This past week turned out to be far better than expected. As some of you have read, this was the first week that colleagues really saw me since before my transition began. I was very apprehensive after reading about so many who have been mocked, ridiculed, etc. when they transitioned on the job. I got the complete opposite. To the point of near tears. I am blessed for working in a company that is supportive of the person I am and am becoming. I wasn’t quite comfortable using the washroom with colleagues but have done more of that when out in public or going to airports. I get “sir’d” constantly now and even changed a few of my “points” (e.g., hotel, airline, etc.) to “Mr.” and get called that as well. Almost every night, I met up with about 4-12 of my colleagues in one room or another. We had a few drinks (it’d kill the swine flu, I tells ya); a few cigars; and a lot of war stories. I got asked a few questions, shown a lot of support and good laughter. I guess it was a form of bonding with my colleagues (many who want to do co-teaches with me, especially in Vegas — apparently they’d lied; it doesn’t stay in Vegas — LOL).
I know there are a few who probably weren’t sure of what had happened to me and aren’t too sure how to ask (they were being polite or PC, not sure which). And for those folks it may be necessary to do an email to colleagues. I think that this week I’ll be working on that email and send it out (assuming HR is ok with it). I’ll probably put a huge line at the bottom that says something along the lines that I’m ok with pretty much any question being asked to me directly but to remember that I’m not like other trans individuals and not to assume that others will answer those questions.
It was weird today. For some reason I wish I could call my mom and tell her, excitedly, about all my successes. But then I remembered I can’t. Many choices in life I do not regret .. except one: my last words to my mom two years prior to her death. It doesn’t change the fact that she was killed unnecessarily nor does it change the history we had (both good and bad). But as I travel further down my Buddhist path, I’m becoming more aware of the power of karma (karma is neither good nor bad, it just is the effect of actions) and the importance of lessening the suffering, no matter how small, on ourselves and others.
Anyways, I do believe that I am proof of a few things. It is possible to transition on the job with little or few objections by employer, employees and customers. I am also proof, I suspect, of white privilege and specifically, male white privilege. I work in a male dominanted industry and one that is highly white dominanted (for all the wrong reasons, IMO). It is stuff like that which frustrates me since I cannot figure out how to change things (at least not just yet). It will be interesting to see if my salary changes at the next performance review (it should — not based on gender but rather all the things I’m doing and will be doing over the next 6 months).