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Coming out as Transgender in the workplace.

If you are Transgender, you will be able to relate to my experience. I will also share with you how I got to where I am now. This insight, will be helpful whether you are trans or not.

In the 21st century, this task should be so easy. Like telling your colleagues what you watched on Netflix last night. Sadly in recent years, we have seen an increase in attacks, both verbally and physically, on the transgender community. This has been mostly down to the “TERFS.” (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists), on social media. Do not underestimate the power of social media.

Many trans women and trans men are, understandably wary of coming out. For many of us, it gets to the point where we have no choice. For the sake of our mental health, we have to be who we are. Why shouldn’t we be?

Why should we not be able to live our lives just like any other person on the planet?

Until last year I was living a double life. I was living as myself in every area of my life except for my work. I had been in the same career for the majority of my working life up until that point. A male-orientated environment. It was a very niche market with a lot of contractors. I had been contracting for the past five and a half years.

For me, coming out as trans at work meant, not only coming out to colleagues in my immediate environment, or even company-wide. I would be bumping into people who I’d worked with a year or even ten years previously. I had spent the last three years worrying about the day I would come out at work. Not unusual, as every trans person has concerns about this day. 

Marilyn Monroe image, with male, hairy legs
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  • How will colleagues treat me?
  • Will they still speak to me?
  • Will I be the brunt of jokes?
  • Will I be frowned upon for using the female/male facilities?
  • Will I be glared at?
  • Will I see people laughing in corners when I walk by?

Just a few of the many thoughts that give us sleepless nights.

It became pretty clear in my mind that I had to come out at work, for myself. I found It would be the one topic that I would bring up every time I spoke with a gender counsellor.

The day arrived.

I posted a picture, accidentally on purpose, on Instagram, that a male work colleague commented on.

The Instagram pic, I posted when coming at at work.
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“Is that you ……….?”

He used my “Dead name” that I was still using at work then.

“It’s Suzanne actually. Yes, I’m trans, and work is the only place that I haven’t come out, but I need to, to be honest.”

Was my reply.

“Fair play to you.”

Was his reply.

Monday morning came around, and I wore a little more foundation than I usually would. It was surprisingly easy that day. I could not believe how well it went. I had people throughout the company coming up to me saying they knew for ages but didn’t know how to say anything. Others would hug me. I spoke with HR to let them know that I was in the process of changing my name, and I would bring in the documents when I received them. HR was incredibly supportive. 

By the end of that week, everybody was calling me Suzanne or Suzie. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly my colleagues adapted.

Elsewhere in the company, I had mixed responses, especially as time went on. Initially, I think I was riding on the high of finally living my whole life as me, that I didn’t notice the negativity. I like to see the positives in people. Some were very good responses, some wouldn’t acknowledge me, and others I could tell, just felt uncomfortable around me. 

For the most part, I had it easy. A lot of my initial fears were in my head. My anxiety, I guess, and I do overthink sometimes.

Where I am now.

I am no longer in that career, for several reasons that I won’t go into here.  You can read more about that in another of my blogs. 

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What I am doing now makes life so much easier for me as a trans girl. I have my own online business which gives me time and geographical freedom. I am doing what I am passionate about; I am helping not just the trans community, but people from all walks of life. People in the trans, and indeed all of the LGBTQ community, are the closest, and most dear to my heart. Helping to point you, in the direction of a new lifestyle that will dramatically improve your life, is just amazing for me.

One day I realised the only thing stopping me from getting what I want in life, was me. That was the day I set up my online business. I had zero skills in this field but, a willingness to change my life for the better. That, along with an open mind, was all it took. I am now a part of a caring, supportive, online community of people, who came from all walks of life, to set up an online business, initially to earn money. Very quickly it became clear that the money was not what drives us. We all have a common attribute. To help other people live the lifestyle they deserve. 

It is the 21st century, stardate 2020. We are amidst a global pandemic, and the world’s economy has gone to the wall. I believe It is this reason that humanity will redeem itself. The trans community will become more accepted. At least that is my opinion and what I hope for. Everybody, no matter who you are, will come together to support and help each other. In a major crisis, such as this one, I’d like to think that was true.

Please feel free to comment or get in touch via my contact page. I’d love to hear from you, especially with your coming out at work experience.

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