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Coming Out at Work.


Gabrielle Marine Alizee

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Hello. I am transitioning late enough in life that I originally thought that I would probably be retired before I am done transitioning, and that I would quietly live the rest of my life as my true self. But I have come to realize that, other than those of us that are trans, and those that help us, no one understands what the transition process is, or what we face. I wonder if a better option is to allow my coworkers to take this journey with me and share the experience. I would like to know what others think and if anyone else has done this, as well as what obstacles I may face. I work for the Postal Service, so we are pretty diverse. I know I will deal with some transphobic people, but they will be the exception and not the rule.

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Welcome Gabrielle.

I am already retired, but there are some folks here that are in the process of coming out at work.  I'm sure they can help you with the issues.

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3 hours ago, Gabrielle Marine Alizee said:

I would like to know what others think and if anyone else has done this

Welcome @Gabrielle Marine Alizee! I think depending on the State you reside, your protections may vary somewhat but there are other considerations to take. Are your coworkers you work directly with generally accepting of LGBTQ issues? How well do you get along with them? What does human resources deal with this? Are your bosses supportive with you in other areas? How secure is your job? If they exist, you might confide in one close trustworthy coworker first and ask them what they think. There are so many questions.

 

My current job has been a godsend and everyone is completely accepting but I didn’t intend to come out originally..it just happened by accident. There was a procedural ‘screw up’ that caused my male birth name and female chosen name to show up together to a half dozen individuals when they were doing background screening after the interviews. Through word of mouth, soon everyone knew despite the official line of complete confidentiality. Luckily, I live and am employed in a very accepting part of an overall very accepting State. You should have all the same job protections in CA that I have here in WA. If you want to move forward, you’ll likely do it for yourself and be happy you did. In time, I bet you’ll think back..”What was I worried about”. But that’s my opinion and I can’t honestly say you won’t have some pushback or even a setback or two. I anticipate that you would be able to work through anything thrown in your direction. One thing I know about most trans individuals..we are generally resilient people. Keep in mind, no matter what State you live in there are always those in our lives that will not understand or accept you as you. Striving to live authentically is more important than someone else’s opinion and should not stop you from being yourself wherever you are.

 

I wish you the best,

Susan R?

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Hi Gabrielle and welcome.  I was retired when it hit me. I guess I had more time to think.  I do not think you will have issue working with USPS.  One of our delivery drivers is LGBT aligned.  Plus as I understand you do have a union.  I take from your name here that you may be a former Marine?  I don't think anyone that knows you will give you any grief and will most likely support your action to be true to yourself.  If you are inclined to wait that is fine but if it is your time, then go for it.  As Susan noted, later you might ask "what was I worried about?"  It's not easy and can definitely be emotionally fraught at times, but the rewards for peace of mind are many.  


Please join in the conversation and you can get a feel how others live.

 

Cheers,

Jani 

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I'm in AL, you would think there was more resistance here but I haven't met it yet. I'm still way about coming out to everyone at work. I'm doing it slowly and I'm surprised at every response. 

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On 7/5/2021 at 1:31 PM, Gabrielle Marine Alizee said:

Hello. I am transitioning late enough in life that I originally thought that I would probably be retired before I am done transitioning, and that I would quietly live the rest of my life as my true self. But I have come to realize that, other than those of us that are trans, and those that help us, no one understands what the transition process is, or what we face. I wonder if a better option is to allow my coworkers to take this journey with me and share the experience. I would like to know what others think and if anyone else has done this, as well as what obstacles I may face. I work for the Postal Service, so we are pretty diverse. I know I will deal with some transphobic people, but they will be the exception and not the rule.

I’m your girl!!!!!! I’ve been carrying for 23 years and came out in May to my office. The USPS has a very inclusive LGBTQ policy and you are fully protected under Federal Law. It’s best to talk to your managers first and they should contact your Districts HR Dept to get better info on it. You have every right to use the bathroom of the gender you identify as! I’ve had some pushback from some coworkers but I think it will subside with time. Also, you can contact HRSCC through LiteBlue to get help with official name and gender changes. Welcome to the Trans-Postal family ❤️???

