Tomorrow I’m going back to work, and I’m nervous AF about it. (I’d love to take another month off and finally get that recharge time, but I can’t afford to do so — especially since my short-term disability claim has disappeared into the black hole that is the California EDD.)
To a large degree I shouldn’t be worrying. My company, my manager and my co-workers have been nothing but supportive, and I even went to work as a woman for two weeks in December.
That was like a beta test. Many of my co-worker were leaving early for extended holiday vacations, I was out of the office a lot to take care of legal ID changes, and I was just wrapping up a project and didn’t need to interact with other people very much.
Now is the final “shit gets real, really real” step in my transition.
Women get judged far more of their appearance and behavior in the workplace, so there’s that. But I know that — consciously or not — I’m going to be scrutinized about how well I “do woman.”
Will they deep down truly see me as a women? I now really get why it’s common for trans people to switch jobs post-transition. Make a clean start. Somewhere where people will likely know that I’m a woman who’s trans — but don’t have history seeing me as a man.
Then there’s the whole issue of how women are treated differently in the workplace — there’s undoubtedly a huge learning curve about how to handle that. Threading the balance of being authoritative without being seen as a bitch (a particular issue for me because a big part of my job is getting buy-in from stakeholders and the engineering teams I work with), how to handle being talked over, raising an idea and having it ignored until a man says it at which point it’s the best idea evah. And all things I don’t know that I don’t know about.
All I can do is what I’ve done to do date with my transition — keep pushing through. People have called me brave, but honestly I don’t feel brave. I’m just doing what I need to do. But it’s so damn tiring.
Looking forward to a time when I can live life without having to be “brave.”