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Have you came out at work and how were you received?

Started by ChrissyRyan, February 10, 2024, 11:25:28 AM

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ChrissyRyan

Have you came out at work and how were you received?

Did you stay with your employer or did you move on?

Would you have handled the situation differently?

Did you make your appearance change slowly or did you make it a one day radical appearance change?

What was the good and bad of you coming out when you did?  Do you think your actions made it easier for others to come out there?

Were you financially prepared in case your coming out resulted in an unpleasant situation and it would be better to move on? 

How far along in your transition were you when you came out at work?

Did you move to another city before coming out at work, or apply openly for a new job in your correct gender instead of where your worked for awhile?

Did you get any hazing at work?

Did they tell you they knew you were transitioning before you disclosed this fact?

If you have not came out at work, what is stopping you?

Was your employer about the last to whom you came out, that is, did you inform friends and family beforehand?

Perhaps your sharing can help others who need to still take this step of coming out to your employer. 

The most inspirational coming out experience that I have known is that of Jessica Rose.  Thank you Jess for sharing that in the past with us.

 :)
Always stay cheerful, be polite, kind, and understanding. Accepting yourself as the woman you are is very liberating.
Never underestimate the appreciation and respect of authenticity.  Be brave, be strong.  Try a little kindness.  I am a brown eyed brunette. 
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KathyLauren

I was already retired when I came out, so it did not affect my employment as such.  But I was a member of the local volunteer fire department, which is kind of work-ish.

I checked the relevant legislation and noted that gender identity was a protected class, and that it applied specifically to "volunteer community service organizations" (among others).  So I knew I would have legal protection if things went bad.

I was three months into my physical transition.  I planned my coming out around fire department meeting dates in order to minimize gossip.  I wanted most people to hear about me directly from me.  Before I came out to anyone in the community, I talked to the Fire Chief, so he wouldn't be blindsided by rumours.  Then, at the next fire department meeting, I stood up and announced my transition.  I told them that, the next time they saw me, I would be Kathy.

There wasn't a radical change in appearance, at least for the fire department.  Standard training wear was jeans and T-shirt.  I just started wearing ones from the ladies side of the aisle, along with my wig. 

I got some surprised comments, but no hazing.  I suspect that the Chief might have had a word with one or two people.  As I said, the legislation was clear, so he could not tolerate any nastiness.

I am happy with the approach I took.  I think informing my "boss" ahead of time was a good move.  It shows respect and buys you brownie points.  Also, researching the relevant legislation ahead of time was a smart thing to do.  I would encourage anyone thinking of coming out in an employment-like situation to do the same.
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly; 2017-07-10 Legal name change; 2019-02-15 Approval for GRS; 2019-08-02 Official gender change; 2020-03-11 GRS; 2020-09-17 New birth certificate
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Jessica_Rose

Even though Christine already knows my story, I feel obligated to answer the questions...

Have you came out at work and how were you received?
I came out at work on Friday, 16 Feb, 2018. The following Monday, I went to work as Jessica. I got my new ID badge as soon as the security office opened, at first they couldn't understand why my old badge looked like someone else. Everyone was awesome (well, almost everyone), even the women in the ladies room would talk to me!

Did you stay with your employer or did you move on?
I still work for Progressive, and they even allowed me to relocate and keep the same position. I've been working on the same team since they hired me in 2006.

Would you have handled the situation differently?
The first person I came out to at work was my manager, and his response was perfect. He asked about getting HR involved, and I agreed. They let me set the timetable for how I wanted to proceed. The only bad part was that I wanted to come out to a co-worker, and I chose poorly. Initially she was really supportive, but in that critical week just before I came out, she turned on me. I should have chosen more carefully.

Did you make your appearance change slowly or did you make it a one day radical appearance change?
I had started wearing women's jeans months before I came out, along with letting my hair grow. Only one person asked about my hair. Other than that, I didn't make any changes until I went full-time.

