… the President of the college asks you what you’re going to wear to work after you transition.
That is a thing that happened. To be fair, he was trying to make a helpful rhetorical point, not just casually inquiring about my fashion sense. He was trying to suggest that, when I first transition in September, that I stick to pantsuits for awhile to … I guess to not be so girly? I guess? To help “ease” the transition period, for certain, since it would be less jarring to people to not see my stocking-clad legs. I guess.
Yup, this whole work transition thing is going to be a little weird.
To be fair to his point, I am doing something never done before at my campus. And in the larger sense, the collective school experience with workplace transition has been a bit … er, problematic. Without telling stories or disparaging others, let me just say that my transition is not the first at my school and that the last transition left a bad taste in some people’s mouths. Not because of disapproval of transition, but because of flaws in the way both the individual and the school HR department handled it. One of my stated goals with this transition, in fact, is to leave my college with a better transition plan in place for the next person to come along after me.
It’s “so far, so good” in that regard. At this point, the dean (my direct supervisor), the campus VP (her direct supervisor), and now the campus President (theVP’s direct supervisor) are aware and are on board. With the three of them on my side it’s now just a matter of timing: when to make certain changes, when to tell certain people, when to involve HR, etc. I hope to detail our efforts here as we develop them; in fact, I plan to outline the basics we have now in a future post, soon.
As for the pantsuit suggestion, I assured him that I most certainly would not be flipping some switch and turning on an “ultra femme” mode. If I did wear skirts they’d be long skirts; but pants are more than likely the route I was already going to take. Not because it would be better for others; but it’s better for me, and more in keeping with who I see myself becoming. Will that change once I move further down the path of my new identity? Possibly. But for the near future, no one at work is going to be seeing me in hose and heels. It’s just not my style.