Note ... I did not have Amy’s original bio so I took the liberty of using her Flickr profile (I hope that’s ok Amy).
A loving TS who is happy being a woman and spending time with her supportive wife. We enjoy meeting other girls and their SO's.
My very supportive wife runs a T-Friendly ebay store, as her way of supporting me and the community. If you get a chance please check it out. She shops all the better stores, and her items are 75 - 80% below retail. She has gowns, dresses, skirts, tops, slacks, even breast forms. All auctions / purchases are Private.
As many of you know, I am at the point in my transition that I had started looking for a job with a “trans-friendly” employer. I was really just getting serious about it and sending out resumes and had gone on one interview.
I really love my current job and would have liked to transition on the job, but didn’t believe it to be a realistic possibility and didn’t want to approach my employer without having a back up plan. My plan was to get a job offer and then discuss the possibility of transitioning on the job with my current employer. That way if it blew up in my face, I already had another job to go to.
Our assumption was that a position with a T-friendly company would likely involve relocating. That was all fine until Nan and I started discussing making a move as smooth and easy as possible and got talking seriously about putting our home up for sale to make it easier to deal with relocation when it happened. A good idea if we were definitely going to relocate, but it also threw a monkey wrench into my plan. If there was any possibility of transitioning with my current employer, we certainly didn’t want to sell our home.
After much contemplation, I decided to sit down with my manager, unofficially, and see what he thought and what he believed the reaction would be from corporate. This information would better define just where things stood before selling our home.
Coming out to your employer is not an easy thing and although I had decided to do it, I had not decided when. Then, as fate would have it, I was outed at work. An event most of us spend our lives dreading and fearing. It was my own fault really. I accidentally left my PDA case in the men's room, which was returned to me by a front desk agent about an hour later. Inside the case is a photo of me taken at SCC last year.
The next morning a friend at work came into my office and asked if she could talk to me. She told me that the front desk agent went to her office the day before, PDA in hand and showed her the photo and said, "Do you know who this is?" she looked a the photo and answered no and the agent said, "That's a picture of Gary!" My friend looked at the photo again and responded "so?" to which the agent said "What's up with that!?" My friend said to her, "Look, Gary is my friend and it is nobody's business, and you better not be spreading gossip." I gave my friend the Transgender 101 talk and she was very supportive, but still worried the gossip would get around. I thanked her for "looking out for me" and told her not to worry about it, it was bound to come out at some point.
As I mentioned, I was already planning to have a discussion with my boss, the Assistant General Manager, this incident simply set a date for our meeting. I wanted to fill him in before the gossip got around.
My boss has always struck me as a pretty open-minded, non-judgmental person. Well, I couldn't have asked for my meeting to have gone better. I was honest and open with him. He was sympathetic and accepting, and could see no reason I wouldn’t be able to transition on the job. I was stunned! He believed we could take this to the General Manager if I wished and he would also be supportive. He even offered to act as my agent if I was uncomfortable going to the GM. It would not be out of character for me to let someone else do the hard part, so I was actually quite proud of myself when I heard myself tell him, while I would like for him to sit in on the discussion, particularly as I now considered him an ally, this is my situation, my life, and mine to deal with, and if I wanted to be successful I had to be the one to face things and be my own advocate.
Without going into detail of each meeting, discussion, and communication that has ensued, let me just say, after providing some files and documents covering transitioning in the workplace to my GM so he could better understand what he was getting himself into, and the subsequent discussions he had with two Regional Vice Presidents, the corporate Vice President of Human Resources, and the corporate Director of Human Resources, the decision was made to support my transition on the job.
I can’t believe this is all happening. The reality of it is really just sinking in and I am experiencing emotions from disbelief to elation to fear. I couldn’t be more thrilled but I know what is at stake too.
Since there is no corporate policy, my HR manager and I are writing our policy. My transition at work will be sometime in the first quarter of 2009. I have petitioned the court for a legal name change and hope to have my transition at work coincide, so as soon as I get my hearing date, my transition date is set.
What an unbelievable time in my life.
Click on Amy’s portrait below to go to her Flickr page.