Blog,  Transitioning to the Workplace

Transitioning to the Workplace #2

Yikes…it’s been three whole months since I wrote my last instalment of this series. For anyone who has been following my blog raptly, I apologize for completely abandoning my promise of updating you all after my first day of work.

I want to excuse that delay by telling you I was caught off-guard by something a co-worker said on that first day, or that I felt too nervous to write the rest of that post, or that I was kidnapped by a group of rabid businessmen who kept me captive somewhere far from the Internet for the past three months.

But no, as you’ve likely already figured out, I’ve just been procrastinating. Again, apologies.

It’s been a weird few months. My new job has covered too many emotions and other states of being to count—surprise, nostalgia, anxiety, contentment, fear, and joy among them. Sort of like Inside Out, if you sub out the fabulous voice acting of Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling for plain old moi.

In my first week, I got introduced to the office and my new co-workers, had a few project meetings, and then on the last day of my first week, found out from my new boss that my old one had outed me as transgender when she provided a reference back during my interview process.

That stunned me. Not my new boss’s reaction—she was actually very accepting and cool about it, and understood when I told her I wasn’t ready to be “out” at work.

No, what completely knocked me to the floor and then came back for more was the fact that my ex-boss, director of a major human rights office at my former university, had disclosed my gender identity to my new employer without my permission and without telling me about it after. She had no reason to do it, we parted very amicably.

In February, I emailed her about the situation, and she apologized. And as the last few months passed, I gained more distance and peace of the situation. But it did get me to think about the complicated nature of outing, and coming out.

Ideally, I would like to be out as transgender at work. And in the months since I had that initial conversation with my current boss, I have gradually adjusted my clothes, my hair, and a number of other physical manifestations of my gender presentation toward a more feminine direction. If my supervisors and co-workers have noticed, they haven’t said anything beyond general compliments on my haircut or how comfy my sweater dresses look. But I do still get referred to as a man, as “sir” (in jest), as a guy. Only one person has openly questioned my gender at work, and she did so innocuously, when I asked her where the washrooms on a different floor were, and she was unsure which one to send me to.

To be continued….stay tuned for more content in the next week!