Diane's Success Story
It Works!!! I came out at my workplace, a law firm in Idaho, following
your guidelines as posted on the Transgender at Work website. I discovered
it rather mid-process and was gratified that my intuition and nature had
already guided me right along the suggestions that you made! I spoke to
my closest co-workers privately myself (and they expressed relief that it
wasn't anything serious! They thought I might have had health issues
because I had lost weight and had odd appointments that I didn't talk
about). We had the full office meetings with all 112 people at the firm
(and I was tremendously relieved by the positive responses!). We waited
a week for calm to return and I came to work as Dianne! I am still amazed
that it has gone so smoothly.
Idaho is a VERY conservative part of the country and large number
of my co-workers are firmly conservative. Many of them have become
my staunchest allies and most valued friends. We have all learned that
preconceptions are just not at all a useful tool in the real world! And
it has been all about learning. Here are my biggest insights so far.
- Don't Panic. i spent YEARS imagining how it would be and
it has been much better!
- Meet your closest co-workers for lunch
outside the office in "your new role." I just don't like the
"new" or "persona" or so many of the words, but they
are pretty handy. I got together with the two people that I had worked
with closely for 13 years and they were so relieved that I looked nice,
that I was so comfortable and confident and that I was still basically
me. They were able to help others during the transition days and they saw
that they were part of the team. We were all stronger because of it!
- Everybody is Transitioning! I made a point of telling people at work
that we were all transitioning. I was changing how I live my life and
they were becoming people who had a trans co-worker. That made EVERYONE
feel like hey were part of the team.
- Be Gracious! Realize that Kindness is a gift. Don't fret if
people all you by your old name or pronouns, at first. My people have
self corrected and it's just fine.
- BE CONFIDENT!!! i have been with my firm for almost 14 years so
most of these people are my work family. This made it easier to be bold
and open and honest. I am blessed in this regard. But I made a conscious
decision to be visible and engage with people and mingle during the post
revelation week and especially during the change over week. Head
up! Shoulders back and chat briefly with everyone I dealt with! It would
have been easy to go hide.
Thanks for being resources and special thanks for going down the
path before me. Every person who transitions has the chance to make it
better for those coming along in the future. If we do things positively
people will accept that it is a positive thing! I think we are getting