This is the story of how I came out at my workplace. Honestly, this is not a good example of how to do this, because it’s way over-dramatic. If I were to do it again, I’m not sure I would have done it this way.
The date was August 14th, 2017. I planned my outfit for the day so that I could quickly change between boymode and girlmode with a few outer layer shifts. My guy disguise for the last three months had been a compression sports bra under a loose t-shirt with a pair of basketball shorts. Instead, I wore my bermuda jean shorts, my most lifting and supportive bra that I owned (I was already a DD cup by this point), and a low cut tanktop. Over top of that I threw on the loosest, biggest T-shirt that I owned. In my bag I packed a long cardigan to throw on over the tank-top after I took off the shirt.
When I got to the office I pinged my boss and asked if I could meet with him and our HR director. He informed me that thanks to a recent re-org, he was our HR person, so the two of us went off and found a meeting room. “So, what’s up?” he asked. I knew that he knew something queer related was happening in my life, and honestly I thought he already knew I was transgender, so I just came right out with it: “I’m trans.”
“Oh, cool,” he replied. I told him I’d been transitioning for three months and that I was ready to come out at work. He asked me when I wanted to make the switch over and I told him “Today, if it’s cool. I figured I’d just wait until everyone got in and then I’d deliver a little speech.” We talked bathrooms and legal matters for a bit, and then he went off to inform the other managers. Twenty minutes later he pinged me on Slack. “The entire executive team has your back and is super happy for you. We’re letting the building management know we have a trans employee, and we’ll do everything we can to make this as easy as possible.”
About an hour later everyone on our team had arrived in the office, so I pinged him and asked if it was a good time. “Go for it.” I stood up, got everyone’s attention, and delivered this speech. If this sounds familiar, it’s because I used it as the basis for my coming-out post on this blog.
When I was 12 years old I realized something about myself. Something that made me different. I had a dream, a wish, for something very esoteric and extremely out of reach.
When I was 16, I gave up on that dream. I decided it was so far out of reach that I could never have it.
In the last few years I’ve started seeing people with the same dream who actually achieved it, and this made me realize just how much I needed it for myself. For 2017 my new years resolution was to finally reach out and take it.
I am transgender. I have been my entire life.
I came out to my wife on January 10th, I was officially diagnosed with gender dysphoria on February 1st, and on May 4th I started hormone replacement therapy. I am now 102 days into medical transition and have reached the point where hiding it is getting harder and harder every day.
26 years after realizing I’m not a boy, I finally get to be a girl.
At this point I took off the t-shirt, stood up straight (prior to this I had been hunched forward to hide my breasts), and in my new voice said:
Say hello to Jocelyn.
At this point the co-worker who I was already out to jumped up out of her chair and ran over to give me a hug. Several others grinned and waved hello. I think my boss clapped. I spent the next hour just answering questions about my life and my transition. One of my female co-workers came with me to the women’s restroom for the first time, and from then on I never used the men’s bathroom at work again. Everyone switched over to my new name and pronouns immediately (there were occasional mistakes, but they always caught themselves). My co-lead confessed later that day that when I started the speech he thought I was leaving the company, and he started to panic.
Now, I recognize that this is an exceptionally good outcome for a work coming out, and I knew it would be going in. Our team (and even our entire company) is pretty small, and very liberal. My boss is one of the most left-wing individuals I know, and everyone I work with is a Democrat, so I knew I was going to have a good outcome going in. That said, however, I probably could have toned down the melodrama a bit.