Today, I made my first real work faux pas. This being Monday, I spent the last few days out enjoying myself, and last night I finally got around to repainting my nails; I hadn't in weeks and they were getting cracked and chipped. I found a lovely shade of purple, nice and reflective, and it matches one of my outfits perfectly.
I forgot to remove it before work.
Now, I've had my ears pierced. I carry a purse. I've styled my hair a bit differently. Nobody's commented on any of those. Someone, however, noticed the polish and asked me about it. I was caught totally flatfooted. I had honestly forgotten about it, until he called my attention to it with a stare and a comment on the order of, "Whoa, dude, what's with your nails?"
I just said I'd forgotten to remove the polish from them, which was true, and he didn't press things any further, but it was kind of a telling point for me. I had completely forgotten that I'd had it on. I don't even think about cosmetics or things as something I have to remove at the end of the weekend. The discord between who I am and who I have to try to be for work is getting harder to manage.
Thankfully, I don't really have an act through which I'm expected to perform, unless you count the bathroom situation and having my old name on the cubicle wall. The head of Human Resources knows, but I haven't done anything to further things beyond that yet. His response was positive, but I'm admittedly still nervous about it. I work for a military subcontractor, and as such I'm not sure how receptive the personnel will be. I'm not going to let them stop me from being myself, but I'd like to minimize the problems, both to myself and those around me.
Here, my mind slipped a gear.
Someone very close to me has started hormones, and I'm very happy for her and I wanted to take the time here to say how glad I was that she was finally officially on that road, and that I was a bit envious of her, even though I'll be starting myself soon. I wanted to gush about things for a bit and say how proud I was of her.
Only after I thought about it for a few moments did I realize she might not want her name here in that context.
It has nothing to do with not wanting to be mentioned here. Far from it; I know she wouldn't mind me talking about her. I know she reads these pages and I know she'll read this when she gets the chance. It's that I have no
right to say things like that. It simply isn't my story to tell.
When I start them, I'll babble incessantly about them, I'm sure. It's going to make work that much more interesting for a while until I get used to them. That's me, though. I almost talked about someone else, and that's kind of overstepping a line somewhere, I'm sure, especially without her prior consent.
I don't even really think she'd mind people knowing that she had, but it's an odd thing, really, for people in our situation. There's a constant war between wanting people to treat us as we wish to be treated, and admitting
that we weren't born that way. Society still very much sees sex as an either-or proposition, and any attempt to blur the distinctions or cross the line between them is met with hostility, antipathy and resistence. Some people are incredibly supportive, like my parents have been, but most just don't understand and aren't really capable of understanding.
The person about whom I've wanted to gush happily here stands a wonderful chance of never being questioned about her past. Saying here that she started hormones would be an indicator, to someone who knew how to read
what was written, that all was not as it seemed, and while I don't mind if people know about me, it isn't my right to put her in that position.
So, why then am I talking about myself in such detail? I've thought about it a lot, actually. It would seem that if the ultimate goal is to never raise questions, then talking about the very subject that people don't understand doesn't make much sense, does it? Or does it?
I make a very poor liar. It makes me feel sick to my stomach. Ideally, what I'd like is for people to know my past and treat me how I wish to be treated anyway. I want it to be a nonissue. I think it's a quixotic goal, but it's the only one I could try to achieve in good conscience. Time will tell if it's achievable. I hope it is.