The eventful first week of transition has passed. After a morning of sitting on a very hard courtroom bench listening to people wrangle about rent disputes, my name change became legal. Everyone at my company was informed (and thank god, educated) about my being trans. I got my hair styled and my nails done professionally for the first time in my life. I walked back into work as Naomi with my head held high and it was fine. I braved a visit to the DMV and ended up with a new drivers licence with the desired new name and gender. I even went to my first Python meetup as Naomi.
So much was squeezed into this past week that it's starting to blur. This was the time that I had feared all of these years. This was to be a change so scary that I referred to it as "leaping off the cliff". I honestly didn't know how I was going to get through it all - standing before a judge to change my name, telling the people I cared most about at work, and even walking back into the building after everyone knew the truth. These were the things that I had struggled with for years... the kinds of fears that had held me back for ages.
The reality turned out to be far different than I had imagined, in many ways. I went to my name change hearing with extra documentation, mentally preparing arguments to counter a conservative judge's reluctance. In fact, he sized me up, asked the formulaic questions, and then smiled and congratulated me as he signed the decree. I had thought that my fellow managers might be a tough audience, but they listened intently, politely, and sympathetically, and were instantly supportive.
I had imagined that telling my team might be easier. Instead it was the hardest of all, taking just about all I had. This wasn't their fault, mind you - they also were supportive, sending me messages of support that very night.
And so it went. Where I had feared rejection, I received a welcome. There were hugs instead of scowls, sincere messages of support instead of haughty silence. In other words, they did what I had feared would never happen - they saw me as I was and welcomed me back.
There were some negatives during this week of transition, some people being ominously silent or even openly unsupportive, but they were few and they didn't come from the people I work with every day.
Where it really counted, when I really needed them, the people around me came through magnificently, in a manner I had never dared hope for. I won't forget that. And no matter what else happens, thanks to them I count myself the luckiest girl in the world.