A Kentucky mom celebrated her 20-year-old transgender son’s coming out with an “It’s a Boy” photoshoot.
“For those people whose gender identity or innate sense of their own gender doesn’t match with that assigned to them at birth, unraveling and expressing it can be complex and difficult. HRC’s Transgender Visibility Guide was designed to help you and your loved ones through that process in realistic and practical terms.”
(Via. Human Rights Campaign)
Not so long ago I the thought of coming out at work was more than I could contemplate. There was so much in the way no matter where I looked. Still, I managed to come out so several of my co-workers and even made a veiled comment or two to my foreman. Still, every time I thought of speaking to more people never mind going to work full out, it felt like I swollowed an iceberg.
Several times I have gone in wearing my ‘enhancements’ and no one even noticed. I didn’t wear a wig, though I thought about it, just a hat as has been my habit for a number of years. In fact, this is part of what started causing me problems away from work and why I have finally taken the steps I need to be out 99.99%… okay, I only say this because during the week the idea of putting any work into presenting properly seems like more aggravation than it’s worth, (even though I know better).
As time has passed and especially this past week, going in and having to hear the wrong name and pronouns has been getting more and more difficult to gloss over and I have had to bite my tongue more than once when all I wanted to do was tell everyone who I really am. Yesterday was the worst, there are two male coworkers who I think wouldn’t care one way or the other and so I have wanted to say something… anything if I could just find the right moment, which never seems to come and so I have been able to talk myself into remaining silent but doing so is feeling as if I am trapped in a skin two sizes too small… I just want to break out and be myself and to hell with anyone who doesn’t like it… And yes, I think there are a few people who would have issues, but you know what?
I. Don’t. Care. About. Any. Of. Them.
These aren’t people I would even have a beer with.
I spend no more than eight hours around them and otherwise they have no relevance to my life.
I guess the real issue here is my worry over losing my job or it becoming so hostile as to make working there impossible. I know I cannot be fired just for being Trans, but let’s be honest here, if someone wants to get rid of you they will find a way.
One of the coworkers who knows worries about my becoming the butt of jokes and gossip… she doesn’t want to see me hurt, but she cannot understand trying to stay the same is more painful than any wannabe redneck making jokes behind my back.
I know I am most venting here, this is something which is becoming more of an issue with each passing day, but I remember a very important lesson…
“Change comes when the pain of remaining the same overcomes the fear of change.”
I had therapy today, the first since I finally admitted I had to take yet another step forward. Passing through another door which has now closed behind me.
The first time I have done so and not felt grief for what was left behind.
The future, as always, is uncertain and I still have concerns and fears. Yet I have reached a point where my need to go forward became greater than my fear.
I am continuing to take very small steps, I have too much history behind me to suddenly do a one eighty and throw everyone for a loop. I have been at my current job for nearly twenty years. I cannot and do not expect everyone to suddenly switch their thinking and begin using the proper name or pronouns. I don’t expect to make many changes to the way I present at work and none overly noticeable or dramatic. For one thing I am not a teenager. I am an adult and I am expected to act as such. So, no garish makeup, no strange hairdos. No crazy clothing or accessories. I have long had a taste for the understated when it comes to such things.
There is however, something which has changed and changed dramatically. I no long wish to hide. To feel as if I am being dishonest with others or myself. I want to live my life free of such things. This is part of the reason I have begun the slow transition to full time. Trying to maintain two identities is just too difficult and painful for me to continue.
This is also the reason I took our foreman aside last week and while not spelling out everything, informed him at some point in the near future I will need to speak to our supervisor as well as HR. I also let him know I am looking into the requirements for a legal name change and to have my gender markers changed as well. This is the one thing which locked the door behind me. I understood what I was doing and why.
I’m glad I did so.
You see, to me having the option of stopping, going back, de-transitioning, (whatever you want to call it), is no longer acceptable. I’m just causing myself more pain by not removing it from my thoughts all together.
It’s the same, to my way of thinking, as suicide. Maybe not in the physical sense, but it would be killing myself just the same. For so long I kept the option of removing myself from this world as a very real possibility and all I did was torture myself with the knowledge. Once I was honest with myself and admitted it never really was an option, I was freed from the never-ending weight which threatened to pull me down into oblivion.
Now I know I have to live and I have to do so as the person I am inside. No more running, no more hiding. No more masks or costumes. No more assumptions or expectations.
I did not ask him to keep this confidential. From his reaction, or lack there of, I suspect I have been discussed at some length by my coworkers, several of whom I have already come out to. I also expect I have been a topic of conversation in the main office as well, and if not… then I will be soon.
So be it.
There are days, then there are days…
I’m sitting here wondering if I’ve taken a step too far, pushed things quicker than I needed to… Yet at the same time, I feel what I did was necessary.
