Blog, Sweet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘name change

Mood: Happy like clams and Gilmore
Music: Dead Boys-Sonic Reducer

LOL…if you hear me say something funny or familiar, there’s a chance I heard it on the NBC show  30 Rock.  I love that show so much and it’s mostly because I love the show’s creator and star, Tina Fey.  Not love love, but I think she’s awesome and if I had to pick one person to pattern my life after, it would be her.  She’s smart, funny, beautiful, successful, talented, a mom..is there anything she can’t do?  Here’s a visual aid…

http://quakeragitator.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/tina-fey-30-rock2.jpg

Adorable right?  Amway, the reason I used a line from 30 Rock as the title of a blog post is that I’m happy and I want to level a funny exclamation at the Intarwebs.  The reason I’m so happy?  Well, I just went and got myself a final decree of name change from the little old county court!!!  So yeah, it’s for real and official and awesome and everything.  The long, terrible nightmare of civil process servitude is over and I won…though, didn’t we all win, really?  I want to start changing everything right now, but I think I’ll wait a little bit.  It would be nice to have my new ID when I have my bank information changed over, but everything else can be changed whenever I feel like it.

Also, in other transition related news…my boss sent me a confirmation from our meeting and asked me to approve the events we had discussed.  So this means that my fist day back to work as Anna will be Wednesday, May 6th, 2009!!!  I will take vacation days on the Monday and Tuesday before then to get the rest of my paperwork changed over.  My boss, our director,  and HR will have an all-hands meeting that Monday to talk about me and let people air any issues that they might have before I come back.  I’ll get a new ID and all of my office stuff changed over during those three days and then that’s it.  Now I get to have my own stupid counter thing that all the web people seem to have.  Here’s mine…


*be sure to check back every day as it changes state from one day to the next!


Picking the counter was kind of difficult because a lot of them are just goofy.  For instance, this one is for, “Days until I trip out on mushrooms again”…

I call this one, “Days until I start therapy for my crippling addiction to gambling”…

Finally, this one is called, “Days until the gingerbread men kill me.”

So yeah, other than what I wrote for the caption, I think my counter is saying, “I like cats…a lot. But I think they’re lazy so I want to shoot lightning bolts at them so they’ll, you know, pick it up a little bit and stop sleeping so much.”   Obviously.

Mood: Soooo good
Music: The Style Council-The Lodgers    (that’s right, what of it?)

Oh Fridays…I sure do love you.  You never have a lot of work for me, people seem nicer, and no one seems to be in much of a hurry.

So, I thought I’d catch y’all up on recent events in my life.  I hate to have this blog be so one-dimensional, but transition is like the biggest thing in my life right now.  I’ve been trying to keep it lively (remember that hilarious animal post yesterday?), but the occasional trans-post is going to get in there.  Sorry if it’s boring to you.

Ok, so last time, I was debating about whether to tell my boss or not and HR had not gotten back to me.  Well, that next Monday, HR guy called me and let me know he had rec’d my packet and needed some time to go through it.  In the cover letter to him, I had suggested maybe we should meet up as our next step.  He told me that he didn’t think he needed to meet with me just yet.  He said he would call me back in a day or two.  So that was nice, and he was very nice about everything.  I’m not sure if I explained this, but our HR person is actually from another organization and, because we’re so small, we contract with them for HR and other administrative things.  I’ve met him, but it’s not like we ever see each other or know each other.  While this is happening, my boss sets my review time for 1:30 on Wednesday.  The next day, the HR guy starts sending me all of these links and information via email.  I understand he was just trying to be sweet and supportive, but some of the information he sent me was of questionable value.

Him:  Do you know we have a diversity council on campus?

Me:    Oh right, I think I saw a poster in the cafeteria.

Him:  Oh that right! That’s a wonderful poster…so colorful.  You know, you can call them if you want.

