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Difficult Transition

Louise Coor

 

Issue 5
February 1999

 
This is just a short account of my experiences over the last few years since I began this incredible journey of the physical transition from man to woman.

It had taken me about four years to come to terms with the difficulties involved in making such a big decision. I think in the end the pain in trying to remain where I was seemed too much for me to endure. So I decided at that moment to be true to myself and hope that I survived to tell the story. As I write this account, it seems (so far anyway) that is exactly what I have done - Survived, even in the face of extreme resentment from some of the people I have crossed paths with.

The early days were easy really looking back, the visit to London to see the psychiatrist was a nervous experience but he seemed very comfortable with my plight and he happily prescribed the medication I wanted, my life blood . . . estrogen! I remember thinking afterwards how wonderful it felt to have been taken seriously. This was certainly the calm before the storm, taking the hormones had an effect of calming me somehow.

I contemplated how I was going to break the news to my boss at work and tell him my carefully concealed secret. I was not sure how he was going to react but I was soon to find out. To my surprise after I had picked his jaw off the floor he was not only supportive, but he was genuinely interested. After several meetings it was decided, at my own request, that I would be allowed to begin my life as a working woman when the companies business was relocated in the North West of England (This gave me approximately four months to get prepared, which was not much time really, as I had got to move house as well).

The move was hectic but if I am honest it did go quite smoothly really. After having a week to get used to my new surroundings (I'd never lived by the sea before) I set off on a dark Monday morning. I remember muttering some sort of a prayer to myself as I travelled along the road making the short journey to work. I didn't know what to expect. I knew all the employees had been informed about my circumstances on the preceding Friday, and some people would have known me as I used to be, and part of me was expecting a lynch mob. Fortunately that wasn't the case and I was soon introduced to my new work colleagues and to my horror there wasn't a female in sight. I knew I would have my work cut out to gain acceptance. Over the first few months I think I was guilty of trying too hard to actually get people to like me. That was an unreasonable expectation, but it did become clear to me that two of my colleagues had a deep resentment concerning my Transexuality. They persuaded the rest of the group to support their viewpoint. I was informed by my manager requests were been made to move me to another department. The management declined these requests and offered to give them appropriate support and information to enable them to become more comfortable with my situation. This offer was not well received and it only seemed to increase their resentment towards me. By this stage people were actually refusing to talk to me. At the time of writing it is exactly four weeks before my SRS operation and I have been given alternative duties in an office away from the others as a temporary measure until I go into Hospital.

In a private meeting held recently my work colleagues were asked what was at the root of their resentment. I have been informed it is not just about me as a Transsexual but any Transsexual person that exists. This suggests to me that it is extremely unlikely that this matter can be resolved to everybody's satisfaction.

I stated earlier on that I see my transition as a matter of survival and therefore see the issues surrounding resentment towards me as being a problem for my work colleagues to deal with themselves. Because the company are still prepared to support me when I return to work following my surgery I intend to return to my normal duties and to show these people that I am not prepared to go away and hide just because they are uncomfortable with Transsexual people. If I do not stand up to Bullies then I only make it easy for the next Transgendered person to be treated in the same way.

I refuse to be hounded out of my job, well not without one hell of a fight anyway!!!!!!

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