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Thank you everyone for your great ideas and your generous support! I have already told a few people, both coworkers and people in management, and the support I have received thus far has been magnificent. most of the employees that I feel will be resistant will be retired by the end of the year. After that, there will only be one or two employees that I feel will be resistant to my transition, and they will be busy dealing with damage control if they say or do anything.

 

I notice I'm getting a little bolder each day. Things I wouldn't have done a year ago I'm now doing without thinking about. I haven't used men's body wash or deodorant in about two years. I still identify as male and I wear Gloria Vanderbilt jeans to work. I sometimes drop hints just to see if anybody accidentally figures it out. This girl is comin' out and there ain't no stopping her! But I think it will be an education for them to see someone actually go through the transition. And if lets other people know that it's ok to come out, then that's good too.

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"I sometimes drop hints just to see if anybody accidentally figures it out. This girl is comin' out and there ain't no stopping her!" 

 

I feel that so much. 

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7 hours ago, Gabrielle Marine Alizee said:

Thank you everyone for your great ideas and your generous support! I have already told a few people, both coworkers and people in management, and the support I have received thus far has been magnificent. most of the employees that I feel will be resistant will be retired by the end of the year. After that, there will only be one or two employees that I feel will be resistant to my transition, and they will be busy dealing with damage control if they say or do anything.

 

I notice I'm getting a little bolder each day. Things I wouldn't have done a year ago I'm now doing without thinking about. I haven't used men's body wash or deodorant in about two years. I still identify as male and I wear Gloria Vanderbilt jeans to work. I sometimes drop hints just to see if anybody accidentally figures it out. This girl is comin' out and there ain't no stopping her! But I think it will be an education for them to see someone actually go through the transition. And if lets other people know that it's ok to come out, then that's good too.

I'm the boss so they had to deal with it in my company but what I've learned is our fears tend to be way overblown.  You will become an ambassador for trans people so just set the boundaries early if there are topics off limits for you. People want to understand what you will be going through and some may say or ask stupid things, but usually its simply out of ignorance.  Good luck!!

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11 hours ago, Gabrielle Marine Alizee said:

Thank you everyone for your great ideas and your generous support! I have already told a few people, both coworkers and people in management, and the support I have received thus far has been magnificent. most of the employees that I feel will be resistant will be retired by the end of the year. After that, there will only be one or two employees that I feel will be resistant to my transition, and they will be busy dealing with damage control if they say or do anything.

 

I notice I'm getting a little bolder each day. Things I wouldn't have done a year ago I'm now doing without thinking about. I haven't used men's body wash or deodorant in about two years. I still identify as male and I wear Gloria Vanderbilt jeans to work. I sometimes drop hints just to see if anybody accidentally figures it out. This girl is comin' out and there ain't no stopping her! But I think it will be an education for them to see someone actually go through the transition. And if lets other people know that it's ok to come out, then that's good too.

Good Luck to you. I was crazy and did everything very quickly. I've been warned that I have co-workers that don't approve of me but no one has confronted me. I'm careful of the time I use the restroom to avoid crowds and I have allies who will go tinkle with me if I don't feel safe. One of my supervisors called me a bitch!

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  • 1 month later...

One of our postal delivery carriers is trans. She is such a lovely lady, full of life. I asked her how it's going at work and she said people have been wonderful about it. She said there was one colleague who was always a jerk to everyone around him, who continues to be a jerk. No surprise there. But she is not alone in having that experience of him, and it doesn't appear to be trans related. As for everyone else, she said after they were notified by a supervisor, there was no awkwardness. They went with it. This makes me feel that the USPS may have good systems in place? And we know they are diverse as well. I hope that helps. Good luck!! ?

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Hi Gabrielle 

I find myself very much in your position with a couple of years to go until retirement and I'm thinking "why do I have to wait that long?". But I'm also worried about what coming out at work will lead to. Sorry I don't have any answers for you but you are not the only one. 

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