Me:  Ok…

I didn’t call (it’s not like I need their advice on how to come out and I hardly ever feel like “celebrating diversity”), but I always thank him profusely for whatever nugget he sends me.  Finally, he tells me that there is another trans woman on campus (gasp) and that she would be willing to talk to me if I’d like.  The place I work is weird.  It’s very academic, in a way, and people always seem to be hyper-focused on their work.  Given the distribution of GLBT people in the general population, I had assumed there was at least one L, G, B, or T person on campus.  But I’d never met one and no one seemed to be flying their flag, so to speak.  So, the news that there was another T person on campus was kind of shocking.  Amway, he told me the woman’s name and said it would be alright if I contacted her.  Ok, I’m not sure how many people work here…but it’s in the thousands and we don’t really have a campus directory.  I wrote back and asked HR where she worked or if there was, you know, a way to contact her.  He sent me her extension!  Again, maybe it’s me or it’s a generational thing, but I’d rather not just call someone out of the blue.  I did some searching and found out her division and emial address.  I crafted the most vague, innocuous letter i could manage and sent it off…

Hi redacted,

I hope I have the right person 🙂 I got your name from redacted at redacted HR. He said you might be able to (or know someone who could ) help me out with a work transition I’m planning in the next month or so. If you’re the right person and you have some time this week, please let me know and we can set something up.

Regards,

redacted

I know, smooth right?  She sent me a reply and told me she was the one I was looking for.  We traded emails for a bit (she came out here at work about ten years ago and didn’t get fired, lives with a trans partner, etc.).  At one point, I told her I had a bunch of questions and she asked about them.  I sent her a final email with all of my questions…

Hey redacted,

Ugh, I just told my boss.  It went really well, but I kind of feel like throwing up.  Wow, 10 years ago…it seems like a lot has changed since then.  Do you think things have gotten any easier for trans people since then?  Awww, that’s so cool that you and your partner have been together for so long.  How did you meet?

Ok, so I have a lot of questions.  You don’t have to answer them in a big long email today…or answer them at all really.  I’m mostly interested in hearing about your experience and how you handled things at some point.  Yes, lunch sometime would be nice.  The only really good Mexican place I know of is redacted.

So, it seems like you transitioned while at work here.  How was that?  What process did you go through or what was the sequence of events?  Did you stay in the same job and department?  Did you have any negative experiences?  In retrospect, would you have handled anything a different way?  How far along were you with HRT and electrolysis before transitioning at work?  How long did it take before your transition was not a big deal (if it ever was) any more?  What was the hardest thing to deal with those first few weeks?  Do you have any advice?  Is there anything I should watch out for?  How did you handle transition with your health insurance?  Would you say you’re more of a cat person or a dog person?  Ok, kidding.

Regards,

Anna

I know, cute right?  So I sent her that letter on March 24 and haven’t heard back from her sincewtf?  Ugh, seriously, that’s one of my biggest pet peeves…not answering a letter.  I kind of understand it though.  I guess this happens with LGB people too, but it seems like people are always wanting to hook us up.  And with trans people it harder…notice I just dove right into the personal questions?  That’s how we roll.  There’s very little, “Hi, how are you?  What’s your favorite color?”.  It’s mostly, “Hi, what sort of meds are you on?  Have you had surgery yet?  Tell me all about your horrible childhood”.  So, idk, maybe my letter got lost or she’s on a months-long cruise.  Whatevs, I’m not going to bother her.

So, I kind of gave away what happened next.  I CAME OUT TO MY BOSS!!!!!!!! Back up a little bit though.  Before my review meeting, I had asked HR if he had any advice on when I should tell my boss.  I was, you know, hoping for some of that pro HR advice…like something from a manual or something.  His answer was to tell my boss “whenever I felt comfortable.”  Thanks HR!  So I decided I’d prolly tell him at the end of the meeting if everything had gone well up until then.  So we’re going through my review and I’m totally freaking out and nervous.  My boss gave me a great review and the only negative-ish comment he had was that I need to start doing presentations and writing papers.  Which is totally valid.  I have specifically cloistered my self away for the last six months because…well, you know…I was scared, didn’t want people to know the old me very well, wanted to start making a name for myself using my new name, etc.   At the end of the meeting…

him:  is there anything else?

