Reply To: Hiding Breast Growth at Work

Emily Alt

My original response and subsequent thread was deleted by the ambassadors about 2 weeks ago. The thread had become contentious for reasons I won’t go into. Suffice to say the ambassadors did the right thing by taking it down.

I’m responding again to Alex’s comment for the sake of providing a clearer perspective on my work situation. Hopefully future readers will find it helpful.

As most of us know, transitioning on the job isn’t easy. Even under the best of circumstances, it’s reasonable to assume there will be challenges with management and/or coworkers. In my situation, I’m certain the challenges will be very significant.

I lead a team of IT professionals at a public water utility. I have a good professional relationship with all of them. However, I have strong reasons to believe they will not accept a transgender boss. If management directs them to work with me, it’s likely some or most of them will quit. Each of them is highly qualified and sought after by other employers. Quitting would be no more than a minor inconvenience.

My department (IT) supports every aspect of company operations. Losing a chunk of my workforce and incidents of gross insubordination would have major implications. I don’t have the luxury of ignoring workers that won’t accept me as their boss. I have to balance my needs with the needs of the company and the needs of the public.

Outside of work I’ll be out and proud. In fact, I already am. But at work I’ll fly under the radar as long as possible. When hiding becomes difficult, I’ll come out with my retirement ready to go. If things get ugly, I’ll simply walk away. I’m in a position where that’s entirely viable.


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