Out (Sort Of) at Work

Big news, I came out to both my immediate manager) and the who’s the other departmental manager, as well as their boss (and the chief product officer).

Did it again via email, which for me seems to be a way that works well — I feel like it gives time for people to digest, without feeling like I’m putting them on the spot. (Plus with the chief product officer it’s extremely difficult to get on his calendar.) All of them were extremely supportive, and said to let them know whatever they could do to help. (I did let them know in the email that I was planning to take a medical leave starting in January.)

Unfortunately, due to our mutually hectic schedules this week, we haven’t had time to sit down in person and discus.(OTOH, I’m giving them so much lead time — in part because it’ll take three months to find a contractor to fill for me — so there’s nothing super urgent.

It was interesting to see the slightly varying reactions. Chief product officer said he excited for me. My immediate manager said he knew it must have been a difficult decision and commended me for making it. I got a chance to talk with to the other manager for a few minutes. Walked over and thanked her again, and then started tearing up, and apologized and said that was one of those moment where I’m still getting used to being estrogen-powered. She smiled and said she knew what I meant – sometimes she’ll see a sappy card at the gift store and get choked up. We talked for a couple more minutes, and the interesting thing is that it had that subtle “woman to woman” vibe to it.

Meanwhile, I officially came out to my next-door neighbors — albeit it won’t be much a surprise. They’re rebuilding their house, and living with relatives during construction, so I haven’t seen them regularly for months, but when I do it’s on the weekends when I’m presenting as a woman (and they’d seen me before off-and-on). I was talking to them about repairing/replacing a fence that’s falling over, and when emailing info to L., the wife, I took the opportunity to say “Since you’re probably wondering….” Emailed her last night, so we’ll see what the reaction is, but I’m sure it’ll be positive. Looking forward to when they move back into the house in November, because in the past L. and I had bonded a bit, albeit we didn’t get to talk that much. But there’s probably chance to connect — and give her some adult time away from her infant and toddler.

Postscript: Heard back from my neighbor, and she was extremely supportive, although she did have a question about what would be an age-appropriate explanation for her daughter who 3-ish.

Apparently, it hasn’t been an issue for a while, since for a number of months I’ve only run into the daughter when I’m presenting as a woman. But initially when she saw me dressed, she was confused when her parents told her that it was me, and she replied “no, that’s a lady, where’s [boyName]?” Out of the mouths of babes…