me: *visibly shaking*  Yes actually.  *hands him the packet*  So, I’m a transsexual and I’ve been working with HR to come up with a plan to…*simultaneously faints and      vomits*

Ok, jk, but I had a really hard time getting all of it out.  He was so cool and nice though!  He was smiling a bit as he asked me some questions.  He wanted to know why I had picked here and now to do this.  Which was a great question.  I thought about it for a second and told him that going through this is not easy.  You need to have a lot of money, feel mentally and emotionally ready, and feel like you have a good support system in place.  I told him that I really liked it here and I felt like it was home.  So I felt safe enough to go through this all with these people.  I also said that a lot of trans people get fired when they come out.  He told me that I didn’t have to worry about my job (awww, I wanted to cry when he said that).

The truth is, I prolly could have done this sooner (and I could have waited longer), but I do love it here.  This place does feel like home and these people do feel like my family.  Plus, they’re giving me enough money to accomplish my goals.  And, I am ready.  I think I’ve done the work and this feels like a good time.  So yeah, after I told him, I just wanted to either die or run from his office.  Before the end of it though, he sent HR an email requesting a meeting.  That meeting is this Monday!  I’m not sure what to expect, but I really think it will be a straightforward discussion of how I should start back to work as Anna.  At one point, the HR guy said there isn’t any legal problem with what I want to do and it’s just a matter of arranging everything.  Which is weird.  I had anticipated more problems, but I’ll take easy.  In the packet, I told them I thought starting back to work on the first Monday of May would be good.  I thought I’d take off a day or two before the weekend for paperwork and more shopping and they could use that time to tell everyone and get ready.  So, barring any last minute weirdness, May 4th should be my first day back!  I really can’t believe it’s almost here.

Finally, regarding my name change, I went to court (ulp, that’s a whole other post), paid my fees, and got the notice published.  So now, all I have to do is take back the proof of publication and pick up the final decree.  So, basically, my name change is done and I’m Anna Elizabeth redacted (lol) from now on.  I was looking at my paperwork last night, and it finally hit me that I have to start using that name now and that this is all for real and I hope to God that it works out. I’m happy about how everything is going, but I’m also nervous and still holding my breath.  There’s not really any going back now…and that’s ok.

Wow, longest post ever?

Mood: Meh
Music: Nature and Organisation-Death in a Snow Leopard Winter

OMG Deirdre,  sorry it’s been so long.  A lot has happened in my life since we last “spoke” but I haven’t had any sort of inclination to write about it (obviously).  I think the biggest news is that I’m going to send my coming out packet to HR today.  I’ve been working on the letters and files I’m going to give him and boss for a while now.  I had a weird flash of insight last night and decided that I should give my stuff to HR today.  See Deirds, the problem is that I have my mid-year reviews next week and I’m having a hard time deciding on when I should drop this bomb on Jeff.  Like, it seems to be overloading the review process to come out to boss during our review but it seems…dishonest to withhold it until right after my review is done.  So, I’m going to tell (rather mail him the packet) HR about it today and see if he has any advice…you know, from a pro HR perspective.

So yeah…eeep!  I have been having kittens over this whole coming out thing for well over  a month now.  To say that this is just stressing me out is such an understatement.  Like, my doctor noticed that my blood pressure and heart rate were high a couple of weeks ago when I went in for a checkup.  I’m guessing that wasn’t due to some psychosomatic fear of doctors or their offices.  Oh well, it will all be over soon enough.  Then I’ll be happy, right?  Right?  Well, I think happier at least.

