Back to work

I’m finally well enough to start work again for a few months before my parental leave. I’m really excited, even if it means that I have to leave my precious baby for a few hours. I have to start slow, with just two hours a day, so it’s not too bad. I just hope it works out, it sucks being away from work for so long when I know my coworkers are swamped with work. But to be honest I’m really nervous. I’ve changed a lot over my sick leave and it’s time I tell my coworkers about my decision to transition. I know two of them will be really supportive, I don’t really care what my third coworker thinks or make of it, but the fourth one will be a problem. He is the master of butting in, asking inappropriate questions and in general just a pain in the… I know that as soon as he finds out, the whole building and everyone he meets will know. It sure is the easy way of outing myself to the whole organization, but it’s not my plan to do it the gossip version where I have no control what so ever of what information is passed on, especially when he is the one starting the process. Honestly I don’t know how to handle it. There’s really just two options, either I’ll tell him and let the fire loose or I don’t tell him. But the latter option will be a bit weird when I change my name and start testosterone… I know I need to tell him, but I wish I somehow could instruct him on what he can say and not say to other people, but that’s a thing we’ve tried to do since he started at our workplace with no luck. It’s so bad that he’s not allowed to talk to people who walk in the door except for answering direct questions. He struggles to follow that simple rule, or I should say we struggle to make him follow that simple rule, so I have no hope to make him shut his big mouth in the break room.

First day back

When I woke up this morning, everything felt wrong. My anxiety level was pretty high and I felt less masculine than I’ve done for a really long time. I had already decided what to wear last night (binder, knitted sweater, trousers, no packer) and even if I decided to bind, it felt like my boobs were showing way too much. D-cup push-up style… Unfortunately I don’t think a packer would have helped today. Of cause I didn’t tell anyone about my transition today. I would like to say that there were no opportunities to bring it up, but there were plenty of them. I chickened out like usual. When my wife picked me up after work she offered to out me, but I have decided that I need to tell them myself. She is already doing the most of my outing anyway, I need to do at least this on my own. I’ll tell them tomorrow. Maybe.

Second day back

Didn’t tell them today either, still feeling a bit low since yesterday. I’m also staring to think that I might want to wait to tell them until I get the appointment to the gender clinic. I know I definitely want to tell them before I have my appointment there, but I can wait until I know when I’m going there. They can’t really start calling me Fredrik anyway until I decide to come out to my obnoxious coworker, so what good will it do them to know now? And can I really use my chosen name in e-mails before it’s official? It would be really confusing for everyone if my coworkers call me Fredrik but all the e-mail I send is signed with Ess, wouldn’t it?

Third day back

My wife and baby joined me to work today. We had lunch together and then they stayed for the two hour I worked. Not a good opportunity to come out to my coworkers.

Fourth day back

I’m fed up with gender neutral clothing and took a button down shirt instead. At work I was really starting to get annoyed by everyone calling me my given name. I had to really focus just to react to it, I’m not used to listen to it at all anymore. When one of my coworkers said, talking to a customer, “you need to talk to Ess to fix that”, the customer looked a bit confused (my coworker, the customer and I were the only people in the room) and my coworker continued “she’s sitting right over there” and pointed at me. The customer, still looking a bit confused, turned to me and asked “are you Ess?”. She looked really relieved when I told her yes, but I was really pissed off by being referred to as “she”. I knew it wouldn’t be easy being seen as “female” at work, but I didn’t think it would be this hard. I really need to come out to everyone at work, the sooner the better, and ask them to refer to me as Fredrik. This will drive me insane and make my dysphoria worse very fast otherwise. I was prepared to tell them today, but then my period decided it would be a good time to start flooding. It doesn’t really help me with feeling man enough to tell them. It’s like “hey, I know I look like a woman, but I’m really a man. Could you just excuse me, I have really bad cramps and are bleeding from my ingrown testicles”.At home we decided it would be best if I waited to come out at work until the adoption is finished, it’s just a month or so away and we don’t want anything to jeopardize that. I’m a little bit bummed about it though, I really want to come out to everyone.

8 thoughts on “Back to work

  1. Love the ingrown testicles. In the USA the name change (without the gender change) is very straightforward and doesn’t require any gender clinic stuff. Basically you can change your name to anything. I would advocate for changing your name at work by any means necessary.
    Is there anyone in your workplace who doesn’t use their official first name and goes by either a diminuitive, their middle name, or a nickname? Fredrik is admittedly an unusual alternative name for Ess, but I bet you won’t be the only person who isn’t called by the name on their birth certificate.

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    • Well, I know the rules for name changes has been changed, before you couldn’t choose a name that didn’t fit your legal gender, but I don’t know how strict they are. I’m on my way to check that, but I’m a bit hesitant since I don’t know how the answer will affect me mentally.
      The name policy is fairly strict at work, where my email address is my full name. Everyone knows me and in their email box they will see my “email-name” and I can’t really sign the mail with another name… I think I will be able to change al, of the names before I get the official name change, but I need to tell all of my coworkers about my transition first…

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  2. Blimey! You’re having a rough time of it. It’s probably a wise decision to wait till after the adoption is finished. Like you said, you don’t want to jeopardise that – and also, this course of action will buy you a little more time.
    Chin up mate. You’ll be OK!

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  3. Hiiii, I would just like to suggest being in control as much as possible for your coming out. You are right in saying that if a rumour mill starts before you make yourself known then there can be early misrepresentations to deal with.
    Obviously it will all spill over eventually, and I’m not saying grasp control tightly, just stay aware of how you want to come out and the ways it will likely go. I guess I mean that having the feeling of control can be securing and comforting in ways. Even though you may not have done it yet, it still shows that you have the power in your life and whatever way you decide, it will be done and you won’t have to look back.
    In my experience and learning from others, that initial feed of information to all around is something that should come from, and only truly can come from you.
    Good luck Fredrik! Stay good to yourself 🙂

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  4. Hang in there! I know that feeling oh so well of wanting to just correct them on name and/or pronouns but knowing it’s a social minefield. You want to come out in the right way on your terms so you have to just sit and bear it. It sucks. I’ve been there a lot. I’m there right now! For what it’s worth though I think you’re making the right move by waiting.

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