How I came out as trans
How has being LGBTQIA+ at work changed for you?
This article I found interesting.
I was asked this recently, but for the first 48 years of my life I didn’t know I was part of the LGBTQIA+ community! I always was, of course. I just hadn’t admitted it to myself. That’s the problem with oppressive cultures - they stop people from living their truth.
I felt I was female ever since the age of 3, when my Mum caught me trying on my sisters clothes. Mum told me off and humiliated me, but the need would always be with me. I just ended up doing it in secret while feeling guilty and disgusted with myself and trying desperately to not do it. My attempts at suppression were futile and the vicious cycle continued for many years. It took me nearly half a century to finally admit to myself that I am a transgender woman and that I needed to change my body to bring it into alignment with the gender identity that I have always had.
I have been self-employed for 27 years, but the last staff job I had was as a press photographer - a very male-dominated profession back then. I remember one of my colleagues being sent out to photograph a crossdresser and I remember how I felt compelled to join in with the “banter” as the other photographers mercilessly ribbed my colleague for photographing the crossdresser. I hated myself for going along with it, but I was petrified that if I stood up for my colleague or (even worse) the crossdresser, they would suspect that I had something to hide and I would be thrown to the wolves.
I left the paper and after 22 years of being self-employed, my Gender Dysphoria increased so much that I was thrown into complete turmoil, until on 11th January 2018, I finally admitted that I am trans and that I had to do something about it in order to be happy. That’s why trans people transition - to be happy.
That’s all. I was petrified that I would lose all my clients, so I made a coming out video ( https://lnkd.in/ePtf7Gc ) which I sent to all my clients and put on all my social media. Thankfully, I was inundated with hundreds of messages of support and most of my clients stuck with me, although I did lose some of them.
Coming out at work (whether you are staff or freelance) is frightening - especially if your employer hasn’t created an inclusive culture by investing in trans inclusion training. It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted! As being LGBTQIA+ has become more mainstream, most people would think that it would be easier to bring your whole self to work now, but that’s not the case…
A YouGov survey in 202
1 for Total Jobs showed that 65% of trans employees hide their trans status at work, which is a 13% increase on the previous 5 years.
It also showed that 32% of trans employees experienced transphobia at work over the previous 5 years.
Also, 43% of trans employees have quit, due to an unwelcoming work environment - an increase of 7% on the previous 5 years. There is much work to do.
John: I am trans. I came out to my parents when I was 27 and told them I felt like a women, and it shocked me that my parents had always suspected. So much for my trying to act normal then. They helped me through the entire process and helped pay towards it as well. I have been Jayne now for over 20 years and as I was a gay man before and still fancy men, it served me well.
Point though John: How come the trans community now demand so much media and public attention and yet where were they when the gay men were fighting for equality throughout the last 50 years. Now the gay men have done all the work and got laws changed, suddenly everyone is jumping on the band wagon without even a consideration that is was gay men who started the ball rolling and gay men who with a sprinkling of lesbians, got laws changed and NOT the trans community at all.
Thanks to the gay men for all we have today as if left to the trans community, we would still be hiding in the closet.
John: Everything about me says women. I am 60, attractive and a head turner, even at my age, and I have nice boobs and a great figure. Except I still have my male bits
down there. I have lived as a women for over 35 years and no one in the village knows me from before - and everyone knows me as a women. I wanted to have my male bits removed but over the years, it has seemed less important to me and I just got on with living and never visited the gay scene as I was not a gay man, and as a women, I have had a lesbian partner for almost 20 years now. So I went from straight man to lesbian. Makes your head turn a bit doesn't it ? I could not have done tis without the bravery of the gay community starting marches and so forth to bring sexuality to the forefront of peoples minds and that we are all not born the same.
I have a wonderful life and it does make me giggle that most people think I am a lesbian.
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