Thursday, March 26, 2015

Coming Clean to A Coworker!

For about 7 months now, I have been mentoring a new worker at my job, and she is fabulously talented at what we do.  I wish I was as good as she is when I started.  Her passion and drive is truly admirable.

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!

How great!

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 you.

Love yourself.

Love others.

Love humanity for we are great!

18 comments:

  1. Oh Nadine how wonderful to hear how she accepted you for who you are!

    And Ms. Intern, if you're reading - YOU ROCK!!!!!

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    1. I totally agree Jen. She does rock!

      Thanks :)

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  2. Your intern is an encouraging woman.
    Your story is encouraging.
    And you too, Nadine!
    By the way, she tells the truth when she said you are beautiful! No doubt!
    Hugs
    Feli

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  3. Both of you are beautiful, inside and out

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  4. I agree with the others; you and your intern rock! It's wonderful to receive that kind of acceptance!
    I have gotten similar responses from most of the people I have come out to. But I did get one reaction that was more lukewarm at best. Not negative. But not really positive either. And there are some people I haven't come out to because I'm pretty sure their reactions won't be as good as that even.

    I don't know about luck. I do think some people get bad reactions through no fault of their own. Because there are still narrow-minded people out there.

    D

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    1. Hi D. I agree there are narrow-minded people out there. I just wonder where they are as I have yet to encounter any. I know they must exist, they have to. So many others reports of them abound. I just find it odd and curious how they are not in my life. Maybe on some level I am choosing only select people to come out to and maybe that is the choice I am making that allows me to avoid those people in my life. Hmm.... interesting!

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  5. Hi Nadine!!
    This is just amazing! It so lovely to read stories like this, which seem to happen more and more frequently. As for the luck, yeah, I don't think it's just pure luck, but a combination of a bunch of things coming together. Your intern's openness made it for a more accepting environment. Her reaction was amazing, reading through an entire blog, one that has been up for years! WOW!

    I too still get in this fog when I open up to someone for the first time. Afterward it feels like a dream and I can't remember exactly what happened or what I said. Exciting and heart pounding at the same time.

    Love and beauty is all over the place!! :)
    Katie

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    1. Thanks so much Katie!

      I totally agree about the dream like state. It is so weird! I wish I could video tape the scene so that I could remember every detail!

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  6. Hi Nadine,

    Wow~That is serious and think what you did is fantastic.

    There is no doubt your intern is awesome but there is more. I just came across your site a few days ago and after reading only a few of the topics I can sense that “You” play the largest part in your positive acceptance from others. It is obvious you are a very caring and thoughtful person. Reading an earlier post where you mentioned what you do I can assume that you are exceptional at that role. First interactions with others is key in how both parties react and I am sure most anyone meeting with you is at ease whether you are in your male dress or as Nadine. While luck certainly plays a role in our life’s there is more to it in most cases (roulette versus poker).

    I am sure the two of you will have some very enjoyable conversations in the future.

    Take care,

    Sandy

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    1. Hi Sandy-

      Thanks for the thoughts. I got your email and will respond soon! I am so busy with our new puppy! But I totally appreciate your comments, and email, and writing in general! Thanks so much!

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  7. Nadine, I am so happy for you! It's wonderful that you are finally comfortable enough with yourself to open up to others. I know what a big step this year has been for you at work, it will bring only positive things in your world.

    Vivian

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    1. Vivian-

      Thanks so much for writing cutie! I appreciate your thoughts. Yeah this year has been a BIG year at work! I do believe in it bringing me positive things! Time will tell.

      Thanks again!

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  8. I am soooooo proud of you! You are always so willing to push yourself and put yourself out there! You are an inspiration. :) I love you tons!!

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  9. Wonderful affirmation of what a truly nice person you are and what a good friend you have made in your coworker. It just seems like it is all good.
    Your inner goodness comes through in your blog and I am sure that it comes through in person and it is this inner goodness that was amplified by the basic inner goodness of your coworker.
    Pat

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    1. Thanks Pat. I appreciate the very nice comments. Sometimes I wonder about my inner goodness. I know my coworker has inner goodness, cause she is such a sweetie!

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