view (i.e. MTF), how it develops, then said I am a transsexual woman, and I deliberately explained to her the difference between this and a CD because it is important to me for someone to realise that this is an all-consuming gender issue for me. We talked about work options, gave me some advice, she asked one or two questions about how I feel….. and she was just lovely. I told her about things I have done, including walking group, and she said I am so brave! She was able to advise generally about equality guidelines, we talked a bit about the type of company that might be more receptive to a TS employee, etc. I talked about HR with her, she said they might have useful advice too.
She gave me a hug at the end, and said she is always there if I want to talk. I feel like a weight has been lifted!