Part 1: Decisions, decisions
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post where I weighed up the pros and cons of going to the work Christmas party ‘as Jen’ (find that post here). By the end of the post I had kinda decided I should definitely do this, so the next day at work I asked my manager if she would be free for a quick chat. I outlined what I wanted to do and explained my reasons (pretty much word for word quoting the post), and she completely agreed that this would be amazing for me – yay!
Although my team knew about Jen, not everyone in the department did. I didn’t want to just turn up on the night and surprise people, that felt really unfair, so I needed to prepare them in advance. How to do this had me stumped for a while, it’s actually a really difficult thing to just nonchalantly drop into conversation! In the end (and because I’m a massive chicken) I sent an email round near the end of the day coming out to everyone and letting them know what I was going to do. I even included a link to this blog in case they wanted to find out more about me (completely forgetting about the image on the post ‘naked shots’ from a few months back – oooopsy!)
Almost immediately replies started flooding back with messages of support. Any fear I’d had when writing the email evaporated, and each reply made my smile bigger and bigger 😀
I’ve not been massively secretive about the trans thing at work to be honest, but it’s always so much harder to come out to people that you know well. It was such a good feeling that everyone was on my side, and I had a warm, fuzzy glow in my tummy to keep me warm on the walk home from work.
The next big decision was what on earth to wear. I needed something for a night out with a meal and dancing, but also something suitable for a work-related event. I could feel my options dwindling rapidly…
I’m happy to take any excuse to do some dress shopping and, after some rummaging, found a nice white and black little number online… Outfit sorted!
Part 2: It’s party-time!
The day of the party rolled around really quickly. I left work early so there would be more time beforehand, I hate getting ready to a tight deadline! I had a relaxing afternoon and tried not to stress about the evening ahead.
I took a bit more care over my makeup than usual, and opted for low-ish heels so I wouldn’t tower over everyone else. The meal was at 8 and I didn’t want to get there super early, so got a taxi that would drop me off at 7.30ish. Some of my friends met me at the taxi, which I really appreciated as I could walk in with them… I was soooooo nervous!
Once inside however, the butterflies in my tummy started to settle down as I met more and more of my colleagues and all of them were so supportive. Everyone treated me as normal, which was great because I was feeling very different to normal… I think I was more confused by my crossing of the current work/social line than they were. As the night went on more and more people came to tell me how great it was that I felt able to do this, to hug me and to buy me a drink 😉
The rest of the party was a blur of drinking, dancing and singing raucously along to cheesy Christmas tunes. I had such an amazing night, if you fast forward through the crawling home, being sick in a bin and falling asleep on the floor that is, and I’ve definitely been left feeling more confident to approach the next big step of going to work fulltime as me.
I’m so glad I did this, what a great way to end such a busy year!