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Hi all, 

I'm an electrical engineer and was wondering if there are anymore engineers or tech people on here. I'm trying to figure out how things would be if I came out to my coworkers (I'm non binary) and was also wondering what kind of atmosphere other trans engineers work in. 

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I'm labeled a software "engineer", although I find that a bit insulting to actual engineers that have professional standards and things. ?

I worked for HP for about 17 years and that was a pretty good environment for these sorts of things. I knew quite a few people that were lesbians or gay, and I knew two people that transitioned on the job without any significant issues that I'm aware of.

My current workplace is a small startup. There are typically fewer than 20 people in the office. I've come out to my management team and explained that I will be transitioning at some point. They were great about it although they were interested in any resources I could help them with to make sure to handle the management side of things appropriately. Luckily our regional LGBT Center is across the street, so I think that should be pretty easy to sort. I've told a few co-workers and they had no problem with it. There are a few others that will be more challenging, but I am hoping for professionalism at the least if not acceptance.

All of that being said, my situation is tempered a bit by being in California which has good non-discrimination laws and in a company who's HR policies are also very supportive. It's also a slightly more mature group than at a traditional startup so we don't really have a big "bro" culture, but rather more of a family feel. And of course, I haven't come into the office "en femme" yet, so even those that know haven't REALLY had to deal with it. 

I hope that helps, but if you think of something else that you're curious about I'm happy to answer. It's a hard process to think through and figure out the right timing and right approach. 


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  • Forum Moderator

Since you present as trans masculine already I would use your current status as a gauge on how it would be accepted if you "announced" that you are non-binary.  Understand that many people have a hard time wrapping their heads around that as opposed to MtF or FtM.  I'm not an engineer but I was a manager at a large defense based corporation.  I found most engineers and senior staff to be open and accepting to LGBT employees.  (I did not come out until I retired.)  I worked in the Northeast but I traveled regularly to our other facilities across the country and saw no difference in attitudes.



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I am principly an electronic/software engineer and worked in healthcare. I found people there to be totally accepting, but that would generally be accepted as the norm, at least here. In my view, where you work and who with has far more bearing on things. In the general sense, over here I have found professionals like engineers to be far more open and accepting than lesser skilled people. That said, while at work I was visiting people from all groups, with few issues.  I would say though, that, although I am really non-binary as well, people automatically made the presumption of MTF. In my experience few people would readily cope with non-binary. It is something that I have not found an answer to yet. Society is two state and, interestingly, it takes someone with the mindset of an engineer (in my view) to analyse and comprehend. Going back to who you work with, I presume they are not all engineers? It is really everyone, not just your immediate colleagues.



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Thank you all or the replies! 


I get the general feeling that most of the engineers and tech centered people I've come across follow about how ya'll are describing. I work in a larger southern city at a small start up and every coworker here is some sort of engineer or scientist. We don't have an HR department, though, so that's the draw back haha. Unfortunately we do projects for customers all over and that sends me out in the middle of nowhere sometimes. One of the places I did a project at was on the national news for this hardware store putting a "no gays allowed" sign on the door. So, that's the other stuff I could deal with. I'm the head electrical engineer so I'm thinking maybe I can use that authority as a shield when I go to customer sites. I'm the only electrical engineer, but they don't have to know that haha. 

We're about to expand, we've got some jobs coming up that we'll probably double in size for. I'm thinking now would be a good time to start coming out to a few people so then when the new people come it will already be an established thing. It's tough figuring out the first people to come out to here since we don't have an HR department. 


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15 hours ago, tesla1026 said:

I'm thinking now would be a good time to start coming out to a few people so then when the new people come it will already be an established thing.

You could do that or just continue to let your presentative evolve.  It's like the analogy of boiling a frog.  Start with warm comfortable water and start to slowly turn up the heat.  The frog never gets alarmed and jumps out of the pot.   People will notice your changes but won't make much of it because you're still the person they know.  You don't really need to announce it unless you feel you need to. 


There is no HR department so you should gauge acceptance based upon the company's leadership.  



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  • 4 years later...
On 5/19/2018 at 1:11 PM, Jani said:

You could... let your presentative evolve... People will notice your changes but won't make much of it because you're still the person they know.  You don't really need to announce it unless you feel you need to.

Bumping this old thread because this caught my eye. This is pretty much my strategy and I'm hoping it'll work.


@tesla1026 if you spot this did you try this idea? How did it go?


Would love to hear from anyone who's tried this gradual progression technique rather that make an announcement.

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1 hour ago, Abigail Eleanor said:

Would love to hear from anyone who's tried this gradual progression technique rather that make an announcement.


I'm now 3 years into HRT and have taken a targeted rather than "everyone must know" approach.  For most people I casually know, for example, I have not hidden my (gradual) changes, but have not made it a point to announce anything.  My philosophy has been "why should the burden be on me to be public, and it be widespread knowledge, about my gender identify?"   There's also a safety aspect to this.


Glad you raised this as a question, @Abigail Eleanor -- it's a good one.



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I'm a software engineer and have been working from home exclusively for over 10 years.  I came out to everyone, work and personal, almost 2 months ago.  I felt that announcing it to everyone would be overly dramatic, but I decided to do it anyway.


The result has been excellent.  Being full time in my target gender has increased my confidence.  I enjoy wearing my feminine clothing 24/7.  I enjoy people calling me Lydia.  Yes, it does make people behave different in that they are now on the spot of calling me a different name and thinking about my gender differently.  For most of the people I deal with, it doesn't seem to be a big deal for them.  I am doing a better job at work because I'm not waiting all day to change into the clothes that I want to wear.


I personally don't believe that any physical changes from HRT would have been noticeable.  But not hiding at all anymore has changed my life for the better.  And getting my men's clothes out of the house forces me to present feminine when I leave the house.  I've worn my heels into stores.  I have realized that they just are not practical for doing regular shopping, but if I'm going to a restaurant, they are totally fine.  Some boys noticed me in a restaurant yesterday and put on a silly show for me talking about their clothing trying to get a feminine reaction out of me (I wasn't wearing my heels).  I'm sure they knew I was trans, but it was fun and affirming.


I'm in Portland though.  YMMV


I must admit that I kind of wish I had to go into an office once in a while now.  I'm kind of all dressed up and nowhere to go.  Working from home is great though. 

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Perhaps I'm painting too rosy of a picture of it though.  It did put a strain on all my relationships.  Some people from my personal life appear to be ghosting me.  It may be a year before I have a clear picture of what really happened.


I struggled very hard with whether to come out.  I think I got lucky, especially on the work front.  And being in Portland certainly helped things.

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