Last year?

THE letter

I can’t believe that my top surgery consult date is less than a week away.  Three days away, to be exact.  I clearly remember 9 weeks ago, when I had made the appointment and shortly after that wrote my first post here on this blog.  What seemed like ages in the future has now come to be so close.  I’m trying not to obsess over the appointment…the more I think about it, the more nervous I get.  I’m definitely scared and nervous about standing half-naked in front of somebody while they poke and prod the very area that I so highly dislike.  But I’m way more scared about the possibility of not walking out of there with a surgery date.  I got my letter from my therapist on Saturday, so I’m all set from that end, but you never know what’s going to happen during the consult.  I could ramble on and on about this, but the fact is, it won’t give me any answers.  So I just have to mentally table it until then and wait it out.

I do have some major good news about coming out at work though.  I had an absolutely amazingly great conversation with my supervisor’s boss, and a plan of how I’m going to tell my coworkers.  I had thought about having personal conversations with each employee (there aren’t too many in my office), but that could definitely be awkward as I have no idea how some are going to react, and I’d have to rehash the same story numerous times.  After coming out to my first coworker weeks ago, she and I had recently discussed the option of telling the staff in small groups.  For work purposes, we’re split into two “teams,” so it makes sense for her to tell her team, and then I can break the news to my team during one of our team meetings.  I think this will be easier than having nine individual conversations with people—this way, I only have to say the words once, and if people have questions or want to talk about it, we can definitely have those conversations later.  What are all of your thoughts on this? Anybody have any other good tips for coming out at work?

I think the only other transition-related thing that has been coming up as of late has been my name.  I’ve been debating what to do with my name, if I should keep it or change it.  Tracy can potentially be a male name, but more often than not, it’s not.  I’ve actually also always highly disliked my name, so changing it, or losing my current name, wouldn’t really be that big of an issue.  For awhile, Alex (my partner) really liked Liam, but I wasn’t sold on it, and it just didn’t feel like me.  One day he randomly asked me what my mom’s maiden name was, which is Jacob.  And since then, Jacob has grown on me.  For my birthday yesterday, Alex woke up early and made me breakfast to take to work, and on the outside wrapper of my sandwich, he wrote “Jacob.”  And every time I looked at it, I smiled and I got little warm butterflies in my stomach.  And in fact, as I write this now, I feel myself starting to tear just a bit because it just feels so right.  And on top of it, it means something.  I don’t know how my parents feel about me changing my name and how attached they are to Tracy since they’re the ones who named me.  Part of me thinks my mom could care less as long as I like the name.  But I prefer things to have some sort of meaning, and going by Jacob will have some meaning for me.  Plus I think it’s cute.  I have no idea if I’m going to stick with Jacob, or Tracy, for that matter, but as of right now, at least I have an idea of something.  And yesterday, when I turned 25, I couldn’t help but wonder if that was the last year that I’ll ever have a birthday as Tracy.

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Posted on August 28, 2011, in General transition thoughts, Name changing, Parents, Transitioning at work and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Happy belated birthday!!!! Oh to be 25 again and to be making these decisions then rather than 20 years later. At 25, I was getting married and welcoming an amazing daughter in to the world. Not something I would change, but if I had been honest with myself from the beginning, would not be looking at breaking up a family of 20 years now.

    I am so happy for you, and a little jealous, that you are having your consult (today or tomorrow). Best of luck! I feel it will all go swimmingly well.

    Names are such an odd thing to deal with. For me, I chose Jennifer over the standardized feminine name Stephanie (my male name is Stephen) so that I could distance myself from my old life (which oddly enough is also still my current life, but whatever). I also decided to change my last name as well. I really wanted to make that break. Will I stick with the last name of Singleton or return to my family name? I’m not sure. Jennifer came from a bunch of people I know with that name. All of them amazingly cool and loving. I have had that name for almost 20 years, so I think I am keeping it. Singleton is only about 5 months in use, so there is time to stray from that.

    I really like the name Jacob. I also like that it gives a nod back to your mother. I think that is both sweet and special. From your picture, you look like a Jacob. Jacob is a smooth name. It flows. It becomes. It is.

    I have no idea how to come out to coworkers and since I have none at the moment, I will cross that bridge later. 🙂 A friend of mine came out at work through a mass email. It was a big company, so this made a bit of sense to me, though a bit impersonal. I really think that addressing a group is the best way. Then questions can be asked, circumstances can be explained better and you really have a solid sense of exactly who is ok and who is not. Perhaps you can work on those who do not understand, but talking begins immediately, rather than a bunch of “Can you believe……” which is what happened to my friend Rheya. I like our approach. I am also so happy for you to have supportive management. That is something I research when looking for work. There are some big companies out there with transgender protection (and some financing the transition) which is so promising.

    Please let us know how the consult goes. I, for one, am in your corner, rooting for you.

    • Just wanted to say thanks for this comment, it made me smile. Consult is tomorrow, and I will definitely follow up here! It feels weird and scary to get validation about the name Jacob (but in a good way, of course) from someone other than Alex…like it makes the choice to change my name more real, beginning to be more finite in my head–exciting (because I like the name)!

      I can see where coming out to coworkers via an email blast or some large announcement would be good in a large company, and I’m pretty thankful that I have a very small group. It won’t be happening for another 2-3 weeks (our next meeting), but I too cannot believe how supportive the higher-ups are. I think it’s so tough when it comes to researching jobs because even if company policies are friendly (or unfriendly, for that matter), you never know what the personal thoughts of your supervisor is going to be. If there are trans-friendly policies, at least you have the law/policy on your side, however…I’m just ridiculously thankful that I don’t have to worry about any of that nonsense here.

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