To Stealth or Not to Stealth

I started a new job with a large telecommunications company about a month ago, my first post-transition. When I first started I thought everyone was just being nice to the new trans girl. Now I am starting to realize that I am actually being accepted as a woman, despite my very deep voice. I work in a call center with over 200 employees and not one person has used a male pronoun of given me a second look. No one has even flinched at my presence in the woman’s restroom.

As I am getting to get to know my co-workers we are getting friendlier. Deciding which version of the truth to tell is stressful. I never know how much of my past to reveal. I’m not trying to run from or hide from my past, but I do think that it is not relevant. I don’t need to be announcing to the world that I am trans.

This however creates issues with my backstory. I have not had the stereotypical female life experience. As desperately as I wanted it, simply haven’t experienced the life that most women do. I can’t bear children. I’ve never experienced gender bias in the workplace until now. Men treat me like I am a moron when it comes to technology. I have to bite my tongue to stop myself from pointing out that I have been using computers since the late 1970s and was selling consumer electronics before they were born.

I’m walking a balance beam of truth. I don’t want to lie, or fabricate a life story, but at the same time I don’t want to out myself. I hate using words like “partner” to describe past relationships (although I have no issues with others using them). “Partner” seems to me to be purposely vague, bordering on deceitful. But if I mention that my last two relationships were with a boyfriend and a wife, that automatically causes people to take a deeper look at me. Being known as a transperson in the workplace would cause everyone to walk on eggshells I would imagine. The company I work for is an incredibly open and diverse company. They are swift to address any issues of misconduct, discrimination, and inappropriate behavior in the workplace. I know this because I have already been interviewed as a witness to an incident within my training class.

I am in a very odd place at work right now. For the first time in my career I feel comfortable at work just being me. At the same time I am worried about what will happen if my past is revealed. I am curious how others have handled their post-transition jobs. I’m sure it is vastly different than transitioning on the job.

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One comment

  1. Good luck to you – you are in a great position to write about the interstices between male and female reactions and perceptions. We have been following the journey of our trans daughter – not an easy one. It’s easy to see how stressful ordinary situations can be when you don’t know how people will react. Thank goodness the recognition of trans and non-binaries is growing year on year.

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