2006 was an eventful year for me. In January, I decided to go back ‘on-line’ after having left Usenet and the like for about five years. I was pleased to find that people were interested in what I had to share and that I was able to share what I had learned over the years with others who were just starting to come to terms with being trans. These people are who I was years ago. It felt good to be able to be the one helping as opposed to the one asking for help.I needed to (re)connect with my peers – other people like myself – other transpeople. This is a big part of my life: a part that I felt getting bigger – and I needed some sense of community. This is something which has been long missing from my life and given the way things have been progressing for me, it is something I feel I need now more than ever.
For several years, I have been – little by little – presenting myself at work in a more androgynous manner – wearing more obviously feminine clothing to work. Having had no negative consequences from this, I approached HR and requested to follow the women’s dress code, which they approved. The net of this is that I have been ‘out’ at work mostly by action. Some friends know I’m trans, but everyone else has been left to make their own assumptions.
I contacted my firm’s LGBT group to ask them if they do any trans related events. This led to my meeting with them only to find that I am the first transperson to contact them – out of a total of some 20,000+ employees. Not what I was expecting. As I was the first person to step forward, they wanted to profile me on the group’s internal web page. So in October, I became the ‘Employee Profile of the Month’ – essentially outing myself as trans and genderqueer to the entire firm globally.
All of this has led to some interesting conversations with my wife – conversations we should have had a while ago but for whatever reasons never really did. She is a wonderful woman and I realize that I as a lot of her. She never wanted to be married to a transperson – let alone one who has opted to live their life as an ‘out’ transperson. Our’s is an interesting relationship – one that’s lasted for some 25 years. We have something special and it’s been a challenge keeping this all together.
Finally, the year ended up with me getting promoted at work. My feeling has been that transpeople don’t ‘get ahead’ – especially in corporate America. We’re lucky if we can stay there at all. As it turns out, my being trans and out may have actually worked in my favor this time. Surprise, surprise.
More went on this year, but those are some of the highlights. It will be interesting to see what 2007 brings.
Happy New Year!