Yesterday was a stressful day. I had a lot on my to-do list. It didn’t get any better when I found out my current boss probably knew about me being transgender. But, like many of these disclosures, it ended surprisingly well.
The pizza community is very small. We all pretty much know each other. And if we don’t know each other by face, we certainly know each other’s names. Many of us have worked with each other at one time or another. Even if it was with one of the other companies. My current boss used to work with me and the ex-girlfriend when we were at Domino’s. At the time, she and the ex-girlfriend were best friends. When the girlfriend and I broke up, I did come out to her. But, I couldn’t remember the timeline exactly. I couldn’t remember if the lady who is now my boss was still around when we broke up. If she was, they undoubtedly spoke about my disclosure.
So, day before yesterday, I asked the ex if she remembered the timeline better than me. The answer came during my support group.
“What’s your major malfunction private. Yeah, I think she knows. What’s the big deal?” Isn’t she lovely?
I thought about it for another couple of hours and over a couple of hard lemonades. All the time thinking about my relationship with this lady who is now my superior at work. I’ve known her for about ten years. She has always come off as fair minded. And since we have been working together, she has been great. She told me recently that I’m the best assistant manager she’s ever worked with. We seem to have a very good working relationship. Shortly after she arrived at our store, we got talking about my future plans. I told her that I did eventually plan on quitting. She asked if that was coming up soon. I said not too soon. And she asked that I give her plenty of notice and that maybe I could continue working a couple of days a week.
I know i have a good reputation with the company. I’ve turned down my own store twice in recent years. And since I’m now carless, I don’t qualify. Which is ok with me. My life is moving in a new direction. So, if I did come out at work and start full time, I don’t think my job would be in jeopardy. There are laws in place to prevent discrimination. But, I’ve seen people get pushed out by getting their hours cut.
There’s technically nothing stopping me from transitioning right now. But, I’m not ready for full time. Not by the time table I set for myself. I want to make this as smooth as possible. So, I’m constantly working on things. One big thing is my fear of getting beat up or killed. It’s a big one. One that I think many of my friends don’t understand. Hence, the “malfunction” comment by the ex.
As I was getting ready to head home from the bar, I received a Facebook message from a friend. I stood at the bike out on the sidewalk exchanging messages for a few minutes. Then, one of the girls I was hanging out with came out and started up her scooter. We talked for a minute or two until her engine warmed up. While we were talking, one of her friends walked outside to smoke. I had seen her around. But, we hadn’t met. When my friend’s scooter was warm enough, she headed home, leaving me and this person I didn’t know standing there looking at each other. I didn’t know what to say. So, I said something about having to ride home with one glove. I had lost one of my gloves earlier in the day. I hate social anxiety. Here, standing in front of me, was a stranger. Someone, I wasn’t familiar with. My mind and eyes were concentrating her face. Trying to memorize and get to know her. I couldn’t think of anything to say. Along with transgenderism, I wouldn’t wish social anxiety on my worst enemies.
I told her I was leaving. But, I rode back down to the dark, empty parking lot of the GLBT Center to keep talking with my friend on Facebook. While doing so, I walked around in circles thinking about whether my boss would disapprove of my gender problem. Most people in the restaurant industry are fairly liberal. Most of them are misfits of some sort. But, this lady is also fairly religious. She is a Christian who attends church every Sunday. Now, in hindsight, I think she was testing the waters the other day. We talked about how just because she’s a Christian, she doesn’t care what people do with their lives. As long as they don’t put on her their feelings about Christianity. I agreed. And I confessed that I knew a couple of trans people and several gay people. She said that before she went to college, she was a fairly small minded person. But, she took many psychology related classes and got to know different points of view. We even talked about Australian aboriginal people for some reason. And she was impressed that I had met a few when I was in Australia. So, looking back on that conversation, I shouldn’t have been surprised how it went down when I did find the courage to send a text message to her.
This is the conversation we had over text message:
Me: “**** tells me you know about my gender conflict”
Her: “She talked a little about it many years ago”
Me: “Do I still have a job?”
Her: “Well of course. I would never do anything to hurt you.”
What that means, is that although I’ll probably have an ulcer soon, I’m often surprised by how easy things are going.
*Special thanks to my friend Sarah, who kept logical and rational thoughts in my head as I debated whether or not to say something to her.