At this time, I was working at a client with whom I was not at all happy. I wasn't about to add to my stress by worrying about weird looks from people because I was wearing makeup, a wig and women's clothing; not to mention the bathroom situation. As a consultant however, I knew I could let the company that I work for know about me. I figured we could start working towards a solution where I could continue to work for them but I could also be allowed to be me. I did just that and they've been spectacularly supportive of me. There was just one problem. They wanted a transition timeline. They wanted to know when I'd be officially changing my name and my gender marker and all that. We talked about having me interview as Claire but the HR director wanted me to have an official name change before doing that. I wasn't sure I was ready for that but whatever. I discussed this with my Mom and she became very upset. This was the beginning of the end of my secrecy.
Starting back shortly after I came out to my Mom I created a new Facebook page, and added many of my friends from the trans* support chat room I was spending lots of time in. I didn't dare add a single person from my "real" life to that page. It was completely separate and "safe." One day, after a terrible day at work, I got home and checked out "Leah's Facebook" as I was apt to do from time to time. I stared in shock at the friend request I saw before me... it was for <My Mother's Name>. "Did she know that my oldest sister could see this? Certainly she did", I thought to myself. So I got on the phone to warn my mother of this and to tell her of my terrible day at work. When my Mom answered she wanted to first hear about my day so I told her all about it. Then I told her about the friend request. She said that she knew that my sister could see it but that is was ok because she told her. She told both of my sisters. I was trying to get my hands underneath my jaw to pull it up as she explained to me how the two of them reacted to hearing they had a new little sister. To summarize what she said, it did not go well.
"Ok, " I thought, " now thats over with. The whole family knows now." I was actually quite upset that my Mom had told them without asking me first, but the relief I had from knowing the deed had been done was enough to make me feel better about it. When asked about why she decided that now was the right time to do this, she said that I had "forced her hand" because of all the talking I'd done about changing my name and how I had felt like she was hiding me from the rest of the family.
A few weeks later another slap in the face occurred when I'd learned that my Mom had taken it upon herself to tell my entire extended family about my transition. Again, without consulting with me first. This enraged me at first, but quickly I had become even more emboldened. There was no reason to hide anymore. Finally, I changed my name on my "real" Facebook page, changed my gender to female, and posted a picture of myself looking pretty as my profile picture.
I am a woman and I am proud to be. I've finally arrived...