4.11.2011

Starting Over

I started a new job today and again I found myself trying to decide whether or not to disclose my transgender status. I didn't say anything at my interview like I did the last time I went for a job interview but when I went through the discrimination policy at my new workplace, gender identity was not listed in the protections. Sexual orientation, race, ancestry, religious affiliation and all the other good old standbys were covered but not gender. I decided that I needed to have at least one person to know.... just in case. You never know when an accident might happen and even though I will have surgery in a couple of months I want someone to be aware of my gender identity. If anything tragic were to happen there is at least one person who knows what's going on and who might be able to protect my privacy if there ever came a time that I couldn't speak for myself.

At my last job I didn't explain my gender to anyone except my direct supervisor and our HR person and that was at my interview. I crossed my fingers and hoped that I didn't blow it. A couple of people I knew from before obviously knew about my transition but I must say they were terrific at not making my gender anyone's business but my own.

This new group I am working with is much younger than the group I was working with at my last job. We are all sort of in our thirties and have vast experiences of the world which I find seems to make people a little more accepting of differences in general. Everyone in my office is from somewhere other than here and living here for a long dark cold winter takes an adventurous kind of spirit.  As things progress I might feel more like "coming out" as I plan to be at this job for a long time. I know how terrible it feels to have someone out you to strangers either as a topic of conversation or to make themselves feel better. Maybe the reason I'm not yet ready to disclose my gender variance is because I don't want anyone to have the power to manipulate me or decide it is their place to disclose my gender. I'm not ready to make myself that vulnerable to a large group of people at one time.

Only time will tell how things will go. Maybe after surgery I will feel more confident explaining to others what my body used to be instead of feeling self conscious about what it is.

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