Despite all of my complaining, I think this is a good time to come out and I feel ready.  I have a lot to get through before then, but there isn’t anything major (compared to telling your boss).  I  am very close to completing my legal name change.  I got the FBI background check back in about 20 minutes and the CBI check in about a week.  I called the court and found out that I can see the judge on the same day I bring in my paperwork (double eeep and omgwtf am I going to wear?!).  After that, I can submit my publish order to a teeny paper I hope no one I know will ever read.  They’ll run the notice for three days and then send me the proof.  After that, I go back to the court, the judge signs the order, and biggity bam, I’m Anna Elizabeth for reals and forever more.  It’s scary to think about how easy that seems.  And it’s been sort of freaking me out because there isn’t really any going back from there.  Not that I want to, but you know, scary.

In other tales of vomit inducing dread, I mailed off my coming out packet to HR like I said I was going to.  It’s funny, throughout all of this, I’ve discovered that I’m very good at setting goals for myself and then finishing them by the deadline.  A few lines ago I said I would mail my staff to HR and I did it, just like I said!  I have sticktoittiveness by the bushel, I do.  Now if I could only channel my motivational superpowers to work or art or music…I would run this country.  So, back to HR…I hadn’t heard back from them yet, which I hate.  I freaked out all day and refreshed my email about every second.  I really hope he contacts me tomorrow and isn’t like out of the office for weeks on vacation.  I think I would have gotten an out-of-office reply but…see what I’m doing here?  This is how my mind has been unraveling all day since I put that folder in the mail.  I can think of 2933 possible outcomes and it’s making me the even more crazy.  Like I said, he’d better get back to me tomorrow.  I can’t be held responsible for what I’ll do if he makes me wait until Monday.

What else…I emailed a hair salon about setting a consultation appointment.  They do hair loss stuff there already and are known to be trans-friendly.  I have been trying for weeks to contact a stylist my electrologist told me about, but I haven’t ever heard back from her.  I’ll be damned if I’m going to just walk into her shop like some yokel off the street.  No thank you.  Geez, why am I so angry?  Not that you would know Deirds, but I’ve been mostly sweetness and light for months now.  I guess it’s the stress talking.  So yeah, the hair issue has been stressing me out and, until now, there hasn’t been any plan for it.  That’s it really.  As far as transition goes, I don’t need to initiate any other processes and I should be able to take it easy for a while.

I have been reading a lot of other women’s going-FT stories online and they were adding to my stress too.  It seems like a lot of them were talking to HR months and years before going full time.  I asked for a month and was beginning to wonder if that was enough time.  Then I chatted with Becca today and she said she’d only asked for a month as well.  I feel better now.  I just need to get through my review meeting somehow and all of this should work out, right?

So, the reason I’m writing this now is because, as I said, I’ve been reading a lot of other girls’ blogs that have been going through the same thing.  Suddenly I felt bad that I haven’t been obsessively documenting every second of my transition.  For the record, I don’t really feel bad.  I’ve just been out there trying to live my life, such as it is.  The mechanics of transition are pretty much the same anywhere, so I’m not adding anything new there.  Still, I guess it’s important to have a record of how I’m feeling about all of this.  I think we covered the stress part, but I also feel happy about how things are moving.  Actually, this is one of those situations where I feel all of the conflicting emotions at the same time, but I’ve had a lot of time to get used to feeling that way.  I am happy that things are moving ahead.  I’m also afraid that I’m making an irreversible mistake and that I’m not ready.  I think I am ready, but I suppose there will always be some doubt.


an introduction





Hi, I'm Anna and I love cheese!

This blog is a chronicle of my life and a catalog of happy ephemera. The About page has a little bit more information, but, remember, none of this is really me...it's just a supplement, a thumbnail sketch, a mostly anonymous Intarwebs placeholder. I'm way better/less wordy in person. :-)

Oh, and if I wrote something about you and you thought it was mean or hurtful, I'm sorry. It's how I felt at the time, but probably isn't how I feel now. Chances are, I love you and I think you're awesome.

copyright

All content on Blog, Sweet Blog is copyrighted by me, Anna Hell. Unless otherwise noted, all photos, words, and content on this site are mine, created by me, and should not be used without my permission (or at least attributed and linked back). I try to embed links or quote original source material if I use another person's work.

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