Sunday, July 21, 2013

A meeting with my peers and the area VP

So, have I mentioned that I am a safety and training supervisor for a small bus yard of a major, nationwide (technically international) school bus company?  I choose to not mention the company name due to the policy that does not allow me to say negative things on any internet site ... but, although I vent about them sometimes, this has been a good company to work for.

Minus, of course, the corporate baboons.

About a year ago I went to a meeting with all the other training supervisors.  It was the first time any of them had seen me without my beloved and actually hated mustache.  I was wearing earrings as well, but several had seen me with earrings before.

Tuesday was a little different ... My hair is a different color, my earrings a little more girlish, my facial hair all but a memory (except the shadow of a mustache that I will refer to later), I am wearing nail polish, my skin is smoother ... ... oh yeah ... there are definite signs of breast development.

I arrived at the meeting a little late ... about 7 minutes, but still everyone was seated and had done roll call when I walked in.  There were several factors in why I was late, but it doesn't really matter.  I parked the bus and used the restroom before I headed upstairs.

Wait ... are you asking why I was driving a bus??

Well, it all started Monday.  I checked under my hood for the kittens then jumped in my car and turned the key ... but it didn't start like normal.

No, there wasn't a kitten in the engine ... you are just morbid if you were thinking that.

I started my drive ... there was some asshole behind me driving in a very strange way.  He wasn't tailgating me, but he kept going into the oncoming lane like he was going to pass me, but he never did.  As I approached a series of curves I checked my gauges (like all good drivers do) and everything was normal.  Temperature was good, fuel at just over 1/4 tank ... and the moron behind me eases out into the opposite lane again.

I checked my mirrors ... I checked oncoming traffic ... then, the low fuel alarm chimed.

I looked at the guage ... empty!

WTF?!

I pulled off the road onto a wide shoulder beyond the curves and turned off the engine.  I could smell gasoline.  I stepped out of the car and was greeted by a puddle forming by my left front tire.

This is why I mentioned checking under the hood ... there was no leak when I left.

It was the stressful beginning of what was a mediocre day.

When I got home I went for a walk in the field behind my house in the evening to take some pictures and unwind.  1/2 hour ... 45 minutes ... Much of it spent coaxing Loki (one of our many cats) to come home.  He stayed out the night before which is unusual ... but when he saw me in the field he followed me around meowing.

I tried to coax him through the back gate ... he stared at me, then turned back toward the field.

I cried.

It was as if he was saying goodbye ... he had chosen to be an outside kitty.

I kept crying ... every time I thought about him I cried.

I went to the patio door and called him again.

He walked to the back gate and stared.

"Come on Loki ... come here baby."

He ran toward me.  I opened the door and he trotted into the house.

I grabbed him and hugged him.

It was a happy night.

Tuesday morning was kind of a downer ... not because of the meeting, but because my manager was not feeling well and did not go.  I was looking forward to spending the day with her and talking.  It didn't matter that I was driving a bus ... it didn't matter that the bus does not have air conditioner, and it was a hot day ... it would have been nice to have Maggie there ... especially since I was presenting in a semi female manner.

I walked into the room and headed to the back table (my favorite spot).

"Oh good (insert my legal name) is here," Chuck, the area VP said as I walked to my seat at the back at the room.

Everyone turned to look.

I felt so insecure at that moment ... I waved as I sat down.

The meeting resumed.

Chuck came back to talk to me ... no hesitation ... no reaction.  He treated me normal.

My peers from other facilities approached ... no flinching ... no questioning the boots or the hair color.  They all just interacted as if it were another day.

I did not think that anyone would be rude, or refuse to talk to me ... but I thought that someone might at least ask a question ... or a comment.  "You changed your hair ..." or "Cute earrings ..." or even "Are those women's boots?"

Nothing.

But I'm not upset by that ... just a bit perplexed.

My wardrobe was not overtly girly, so that may have played a role in the interactions.  My hair was pulled into a ponytail, but the reddish blonde was a huge difference from the dirty, dark blonde of years past.  The earrings were a bit delicate, dangly and girly.  I wore a grey man's polo shirt because it "sits" better ... the women's shirts I have are just a touch shorter, so as I sit for a long time they tend roll up my fat belly.  This shirt I picked was made of a thinner material and did show the tiny bit of breast development I have a little better.  I did wear pants, but nothing special.  And of course, my comfy ankle boots.

Not female ... but so definitely not male.

Sonia from HR came back and talked to me a couple times.  We did not have a chance for any real conversations, just a few casual chats.  She did get to see me in my daily garb, and now has an idea of how quickly my transition is going.  I like her, and know that she will be behind me if any issues arise in the months to come ... but I doubt there will be issues.

Tuesday evening found me going for another walk.  Although I would not call anything I am doing "training," I am getting out of my chair, out of the house and intentionally walking around.  I am raising my heart rate a bit while moving, breathing and sweating.  It does feel good ... and I had a realization ... ... I don't smell like a sweaty dude!

I got back home and grabbed the shirt I wore to Rosemead.  I tentatively sniffed it ... no dude smell.  I sweated like a pig in the head and wore the shirt all day.  Usually the shirt I wear to L.A. needs to go straight into the washer even when I drive my car and drive in air conditioning ... Wow.  I mean, it was sweaty, and I wouldn't want to wear it without washing it, but the dude smell ... the men's locker room odor was not there.

I was happy.

The rest of the week was tiring, but fun ... hectic, but enjoyable.

I told 3 more coworkers about my transition.  One was very excited for me and told me she has a cousin who transitioned ... I never knew.  The others don't care.  They support me, but my transition is not an issue at all.  I'm relatively sure one of them figured me out a very long time ago ... and after a bit of conversation she pretty much admitted to that ... but again, she doesn't care.  She's happy for me.

I can sense a group of you reading this right now are screaming, "Oh good God.  Just tell everyone and get it over with."

To you I will say this.  My manager and I have agreed that for the few who have not figured it out before the beginning of the school year, I will announce it and post a memo at the first safety meeting in September.

I am a tad nervous ... ...

As far as my family ... On my wife's side I have sent a friend request to one of her nieces.  This niece is likely to be the most accepting of her family ... and possibly the most shocked and outspoken.  It is very likely to not be a "secret" shortly after she sees, and hopefully accepts the request.

I mean ... I am not a secret.  I haven't been hiding for quite some time, but I also have not gone out of my way to announce anything to some people.

For my family I sent a friend request to my niece, Sedona.  She has known about me for a few months and has no issues with me being transgender.  I have left clues and trails of breadcrumbs leading to my profile for any family member who wanted to follow them and find me.  This is one of the more blatant things I have done to make myself visible to them.  If they do and want to have an adult conversation, I will be happy to talk to them.

Of course if they still do not find me ... or if they refuse to accept me as Tiffanie, then that will be there loss.  I will be saddened by their choice, but I will not stop celebrating myself because they choose to be unhappy.

And as a test to see who actually reads to the bottom of my posts I have a tidbit of a story.

I have come to the realization that I will eventually need a bra ... not soon, mind you, but soon enough.

I decided to wear one on Saturday because we (Pam, Timmy, Sedona and I) were not going very many places, and would likely spend the evening watching television ... In a nutshell, if it became uncomfortable I could easily take it off.

It was a wonderful plan ... the only problem is I needed to get it on, first.  I am overweight and not very flexible, but how difficult could it be?

Ummm ... I won't go into details.  I will assure I did not injure myself, but I did learn that there is a definite technique or skill set I need to learn before this becomes a part of my daily routine.