It's begun. No, check that, it's almost done. It's strange... I've been counting down for months, and suddenly it's down to days. On Monday my name change should be official. Then, the day after that, I'll start telling people at work. I'll leap off the cliff... and things will never be the same.
Everyone tells me it will be fine, and I expect they are right. I do hope it will be. The people I work with are good people, so I have every reason to expect that many of them will be just as kind and accepting as the others I've told, who have surprised and encouraged me with their acceptance.
And yet I've been obsessing over what I'm going tell people at work, writing and re-writng the message I want to give them. Too much? Too little? Why should anyone care at all? And so on... Honestly, I've spent more time thinking about their reactions than any other group, including family. I'm hoping that somehow that I'll find the magic formula that will guarantee their kindness and acceptance. And at the same time, I know that there are no such guarantees.
Unfortunatley I can't help but remember a couple of episodes of transphobia that I've witnessed at work that really bothered me. They bothered me not because they were brutal or extreme (they weren't at all), but rather because they were so routine and unthinking, so casually contemptuous and so easily accepted. They flowed so naturally that I'd bet that the people involved can't even remember them, while I felt those incidents in the pit of my stomach for days. I wish it didn't bother me, but it did.
And even without that memory I sometimes still find it hard to believe that anyone will accept me, let alone with kindness. Why should they? Crossing the gender line, particularly at my age, is not something society respects or even allows. And god knows I will be far from perfect (whatever that might be) in presentation. My voice will be laughable, my face a wreck, and I'll have that ugly damned stubble on my face for electrolysis to work. In short, I'll be an easy target for trans contempt and ridicule - easy to be seen as an old man trying to be a girl... and failing.
I know that I'm worrying for nothing. I know that everyone's behavior will be professional. I also know that behavior is all that I can ask for, and that is enough.
But regardless of what might happen, regardless my fears, no matter how unjustified or justified they might be, it won't stop me. I've come too far to get to this point, to accept and embrace both who I am and who I have been, and to get to a point where I can finally allow myself to be happy.
When the countdown finishes, I'm making that leap. Wish me luck.