It was a Friday on 30th of October 2015, the day just before Halloween. That morning I was extremely nervous and even more excited. I had been planning that day at work for some time. Two nights before I had selected and tried my wardrobe for that day. It was a loose black turtleneck, black knee-high skirt with sheer black tights and black heels. I would be driving into work instead of cycling like every other morning. I also knew that day the owner of the company would not be in the office.
A Big Day
The whole deal about that Halloween eve was that it would be my unofficial opening up at work. To give a bit of context, sometime around the beginning of September, less than 2 months before Halloween, I had made up my mind about starting my process. Before that Friday I had opened up to 2 of my coworkers and had asked them to please dress up to celebrate Halloween at work. I told them I would be wearing women’s attire and I would really appreciate the support so I wouldn’t be the only one “dressing up”.
On one hand I hated the stereotype of costumes and Halloween to do this, but on the other hand I could not let this opportunity slip away. The plan was as simple as you’re guessing. I would not be wearing a costume and it would be obvious this was not the first time I had dressed like that. Rather than opening up to all my coworkers I let those that were curious to engage me. The response that I received was a combination of warmth and intrigue. Anyone that asked I told them I had decided to move forward and answered all the question they had for me.
I knew that day my boss, the owner of the company and friend for more than 15 years, would not be in the office. I assumed that he would hear about me from someone at the office, so I decided to meet with him on Thursday. I had asked him to get together for lunch. While we were at the restaurant he asked me why I had requested the meeting. That was when I opened up. I told him about my plans of starting HRT, the physical changes I was expecting and showed him a selection of photos. Then I told him how I would be presenting for work on Friday. I thought that if he was going to hear about me, that it would be better if he heard it directly from me and not from someone else. That was my way of being in control of the narrative and his interpretation.
The response that I got was totally unexpected. He told me he was very happy because he thought I was quitting for another job. Then he said that though he was surprised, he was not shocked as he had already noted I was wearing long fingernails, long hair and a couple of other giveaways like my groomed eyebrows. He later told me about another friend of his that was in a similar process as me.
Way Too Excited
On Friday I simply could not concentrate at work. The excitement had taken over and siphoned all of my attention. It was an incredibly liberating feeling because I had received a fantastic response from the greater majority of my coworkers, had the unequivocal support of my boss and probably most important, I was taking concrete steps. I had no doubts I was going to go ahead with my process so I could not restrain my excitement of moving forward.
Today, as I write this, it feels both like it was just yesterday and at the same time it feels this was ages ago.
Though this is not a celebration of another anniversary it made me think back to those very early days. I hadn’t thought about that day in 2015 until later this evening (31 Oct. ’19). As I write this, lots of memories are coming back. A very fulfilling consequence of writing about it is that I’m getting the opportunity to appraise how the excitement of those days squashed any fears, shames and doubts and replaced them with a string of steady small incremental accomplishments.
P.S. Fun fact: that day my mum allowed me to wear the ring she wears everyday.
P.P.S. The header image is one of the 2 photos I have from that 30 of October, 2015. It’s a selfie of a coworker and myself all blurred out for privacy.