Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired

I’ve reached a point where I refuse to be ashamed of who I am or to try and downplay my truth for the comfort of others.

This past weekend I ran into a coworker while shopping. Not a big deal in the scheme of things but he called me by my male name. (This is understandable since I’m not “out” at work, so everyone knows me by my old name). However, outside of work I generally present as female and use Kira. I also, more often than not, wear padding so as to present a more feminine presence. Now I rarely bother with makeup or jewelry as I am more often then not, seen as being female even without them. 

Most times I let people use whatever pronouns they choose, but to call me by name? I simply cannot accept anything but my name anywhere but at work and even then it grates on my nerves like nails on a blackboard. 

So I politely pointed out I don’t use my male name anywhere but at work.

Since we were in the middle of a store, I told him I would explain if he wanted to know more and he said he would see me at work. Since this was the weekend I didn’t return to work before Sunday night and I didn’t get to speak to him then. Last night I found out he had come in to work overtime and was talking to people about the encounter. Now I didn’t ask what was said, honestly I don’t care. As I told another coworker, I expected him to talk, in fact I have dropped hints or simply came out to several people there who I knew wouldn’t keep their mouths shut. I figure people are going to talk regardless and so if there was to be rumors floating around, I was going to start a few of them. As I said at the beginning of this post, I am sick and tired of feeling as if I should be ashamed of who I am or worried about how people, I often see for no more than eight hours, might see or talk about me.

So, I’m another step out at work. It is a small step but I can see the point where someone is going to say or do something and I am going to come out fully. It’s not as if I have gone out of my way to be subtle. I figure my hair and nails were enough to get some whispering going.

Funny enough, I don’t plan to begin to wear makeup at work, most of the other women don’t and a wig is too hot, so I will mostly look like I always have, (shrug), let them think what they will.


14 thoughts on “Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired

  1. That is so true let people think what they will because they will no matter how you play it. Better to play it in a way that is comfortable for you.

    But at the same time it can be very revealing to you. How people react, what they think, do they treat you different knowing that now, are they spreading rumors and making judgements. This can be something that can work to your advantage because now you have a better understanding of the people at work and what kind of people they are also.

  2. While I kmow that coming out is very stressful, being yourself is liberating, even with the haters. Those fruends and coworkers who are supportive and open minded more than make up for the loss of a couple transphobes.

  3. I really like the first line of your post…stop caring about what other people think of you. Be who you are and do what makes you happy! It’s easier said than done though…I’m sorry this person was gossiping about you, that’s pretty immature. Try to rise above it and just do you!

  4. From what you’ve said about your job, it sounds like getting fully made up is more trouble than it’s worth. I like your attitude about what people are saying, and you’re absolutely right: you might as well start the rumors. At least you know some of the stuff people say will be correct. Or it’ll be like some bizarre, giant game of Telephone, and they’ll have you joining a drag revue as Dolly Parton. 🙂 Either way, who you are doesn’t impact your ability to do your job, so you shouldn’t care what they think.

  5. Have you contacted and worked with your Human Resources department at work? Often they can help and they are also sensitive to the fact that bad behavior by other employees can generate lawsuits unless they stand clearly on your side.

  6. I’m glad you are taking the high road, but what that co-worker did is seriously disrespectful. It is never OK to out anyone without their express permission. :-[

  7. The work place is a tricky place to come out – but once people know that you “go by the name of Kira outside of work” my guess is that some people will call you that and some will keep calling you Gary. I have a couple of serious gossipers in my office and I made sure they knew what my preference was, not in any official capacity, but just because they can’t keep their mouths shut.
    I told them that I changed my name legally before telling folks at work, because I wanted everyone at work to call my Jamie – and that I considered it harassment if someone refused (temporary middle age brain slip-ups are OK and still happen). I also told them (honestly) that I don’t know where I am going with transition, but that I was still legally female and using the women’s room.

  8. *
    My complete empathy for you, Kira.

    Been there done that 35 years ago as you are doing now. I walked past gossipers with my head held high knowing they lacked the common indecency to say their words to my face. Many times the rough memories still hurt.

    Transitioning piecemeal creates these potential overlaps when you live, work, and shop in limited areas. I took that process and was lucky not to have been outed at a bad time. In fact, it was self-assuring when I did cross paths with someone who knew me one way and yet did not recognise me the other way. A part of what I called ‘passing the ‘passing’ test’.

    Keep making progress and you will do well.

  9. *
    Oops, and a post-script.

    My best for you, Kira, that your workplace fares better than my experiences. I was fired twice because I am transsexual. I had not been out at either place, management simply did their own table-tapping for whatever they could dig up against employees and lookee here what they found on me.

    The latest firing hurt because I had been employed in state government 20 years (1990 – 2010). I had been a top performer at my last position where we earned bonus pay for superior performance; I had not missed one bonus pay until they fired me. In fact, I received an agency-wide performance award for the quarter the same time my same managers issued their letter firing me for being trans.

    My manager admitted under oath three times that he committed federal felonies to fabricate his action to fire me. I won my case, but there was no point returning to work in that hostile environment.

    It is my understanding that there are no civil rights protections for transsexuals so we walk on egg shells at the mercy of our employer.

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