Odds and Ends in the Lazy Days of Summer

After this last facial hair removal session, I’m enjoying an extended period of absolutely no facial hair at all. I know the neck and jawline will come back pretty strong again but given where we were on the upper and lower lip and center of the chin, as well as the cheeks, things may be pretty darned sparse from here on out. And for the moment, I’m enjoying it.

I am also noticing how rapidly skin with no facial hair returns to coloring similar to the rest of the face. At the same time there are texture differences from years of facial hair and shaving, so I can see why some transwomen opt to have full facial peels once the facial hair is gone. I’ll definitely want to give it time to heal afterwards but what I’m seeing is even more reason to consider a full facial peel eventually.

Today was interesting for another reason as well. My endocrinologist started me on progesterone. Progesterone should help further the breast development as well as put a little more rear end on me. At least that is the theory. But another side effect of progesterone is increases in hair growth. Since I’m trying to grow mine back, or as much as I can, this is rather welcome. I hope that it helps the process along. Well, both processes! 🙂

That brings me to another item. After coordinating with HR and my boss, I will be officially coming out to my teammates on August 11th. We’ve reviewed and edited my coming out statement. The meeting will be short and I’ll read that then offer to take any questions after the meeting is “officially over”. HR said we must do it that way so that if anyone wants to leave, they can. However, I honestly expect everyone to stay and ask a few questions. But we’ll see. Regardless, it will soon be done and then all that’s left between me and fulltime is the legal paperwork in September or October.

And the last item for this entry. I was saddened to hear of another transwoman who took her life recently. But what angered me were her family, who in their total rejection of her drove her towards that suicide. That same family today took over her Facebook page, changed her name back to her male name, and said the services would be in “his” honor. Even in death, they desecrate someone. That is how sick, twisted, and evil those who hate us actually are.

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4 thoughts on “Odds and Ends in the Lazy Days of Summer

  1. Good luck in your transition Liz!
    I’ll be interested to follow, I feel I am about 9 months behind u… though that depends how quickly I can change my job right now. I’ve had three facial laser sessions (the last with the setting ramped up to severe ‘ouch’ level), but to me it just looks like the growth is slowing. Hope all goes well at work, this is the bit that scares me the most.

    • You have to remember that hair grows in “waves” and knocking out one doesn’t knock out any of the others. The number of waves varies per person too. So one person might have sparse growth which is only 2-3 waves and some of us have dense growth which is really 5-7 waves. Be patient and be persistent and you’ll get rid of that beard shadow and eventually have a much smoother and even colored complexion. Good luck!

  2. *
    First allow my question about your work ‘coming out’ day: office meeting, statement, Q&A session. How did that go? I did not find much that you wrote about that day. I hope you are comfortable posting a blog about it.

    Another memory came to me after re-reading your experience at work. A far different introduction from a far different time. I would have no point mentioning any ol’ employee if this had nothing to do with the topic of your blog.

    I was working as a civilian employee at a federal military agency during 1978. This agency was involved in electronics communications. Military and civilian employees of the agency worked at duty sites world-wide; special experts made their rounds from one military base to another.

    My desk was one of three at the ante-room to the Director’s Office where we three received all incoming personnel as they arrived to check-in preceding their assignment. The engineer arrived and our Director escorted her into his office. My supervisor told me this employee would be here the next two weeks. My supervisor then quietly asked my co-worker and me whether we thought of anything curious about this engineer; I said, ‘No’. My supervisor continued needling us, ‘Have you ever seen a female electronics engineer?’. Well, no; I still did not get the point. Finally my supervisor told us that this visiting civilian electronics engineer is a transsexual.

    I had to hold my emotions. I was still working as a male; but I had been secretly taking care of my paperwork to begin my transition with referrals from Stanford. I was miffed how my supervisor was handling this information considering the fact that all information passing through our office was adjudged on ‘need to know’ criteria. Why was it within my ‘need to know’ that this engineer is a transsexual?

    Soon others from our office area gathered in our ante-room and they spoke in hushed tones. They all wanted to see the sex change – as if some side-show freak. The Director and engineer came out of the office and proceeded to make the rounds introducing her to the office personnel. I introduced myself and tried to use eye contact to express my empathy. I do not remember her name; let’s just call her Linda.

