I have a co-worker who's transitioning

One of my co-workers has always been somewhat noteworthy.

For the longest time he wore suits, sweaters, ties, straight out of 1985. He had a mullet. He wore Bill Cosby sweaters, thin leather ties, Don Johnson suits. A 1985 style moustash. It was kind of fun.

Then he went and purchased a very nice, very expensive grey man’s suit. It’s rather conservative, in fact. He could be a banker. Except when he wore it he wore it with high heeled black patten pumps and nail polish. He rocked the shoes - walked better in them than at least 50% of the err, natural women I know. He still had the mullet and moustash.

Earlier this week I saw, erm, her(?) walking into the building. No mullet (a very nice blow out, in fact). No moustash. A full face of artfully applied makeup. High heels. Nail polish. And the grey man’s suit.

I have to admit, I feel like I know a bit too much about this person’s personal life, but I can’t help it. Inside I applaud him (I think the suit means that him is still ok) for being true to himself. However, I also know that he’s married with young children. That’s got to kind of suck for them.

It’s kind of uncomfortable to be thinking about these aspects about someone who, essentially, is a total stranger. I mean, we work in the same building but we’re certainly not tight or anything. And I’m quite confused. I don’t understand the posh hair, makeup, shoes, etc. with the man’s suit. I would think buying a ladies trouser and blouse would still be a somewhat subtle change, but then this person wouldn’t look like a woman in a man’s suit.

I feel concern about if he will have trouble buying clothing - what if sales people are mean to him? I want to send him to some shops I know where they would be helpful and not bothered by his condition, but I obviously can’t bust up to him and say that. It’s rather presumptious, no?

Honestly, it’s just one more worry in a month if constant worrying. Perhaps if I concentrate on thinking about cute girl clothing and beam the vibes in his direction he’ll be able to take the final step and start rocking a dress or something. He’s really quite a good looking woman - slimly built, great hair, soft features.

Obviously, the comfort of co-workers isn’t the most important thing, but I think pretty well all of my collegues hope he busts out a dress sooner rather than later.

It seems that you’re making a whole lot of assumptions that may not be true. Like how do you know he’s actually transitioning? Or that he has a “condition”?

I’d like to visit your office sometime. Sounds like a fun place.

It’s either “mustache” or “moustache,” but not “mustash,” I don’t think.

Well, I don’t actually - and the ‘condition’ in question would be the medical condition that required him to take medication and have rather major surgery.

However, I’m unclear what the motivation would be for transforming one’s appearance at the workplace in such a way if you WERN’T transitioning.

It’s one thing to go out on the weekend wearing ladies clothing. It’s another thing entirely to come into your place of business wearing makeup and women’s shoes.

I suppose I am assuming; however, the transformation to this point REALLY suggests that his is, in fact, transitioning.

who said mustash?

It’d be neat if you could just strike up a conversation with him/her. Compliment his shoes, or something.

He might not actually be transitioning, though - he might just like wearing makeup and women’s shoes. Which, as a woman, I don’t. Funny world, eh?

I suppose it’s possible.

However, in addition to his makeup and ladies shoes he has taken on a decidedly more feminine apparance, and has a woman’s ‘nickname’ that he likes people to call him by.

He strikes me as being somewhat more committed than your average cross-dresser, ya know?

I understand what you feel.

I know three people, two pretty close to me, who I am entirely sure are closeted gays (one lesbian, one male homosexual, one homosexual couple) and I would really love to let them know that all its fine with me. Gay rights and respect is one of my pet causes, I have butted head with friends, relatives and strangers when they have made disparaging comments about gays in front of me. I have been doing that for so long that a classmate accused me of being lesbian when I was 13 :rolleyes:

I am torn between sympathy for their plight, and regret that they have not opened up to me. I just don’t think it is appropriate to even bring up the subject if they don’t feel comfortable doing it first. I suppose some people really find those closets cozy.