What was the good and bad of you coming out when you did?  Do you think your actions made it easier for others to come out there?
I was already aware of a few people at Progressive who had come out, but I had never met any of them. My company celebrates National Coming Out Day every year, and I had the opportunity to present my story live. During the years since, I've had several people tell me that my story gave them the strength to come out.

Were you financially prepared in case your coming out resulted in an unpleasant situation and it would be better to move on?
Not really. I had researched our companies policies on transitioning, and I knew they would be supportive. I figured that I would actually be more 'protected', and it would be difficult for them to let me go unless I royally screwed up.

How far along in your transition were you when you came out at work?
I started HRT in March 2017, and I came out 11 months later.

Did you move to another city before coming out at work, or apply openly for a new job in your correct gender instead of where your worked for awhile?
Same job, and initially same location. During COVID-19 they had everyone working from home, and I began hearing that they were allowing some people to relocate to remote locations (not near an existing office). My mom had recently passed away, and I asked if I could move closer to my dad so we could help him stay in the house he had shared with mom -- they approved my request.

Did you get any hazing at work?
No hazing at all. I had a few people who didn't stop by to chat as often as they used to, but I also made many new friends at work. I never felt alone there.

Did they tell you they knew you were transitioning before you disclosed this fact?
A week before I came out, a friend said 'I don't know what you're doing, but you sure have been a lot happier lately.' When I did come out, I sent an email to nearly 70 co-workers. The subject line was 'I bet you didn't see this coming...' No one contradicted that statement, it was a complete surprise.

If you have not came out at work, what is stopping you?
The main thing that slowed me down was simply fear about how people would react. In reality, the source of my fear was my imagination.

Was your employer about the last to whom you came out, that is, did you inform friends and family beforehand?
I came out to my immediate family first (wife and daughters), then I came out at work, and a widening circle of friends. Just about the last group I came out to were my own parents and brothers. They lived nearly 1000 miles away, so it was easy to hide from them.

The most inspirational coming out experience that I have known is that of Jessica Rose.  Thank you Jess for sharing that in the past with us.
Thanks Christine!

Love always -- Jess
Journal thread - Jessica's Rose Garden
National Coming Out Day video - Coming Out
GCS - GCS and BA w/Dr. Ley
GCS II - GCS II and FFS w/Dr. Ley
FFS II - Jaw and chin surgery w/Dr. Ley
Hair - Hair Restoration
23Mar2017 - HRT / 16Feb2018 - Full Time! / 21Feb2019 - GCS / 26July2019 - GCS II / 13Oct2020 - FFS II
"It is never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot
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Jessica_K

I came out at work 4 years ago and I am still working there.

I was a contractor and the first day I came out, the head of HR called my to her office and read the riot act lol, said I can use all the female facilities and that I was the bravest person she knew. We have been friends ever since. My colleagues all accepted me and I was never misgendered. The company nearly went bust and most lost their jobs and my project was closed.

I moved on to other projects with other companies all as Jessica, but they did not know and I was stealth.  The company got funding and a couple came back. Two years later I came back again too, as a contractor but they either do not mention or had forgotten my past, now I am stealth and permanently employed there after being headhunted by the head of HR. She really is my friend and confidante and still says I am the bravest woman she knows and will always have time for me if/when I need her. I love my job and love her too

Hugs
Jessica xxx

Ps the company has been taken over and my friend is now head of HR for the UK. The company is now Italian and she told the head office that I was one of the female engineers when it was mentioned that they wanted more females in engineering a win win lol,

I did wear some jewellery and painted my nails before I came out but it was really a big bang, the next day I was Jessica.

Pps I cannot mention the company due to security but it's funded by two world leading defence companies.
But I do not work on any defence projects.
The brand new "A Day in the life of Jessica_k" blog
https://www.susans.org/index.php/topic,246835.new.html#new

**** No act of kindness goes unpunished ****

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