    Whispered gossip continued that first day. At some later time, I went to a private telephone and called Linda. I re-introduced myself, told her who I was and where I worked, mentioned my personal situation, and asked if we could talk either at lunch or after work. We agreed to meet at her hotel room on Friday. All week we exchanged knowing glances – me of friendship to Linda, she recognised my quiet support.

    Linda’s novelty seemed to have worn off by mid-week; everyone was back to business and not obsessed with her presence. I did not sense any hostility toward Linda among my fellow directorate co-workers, mostly curiosity.

    Linda and I spoke several hours that Friday after work. I was filled with questions. Linda told me about the Janus program from Galveston. She then gave tips, ideas and suggestions to me. We parted. I contacted Janus and received their information package.

    The second week at work went smoothly for Linda; we exchanged friendly greetings all week; most office gossip ceased.

    Well, Liz, the sense is that times have changed – hopefully – for the better. Linda’s private matter was of no one’s concern. No one at the department had any authority to out Linda or treat her as that side-show attraction. She did not choose to make any presentation to our department as you did. She should have been left alone. On the other hand, I am forever gratefull for her time she shared with me.

    I .lived my personal and work lives in quiet anonymity until recent years for fear of discrimination. I no longer hold my situation secret. I do not wear a sign but I will answer if someone asks. I want to help the next generation – to hand down my knowledge and experience to someone who needs help and they can do the same when it is their turn.
    *

    • The coming out meeting was completely uneventful. HR and I crafted a very brief general statement. At the end of that statement, I was told that I had to tell people if they wished to leave at that time, they could, or if they wished to stay, I would be answering questions as best I could. No one departed, several thoughtful questions were asked, I showed some medical information, including some photographic examples of brain slides showing differences in trans people, and then told everyone that my intent was that my transition would have no negative impact on our functioning as a team. Everyone seemed satisfied.

      After that, managers up the line above my immediate supervisor were all informed via HR. The IT director was informed and I was assigned one person to handle the name and user id changes to corporate data systems. A month and a half later, at the end of September 2014, my court order was signed and in my hand, I came to work as myself, presented copies of the new documents (new driver’s license, new SSA card, court order) and HR did all HR system updates, then I contacted IT and they took care of other changes. Jennifer, our front desk receptionist, called me up front for a new photo and new corporate id card.

      I think the number of people who were directly told about my transition numbered probably a bit over a dozen out of approximate 175 people at that location. No one except management in my direct chain was informed at any other site. Since I work from home, most people in my main office see me rarely anyway which is normally once every two weeks for team planning sessions of what we’re going to do for the next two weeks.

      I don’t get second glances at work and I don’t believe most people even know. I did have one incident after about 2 months full time at work that was amusing. I was in the bathroom and had just washed my hair and was touching up my makeup. Another woman there commented to a third woman that she heard we have a transgender woman working at our company and did she know who it was? I turned and looked at both of them smiling and said, “That would be me.” The first woman turned and looked at me rather incredulously, said “Oh my God!” and immediately came over and gave me a hug, then said, “Welcome to the club!” The second woman also gave me a hug as well. I don’t know if they said that because they suspect me or it just happened accidentally with me in ear shot, but it seemed to turn out ok. Since my employer is actually a Norwegian company, traded on the Oslo stock exchange, they have a zero tolerance policy for derogatory remarks about almost anything such as race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

      Other than that incident, I’ve never been questioned, especially in a threatening way, and more importantly, the last two years, which are both within the window of me being on HRT and then full time legally as myself, have had the best two annual reviews of my entire career. So I am rather happy and enthusiastic about my current employer, who is ahead of the curve in almost everything, except their health care policy does not cover trans related surgeries. I queried about that and was told I could fight it, and HR would even try to back fighting it but I was also warned it could be a long fight. Given my age, I didn’t want to wait so I took matters into my own hands and am going to Thailand instead. I may try for reimbursement after surgery and if that happens, it would be nice, but I won’t count on it. Regardless, that will soon be done and for me, that is what is important.

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