Transitioning at work

By , December 4, 2008 11:30 pm

I’ve been thinking about transitioning at work. I’m out to everyone where I work, but the situation is made slightly more complicated because I work full time in one office which is down the hall from the office running the organization where I teach part time, both of which are in a building filled with other offices of people I’m on a first-name basis with.

I’ve been talking with the teacher I’m assisting at the Workshop, SB, about coming out to our high school class, which we both think will be smooth because they’re pretty awesome. As part of that process, I talked with the artistic director of the Workshop for a while today, JG, and she basically said, “We support you 100%, so lets figure out the best/smoothest way to do this.”

What we tentatively agreed upon is that this Saturday I’ll talk with (and come out to) JP, the co-founder of the Workshop and the former artistic director. She still has a very strong presence there, and JG really feels (and I agree) that talking with her is sort of a needed precurser to transitioning at the Workshop. It’s a little nerve-wracking, partially becuase she’s someone I really look up to and respect, and partially because she’s (as JG put it) “of an older generation” and probably doesn’t have much, if any, experience with trans issues. She’s great and very liberal but, as I know, there’s liberal and there’s not-in-my-backyard liberal.

Coming out to the high school class before we go on winter break woudl be laying the ground work for transitioning to R in the Workshop as a whole, which will be complete when we start the Winter session in early February. At that point, I’ll just introduce myself to my new 456th grade class as R and if anyone asks, “Hey, isn’t your name J?” I’ll say matter-of-factly that no, now I’m going by R.

I also need to talk to my bosses at the Gym, where I work full time during the week. Again, I’m out to both of them along with everyone in the office (and by extension most of the teaching staff has probably heard) but I’d like to keep everything kosher by having a conversation with them before sending out an email to everyone saying, “Hey, here’s the scoop.” It’s one of those situations where I don’t really feel like I’m morally obligated to do so, but I feel like diplomatically it’s a good idea.

Last but not least, I need to talk to the building office to A) let them know about the name change because I’m on a first name basis with most of ’em and B) they’ll presumably get at least one report of, “Hey, that guy from the Gym just went in the women’s bathroom…”

I’m feeling good about all this, because I’m out to 2/3 of the people I’ll be talking to in this process (if not more) but it’s still a little nerve-wracking. Eek!

-R

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