Thursday, March 26, 2015
Coming Clean to A Coworker!
Many of you are aware that I have been going to work for many years now with my nails painted all of the time. No, I don't just go for clear, or muted tones, I go for whatever colors I feel like, just as anyone else would. So it is something that is quite obviously out there for anyone to see, and it of course has come up in discussions with my intern.
I do not remember the exact sequence of our discussions. I think first, I just explained to her that it is something that I enjoy doing, and that yes it does make me a bit different, but that I see that as a good thing. Then we spoke again maybe a month or two after that first time and I explained to her that I consider myself to be transgender. I explained that I do many gender non-conforming things, like paint my finger nails and wear women's jewelry and that I do a few other things while not at work. She was totally cool with it and I was happy.
But there was this nagging feeling within me. I did not like how I was uncomfortable with telling her "I do other things while not at work." What exactly does that mean?! Well, we here at my blog know what that means, but what impression did I leave her with?
I left it at that and pondered for many months. Then while discussing the events around this post, I again mentioned to her that I consider myself to be transgender (which is odd in itself as for some reason I could not remember at the moment if I had told her that before,) and I again mentioned the line, I do other things while not at work.
And I left that discussion again feeling totally weird, about myself! My intern, she was awesome, again! She made me feel totally accepted and as normal as anyone else. Which was great. So then why did I feel so bizarre?! It was that damn line, "I do other things while not at work." Again what the hell was that supposed to mean? Further, I had come to the conclusion that as I was unwilling to say it was surely a sign of how embarrassed I am about who I am and what I do!
Wow, after all these years, and all this time, I still have trouble accepting who I am!
So then, yet again, I resolved to challenge myself and push my own inner limits and boundaries.
I went to work the next day. Fired up my internet connection and brought up my blog on my iPad. I then pushed myself to go find my intern. She was alone when I found her and I explained myself. I told her how I felt so awkward and weird by telling her that I am transgender but that I was weird and vague by saying, "I do other things while not at work."
She gave me a kind but quizzical look. That was my cue. I took a deep breath, and opened up my iPad and showed her a picture form my blog. I don't remember exactly which one, but it was probably something like this:
I forget her exact response as I was in a total fog, completely dissociated from my body, pondering, "what in the hell am I doing?!"
But her response was something along the lines of "You are beautiful!" She is so kind!
She then attempted to scroll up and down the page but the iPad was not cooperating. I fixed it so that she could scroll around my blog while explaining that I attempt to write a fashion blog. She looked around a bit and told me how great it was, as I was stuttering and stammering about how nervous so many of us TG folks are with letting people know about ourselves. How so many of us are terrified to let people in on our secret because we just KNOW for SURE that people will ostracize us at the least and more than likely run us down with pitchforks and torches!
But instead of any of that, my intern smiled and complemented me repeatedly! She was so nice and so kind and so accepting and made me feel so normal! It was totally awesome!! Can I tell you how great it was and how wonderful it made me feel? She made me feel like I am a totally normal person!
But wait, there is more. The next day my intern found me in the morning and told me that she was completely exhausted because she stayed up for most of the night reading my entire blog, from start to finish! Holy crap! Apparently she loved it and has decided to become a regular follower.
So hello to you, and this post is for you! You are so great, and awesome, and inspiring! Thank you for everything you have taught me this year. I know I am supposed to be the mentor and you are supposed to be the intern, but you really have taught me many, many things this year and I will be eternally grateful. For everything you have shown me at work, but also everything you have shown me about humanity! Thanks!
Well folks, that is about it. I don't know how many people I have come out to anymore. I have lost count. Each one is unique and special, and important to me. And I have yet to have any negative experiences.
So, do I feel lucky? Well yes and no. I feel grateful for the wonderful people in my life and I appreciate and respect them, but, I don't really feel lucky. That kind of implies that the responses I have received have been completely random. Like tossing a coin and getting heads a hundred times in a row. That is luck.
Me receiving nothing but positive support, is that luck? I don't think so. I think it has something to do with my choices.
I am not trying to be insulting to anyone out there who has not had positive outcomes from coming out to others. I am quite sorry that has happened to you. And honestly I do not know why there is a difference between me and you. But I do think there is something else going on here besides just blind, dumb, luck.
Luck is for roulette. But is poker all luck? For the best players, poker has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with skill.
I have to think there is some skill involved in here.
Maybe it is just me being pompous.
Maybe I should just be more humble.
Maybe I should believe more in luck.
Maybe, but I doubt I will.
Love humanity for we are great!