I moved apartments two weeks ago and as a result have been without internet for two weeks, which has not sucked in the slightest. As a result, I have been unable to post anything. However, this time has not been uneventful in my transition. During that time, I have had a couple of meetings with HR at my job and we have agreed to a plan for my coming out at work. I am using “agreed” fairly liberally, as my employer’s HR department has accepted almost everything I asked for without discussion. They have made it clear that they don’t know anything about transgender people or the specifics of coming out and that they have done no research, so they have given me free rein over the process. As of last week, I have a date and plan in place for my coming out at work.
My coming-out plan is fairly typical and was heavily influenced by my research into standard policies at other employers. I was told during my first meeting with HR that whatever I do would set a template for any future transitions, so I feel burdened to ensure that my transition is done “properly”. My coming out will occur over three meetings, ideally all on the same day. The first meeting would be with just my manager, HR, and myself. This is the meeting that I am most concerned about, since my boss is openly misogynistic. The second meeting would be with my boss’s boss, again with HR attending. The final meeting would include the people who I work with frequently and would also be moderated by HR. After these three meetings, HR will send an email to all of the leadership at my facility to let them know about the change and HR’s policies regarding trans employees. This was the one compromise that HR required, as I had wanted the email to be sent out more widely within the facility than just leadership. This will all occur on a Friday and the next Monday I would start presenting as a woman full-time.
HR and I have also agreed on most of the menial and bureaucratic aspects of my coming out. In much the same way as my transition plans, HR came into the meeting with no firm policies or plans which resulted in them acquiescing to any of my requests. In terms of documentation, HR can change my email, nameplate, and information in our systems on the day I start presenting. They also don’t need me to get a legal name change anymore, a nice change since my request is stuck in court. They also had no issues with me changing my dress and presentation, although they were pretty confused about what “changing my presentation” entailed. They never seemed to actually understand what exactly I meant by my presentation, even when I explained it to them. In general, it just seemed like my HR had no idea what transitioning in the workplace might actually entail.
If nothing changes, I will be out at work and presenting as a woman full-time in early October. Despite the confused support from HR, I am still nervous that people at work will be hostile to me and my transition. There are a few people who are openly hostile to trans people (who I avoid like the plague), but for most people, I have no idea how they will react. I am optimistic, but concerned.