Where have I been? I suppose the shortest answer is simply living my life. It’s been intense and fun and real. I also had a bit of writer’s block, but I’ve decided to push through it because I get so much out of writing this.
The massive news for anyone following this blog sequentially is: I went full time on the 30th of July. Four months ago today. I’m going to do a series of posts to catch you up with the last four months.
The Lead Up
I have already written this to death, but I had planed a party for my coming out. Except I came out early and the party was this weird date all by itself without a purpose. So then I decided to go full time the day of the party. But that made me stressed that I could never be ready in time, physically, logistically or emotionally, so I cancelled it & decided to push “going full time” back to October or something.
I had booked some time off before my party date to enjoy trans pride and get ready for my party. I decided to take the time off anyway and lived full time as Amy during that week. It was really nice – no uncomfortable switching back and forth between both lives. The night before I was supposed to go back to work as “him”, I had dinner with a friend and in the taxi back to my flat I started to think about the switch back. I got really emotional and basically ended up crying myself to sleep about it. I was really torn.
Another three months would give me time to change physically and develop a bit more emotionally and just take care of things like getting my wardrobe sorted.
In the morning I woke up and decided “I can’t do this any more; today is the day”.
Fortunately I was doing a half day (as it was supposed to be the day after my coming out party), so I had the morning to prepare. I contacted IT and got them to change my email address to amy@.
I wrote this email to the company:
When I arrived, one of the women from our people team had left me a new ID badge with the security man in the foyer, which was so lovely:
Everything was going smoothly – there was only one more obstacle. That afternoon – I was due to present the product roadmap to the entire company – 300 people. On the one hand this was a pretty terrifying concept. I think in some ways – the ideal first day at work would be fairly quiet, just hanging out with a few close colleagues – basically playing in the shallow end of the pool. By luck or by unconscious design I had picked the deep end of the pool.
I dressed in a blue skirt, white vest top and high heels. Again, this was the opposite of that I’d imagined for so long. I’d sort of imagined becoming more androgynous and sort of gently crossing the line. With barely an impact on my physical appearance, then journeying over a period of months to a female presentation. Somehow I’d decided against this. I wanted to make a clear statement about who I was. In hind sight (and I think I knew this at the time). the massive benefit of appearing like this was, that although high pressure, I only had to do it once. There was no meeting each department over days and weeks. One presentation – it was done.
The presentation went really well. I wish I could go back to my past self and deliver the message “people care about your words and thoughts, not what you look like“. This was so true. It was one of the best received presentations I’d ever given. Interestingly although I was showing people the first view of the real me, I felt much less nervous than I ever have done before standing up in front of so many people. It turns out that the internal power of being authentic is immense.
I had for so many years thought this day was utterly impossible. I had imagined that some doctor at a gender clinic would force me into coming out at work and “going full time” in order to get the next treatment on their roadmap. In reality it was my own craving to be out and living authentically that made me do it. It was one of the happiest days of my life. Why had I waited so long?