Yep, just like the title says, I’m writing this one looking for some knowledgeable advice, particularly from my trans brothers and sisters who are out to everyone, or if you are cisgender and have had someone come out to you. All comments are very welcome and appreciated, and I would love to hear as many opinions as possible. I know at least 200 people read each post here at Michellelianna, and another 80 or so in PE, so hoping for some good perspective. J
At this very moment I’m out to family, friends, and pretty much everyone with the exception of work. That is coming down quick, and depends on the completion of the room they are converting to a unisex bathroom to accommodate me without putting anyone out. I’m comfortable with that by the way, and very grateful to HR here for really standing behind me. Anyway, sometime between now and June I’ll be making a series of announcements, or a mass announcement to let people know I will be coming into work looking a little different. I’m pretty excited, and have some conflict with the way the announcement part is going to happen.
My original plan was to: (1) Schedule a meeting with HR and my boss and let him know (2) Schedule a meeting with our president/ site director and senior staff and let them know (3) Schedule a meeting with my staff (6 people) and let them know (4) Talk to individuals I have known a long time here and let them know (5) Send out a letter of announcement and explanation to everyone else. The letter was inspired by the one Jenny Boylan included in She’s Not There and HR seems to really like it. Here was my thinking. People who are closest to this, such as my boss and my staff have the right to be told directly by me as this is the most courteous way of doing it. I felt it showed them respect and gave opportunity to ask questions, etc right away. I also believe it’s harder to hate you to your face for something that may not be so well understood.
Now my mother doesn’t think that is such a hot idea. Her point is that when told face to face it comes across as a blindside leaving the person being told somewhat speechless and caught like a deer in the headlights. Her idea was that it might be kinder to send out the letter to everyone first and follow up with face to face a day or two later after people got a chance to digest the news. Her idea is that some people don’t react so well when surprised and it may lead to something said or felt that would be later regretted by that person, putting them into an awkward position, especially if they work for me. These are some really good points.
I’m on the fence about this. I feel almost cowardly hiding behind a letter, and that there might be some feelings about not being told to their face, especially in cases where I have known these individuals for almost 11 years now. On the other hand, giving people the freedom to have their initial reaction in private while they come to terms with the news may well have more benefit. I truly don’t know. I do know that many are going to inclined to say I should do what is most comfortable for me and let the rest be damned. The catch is that the most comfortable way for me is doing it in a way that is most comfortable for the people being told.
Again, I would love thoughts, inputs and even person experiences here if you are at all inclined to share. In advance, I thank you!