Right or wrong it is done now and I cannot take it back.
I have come out to a number of people. Not many, but enough. There are some who I have avoided coming out to for a number of reasons, most of them selfish.
One was a coworker who I had considered talking to on more than one occasion. The same one who has commented on my hair and nails on a few occasions, but I was ambivalent about telling her the truth. Today I did after she made another comment about my nails.
She told me the reason why they bothered her and it has nothing to do with jealousy. The fact she was willing to share such a personal, private subject with me prompted me to do the same and so now she knows I’m Trans, though I didn’t go into detail. Maybe later if she asks… My real concern about talking to her has been I don’t trust her not to tell everyone we work with, but I guess it’s too late to be second guessing myself now. All I can is wait and see what happens, if anything.
The second person is someone I have known longer than anyone other than blood relatives. We have been friends for so long I sometimes can’t remember a time before I knew him. He made a comment to me on Facebook using my male name. Of course it’s the only thing he knows, but it was about friendship and it touched a nerve I thought long mended. You see, we haven’t spoken directly since my Mother died several years ago now. We have both moved on with our lives and simply drifted apart as so often happens, yet I still feel the sting of his absence in my life. So when he left his comment, I replied. Not very well I will admit and it confused him which isn’t surprising. Still I decided to give him my correct contact information and the address of this blog. Again, all I can do now is wait…
I have said before I am tired of feeling as if I am lying to people, hiding myself away out of fear and uncertainty. I am sick of trying to live in two worlds, my life split between one reality and another… As I was told as a child; it is better to tell the truth than to try and keep all of your lies straight. I never realized just how true this was until I found myself walking a razors edge between the lies I had told for so many years and the truth I am still discovering.
It’s funny. In my last session with Jodi this very topic came up. How I always fear the worst, but it never seems to happen… Well, now I am putting this to the ultimate test. If my fears come to be, then everything I have worked all these years for has been for nothing and I will find myself trying to start over sooner than later. It will also mean a life long friendship has come crashing down…
Another bridge burnt by my own hand.
As I posted yesterday, I came out to my step mother who is pretty much the only direct connection I have with the larger part of what blood family I have. This was a decision I agonized over almost from the beginning but even more so once I had decided to drop any connections to my previous life online. At the time I emailed her and simply told her I wouldn’t be using those accounts any more, though I would still check them occasionally, (through as time as gone by I have pretty much forgotten about them). The simple fact was I was scared to death to reveal the truth to her and it has taken all this time to finally reach the point where I simply couldn’t put it off any more.
Unfortunately she lives half way across the country from me and so our only communication is online. I had planned to broach the subject with her during her last visit but she had to cancel at the last moment due to illness. So I finally decided to simply email her which I admit was unfair since she had no warning what I was going to do. I think things like this are best discussed face to face, but it wasn’t meant to be. On the good side? I have received a very positive response from her today. Now I don’t know how any of the rest of the family will respond, I haven’t been in contact with them for a very long time, but I will just have to take it one step at a time.
This is just one more layer stripped away and I am a little closer to being the person I have long known myself to be.
Here is the email I sent to my step-mother….
I know it has been a long time since I contacted your directly. It’s been almost two years since I made the decision to change my online identity as I think I mentioned in another email at the time. What I didn’t do was explain why.
At the time I’m not sure if I could have explained it myself let alone you or anyone else and it has taken me a considerable amount of self searching, talking to others, and online research to have a grasp of what I face even now. It is a long and complicated story and I am not going to try and explain it all here in a single letter. though I will be happy to answer any thoughts or questions you have.
I suppose what you really need to know is I am Transgender. Just do a Google Search, there is more information online than I have room for here, but what this means is I am in the slow and difficult process of rediscovering who I really am. Who I have always been.
As part of this I have changed my online identity from Greg or shdwpoet2 to Kira, Kira Moore, or Kira Anne Moore depending on the context. In the real world I am still legally Greg and use that name for work and other official business, but there will come a time when I will also change all of my personal information to Kira. Doing so is a long and expensive journey which I am taking as slowly as possible for the sake of Aimee and the boys.
I know this is a shocking revelation and I understand how confusing this must be. I would have loved to have been able to site down a discuss all of this face to face, but it was not meant to be. I’m sorry I took as long as I did to come out to you and wish it could have been more personal, but I simply couldn’t and can not continue to try and keep who I am a secret to the point I have done so far. It is simply causing too much stress and I want to save my energy for other things. So, as I said, at least as far as being online is concerned, I will do so as a reflection of who I really am. Real life will have to follow at its own pace.
To keep this reasonable, I will simply tell you I use the following to communicate online;
I am also on Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, all as Kira Moore. If you would like additional contact information just let me know and I will get it to you as soon as I can.
I hope to hear from you soon,