Maybe you didn’t mean it this way, but…

Way to blame the victim. People get anything from harassed to killed for being gay or gender-variant, so I don’t think it’s most people’s choice to be “in the closet”.

Yeah, but it seems pretty unlikely that Mighty_Girl is going to harass or kill them, so it’s not surprising she is a little disappointed that her friends feel like they can’t come out to her, at least, if not all of society. (I’m not sure what the situation is of gay rights in the DR. A gay friend and his partner took a holiday there not long ago, and they had a good time, though.)

Over the past two years my brother-in-law became my sister-in-law. I will use feminine pronouns for the rest of this post, or try to.

She has a blog where people could follow the entire transition. She does IT at a law firm. There is a spot on her blog about how it all went there and what the process was. I think one of the hardest things was what bathroom she should use during transition.

She started by growing out her hair, painting her fingernails with clear polish, and buying rather unisex-type clothing in the women’s department. It went on from there. Now she is completely transitioned. She had facial softening surgery which also included her hairline. And then, of course, the major surgery which is called gender reassignment.

It has been strange to watch the progress, but we all just pretend everything is normal and hopefully someday it will feel normal (to us). It is really hard to use the right pronouns and to use the right name. I can’t imagine being so miserable that a person would go through all of that, but she used to cry herself to sleep every night. Now she is happy.

(And, I have to say this, the correct word is “patent” leather shoes.)

Errrm - thanks for that. I’m misspelling things all over the place lately (I’ve had a migrane for about 5 days - it’s starting to take its toll).

The movie Normal was a really insightful take on what it is like to transition. You might find it interesting.

This person is a stranger. Leave him/her alone. Mind your own business.

And buy a dictionary for fuck’s sake.

Ick. I wish you a dark room and lots of quiet. Some Imitrex or other helpful drug. Migraines suck.

As to the OP, if you want to recommend a store, I’d start by commenting on the shoes or whatever as a way to start a conversation, and ask if he/she shops at X store. It’s a way to suggest the store without saying, " you should shop at store X because it’s gay friendly."

The poster’s attitude seems extremely condescending to me. “If only these people knew how enlightened I am and willing to help them out with their plight and struggles with my ignorant co-workers and society at large.”
Leave him/her alone…seems fine and adjusted without your shallow feelings of well-being.

Yeah, it’s so condescending to want to balance out all the vocally shitty people in the world who see fit to verbally abuse people they don’t know for the choices (or non choices) they’ve made. How selfish to want to be a voice of support in a seemingly never ending sea of negativity.

You’re a jackass.

Gay? :dubious:

The main thing in buying women’s shoes for someone is not a natal woman is finding the right size. Places that specialize tend to charge much more and the shoes are often not all that good. And she has shoes. KellyM and I both buy our shoes at the 4 Cohns and Payless. Regular stores may well have shoes that fit and are more likely to have shoes that will fit in. No one has given her a hard time over buying shoes.

I wonder if she thinks the suit is unisex or a woman’s suit. KellyM was trying on suits at Sears once, and while most were cute on her (tall and thin with perky B cups, no wonder), there was one that looked fine from the front but made her look like a man from behind. She can normally pass from behind in anything, be it a bathing suit, a dress, a suit, or jeans and a tee shirt, but that jacket shouted IT’S A MAN, BABY! from the back. I had her look in the mirror over her shoulder and she shucked it off like it was poison ivy. It was awful.

My suggestion is that you call your co-worker by the new nickname, and use female pronouns, and if you want to strike up a conversation, try striking it up on some subject you would discuss with any other woman of the same general status as this person. If you want to talk clothing, try to do so in the same way you would with any other woman. If she wants your advice, she will ask.

And if she thinks she is not a she, he will let you know. I have mistaken men for women when not wearing my glasses and the correction was immediate, a bit indignant, but nothing worse. I then apologized and made the excuse of being blind as a bat and that was it.