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My whirlwind week

The process of coming out, as it were, is an interesting and scary one. I've started that process and, despite all my anxieties, it has been a wonderful experience so far. The really important ones also all happened in a span of a week!

As I describe a bit of my experience, it is worth understanding that, no matter how much we may have confidence in support, coming out to someone is a truly scary experience. I can't even begin to imagine how frightening it must be to someone who does not have confidence in support. My heart aches to even think of that and it is all too common.

I am quite fortunate in that my immediate family is, and has been, positive and supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. That reflected strongly, in my coming out discussions with them, with the love and support I received. I get happy tears whenever I think of it.

So, where am I on this? 

Well, on the personal front, I have come out to my immediate family, with my sisters, parents and stepparents, and my nieces, nephews, and niblings. I have also come out to my partner's immediate family, which is a smaller group, after coming out to mine. Needless to say, a big surprise for all, but not a negative one and emotionally uplifting for me with the love and support from everyone.

On the work front, that process is just starting. I met with some of our really great HR team and we had a very good conversation (I got some happy tears again) and they're going to help put together a plan for me. My time frames are flexible, though I am interested in getting to a place where I'm not feeling boxed in, sooner rather than later. Right now I am forced to be in my old masquerade while on camera and, in spaces, online. I'd like to bring that to end, but the timing will depend on the plan we come up with and I expect I will want to work within that.

Forward looking, I am planning a big Zoom call with the next circle of family. I grew up pretty close to my cousins and I feel I owe them hearing from me directly and not through a sudden appearance of a letter and name change on Facebook. Once I get solid on my work plan, then I can put a date to this discussion, but it's tentatively the middle of January. The next day, I expect to make a broader announcement on Facebook.

Work, extended family, and Facebook are all tightly coupled. I'll have to figure out exact order, but my inclination is to tell family the day before, then do work and Facebook the same day. I suspect that the work discussion may be multi-stage, but maybe not, it's just that it's not unusual for us to do that.

So, whew, it's been a whirlwind of a week.

The thing that I take away from all of this is simply a sense of how fortunate I am where it matters the most. I hope that, one day, the process of coming out is no more scary as announcing that you just got a new job, but we're not there today. This shouldn't feel that hard. Ever. 

On a less serious note... isn't that enamel pin in the photo the cutest? I had to buy it when I encountered it. She has such an expression of unbridled joy at smashing through that egg that every time I look at it I get a huge smile. I feel it, it's me.


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