April 14, 2014

Operation Teacher Transition

A couple of weeks ago, Nancy suggested that I do something for myself to mark the one-year of my suicide attempt. So I did — I came out at work.

Well, no. I didn’t actually come out yet. But I did get the ball rolling. It felt like the right time to do it. After all, there wasn’t anyone else to tell, really. My family knows; my friends know; my neighbor even knows. I still have a lot of progress to make in life (name change, gender marker change, losing more weight, growing boobs), but that’s all just a matter of time. And some of that stuff, like the name change, gets more complicated if I’m not out at work. So I decided that it was time.

It was a Wednesday morning, and I spent an hour in my office working up the courage before knocking on the door of Elizabeth, the dean I report to. That Elizabeth is also my best friend at work made this moment a little easier, but only just. I sat down and started talking about the impending anniversary of the suicide attempt, mentioned that I had never told her everything about that situation, and said that it was finally time to reveal everything since it “will probably start affecting my work in the future.” And then, like a chickenshit who can’t just come out and say it, I asked her, “Do you know what transgender means?”

She wiggled an iffy hand. “Kind of. It means like someone who thinks they’re born in the wrong body, right?”

“Sort of. Well, that’s me. I’m transgender.” And then I proceeded to tell her everything. The suicide, the transition, the hormones, the need to change my name, to change my life; I put it all on the table for her, fielding any questions she asked along the way. I explained to her that transition meant eventually making the change at work, and that I needed her support to do it. And I told her I had at least the beginnings of a plan for how to do it.

And Elizabeth, who is a completely awesome human being, got on board with it right away. We ended up talking for a full hour about everything, including how the work transition would go and what our strategy would be to get there. I was able to relax talking to her, and we even shared a few laughs over everything. It was absolutely the best case scenario for the meeting. Not that I doubted her … too much. One can never fully tell how someone will react to the whole trans thing. But she was golden about it. [Did I mention she’s awesome?]

Right now, the plan is to get the campus president and HR involved soon so that everything can be in place for a fall quarter transition. The target date is September 1st, 2014. I am officially in countdown mode! Less than five months from now I will flip that final switch. I will be me twenty-four-seven, head to toe — through and through — boobs to bones. And I can hardly wait! I also can’t control the shaking in my hands …

Incidentally, this kind of steps on the toes of my little Operation Gamer Girl plans. I still plan on going to Gen Con this year, but as that event will be a mere three weeks or so before September 1st, it’s no longer going to be the focus of my attention moving forward. I have a bigger moment to build to. Operation Gamer Girl is no more; now it’s Operation Teacher Transition!





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