Saturday, 5 June 2010


Wow, a lot has happened this week...  And I am not sure what to make of it all.

Chrissie left a comment last week saying 'the cover is wearing thin'.  I think that is quite a correct interpretation of where I am at present.  I am tired of lying to people and trying to cover my tracks.  I’m finding it more and more difficult to cover up my mannerisms and having to try and be careful all of the time.  And that fact has led to a few situations this week...

Mrs Stace and I had a few chats last weekend.  I can't remember what I was talking about but I said something that when played back in my head came out quite differently that I meant it.

"That's not my way of telling you I am going to transition"
"The writings on the wall, it's been there for a while"
"Maybe you are right...  But that's still not my way of telling you I'm going to transition"

That was on my mind for the rest of the day, and I was getting a little worked up.  Later in the day (well actually at night after we had gone to bed) I told her that if the VU say that they feel transitioning would be the best thing for my mental health I probably will.  Obviously with what she was saying earlier in the day it was not a shock for her.  But it is something else that she has to deal with.

I told the people in the office that know (a couple of colleagues and my boss) and they all came out with variations on the same sentence.  ‘Kind of assumed you would.’  And I decided to get the HR woman involved – she knows that something is going on, but not what.  We went for a long walk and I told her everything.  She was great, really supportive and told me it would not affect my job in any way – and was shocked that I thought people were going to react badly, pointing out that The Netherlands is quite an open country, and that the company (as in employees) is very open and that whilst we have our share of manly men Alpha Males, that she feels even they would accept it should I decide to transition next year, and commented that it’s nice to think that the IT dept has more women in it.

She also commented that people (read women in the office) thought I was quite a feminine man and so wouldn’t necessarily be surprised. That surprised me as I rather naively thought I still put on a reasonable act.  Guess not...  Asking what she could do to help I gave my normal answer “react the way you reacted and don’t feel sorry for me”.

The differences between the way men and women see things is odd though.  I told my boss that I had spoken to HR and let them know what was going on.  I told him about the feminine man comment and he didn’t see it at all.  When I told Mrs Stace she said ‘well yes, what do you expect?’  Interesting

Last night things got a little intense.  We have a foosball table in the IT department, but with a change in the way out building is used we lost the space where we could use it to during the day.  Seeing as it’s something we all used to enjoy I arranged a foosball evening for those interested.  As is the way of these things it started with lots of enthusiasm, people chasing me up for dates etc and ended up with 6 of us (from a group of nearly 30).  The idea was beer, pizza and foosball.

When it came to ordering the pizza someone though it was a good idea to go to a restaurant instead of ordering in, we rang and got a table and went on our way. We were all having a good time, those who lived close to the office arranged to meet their other halves there and we were all having a light hearted go at each other’s nationality (Dutch, French, English and Indian) when suddenly there was this weird noise coming from next to me.  One of my colleagues started to choke most of the group froze, and I checked that he was actually chocking and then started whacking him on his back, and was trying to remember how to do the Heimlich manoeuvre.   Thankfully the whacks were enough and he sat back in his seat.  I just couldn’t get over it though and at the point when one of the wives asked if I was OK just had to get out of the restaurant.

Now the reason why it hit me so hard is that 20 years ago (more or less) I was chocked on a piece of bacon and my lips were turning blue and I was passing out before my dad managed to remove it.  That is something that I just can’t get over – eating bacon still frightens me and everytime I hear what sounds like someone choking I go into panic mode.

The guy that was choking came out to see if I was OK, by which time I was in tears collapsed against the wall outside the restaurant.  He came out to ask how I was doing, we went for a walk to try and calm me down.  And I ended up telling him both reasons why I was so emotional at that point.  He took it well, and was not totally surprised.  He confirmed that people had noticed something about me, and that someone commented that they would not be surprised if I was gay.

This got me thinking...  If people already think that I think I would rather they knew the truth - I don’t think it’s something I am going to do, but I guess it’s something to speak to my therapist about when I start (first session Thursday morning BTW - woohoo).

Oh well time for a skate whilst the weather is good I think.


  1. A very brave and kind thing you did for your friend, Stace.

    Regarding the post, you need to do what's right for you and only you know the answer. I was a bit bothered by your comment regarding the VU. I know of a person, locally, who was give a one hour session, the first session, and told that she was a transsexual and should transition. I felt this was totally a reckless determination. There is a lot to consider including your job and those around you. It sounds like you have a lot of acceptance, so transition may be the right thing to do if YOU are sure that is what YOU want to do.

    Regardless of your decision, you know I'll support you from afar.

    Calie xxx

  2. I hope you know that you are a hero, Stace! Very often when something like that happens, onlookers become petrified, but you took immediate action and probably saved your friend's life.

    You seem to work with a good group of people, who even though they suspect you are gay, feminine, or whatever, still like and accept you. As someone who spent 38 years working in a totally different kind of environment, I can't emphasize how lucky you are in that respect. I could never have transitioned on my old job, but you have already tested the waters, so to speak, and from here, they appear to be warm and inviting. That has to be good news!

  3. @ Calie

    I understand your concern for your friend's speedy diagnosis, and recommendation to transition, but with some people, their transsexualism can be so glaring to their therapist, that it doesn't take months of counseling to realize that transition is what the client needs for their well being. After only two visits to a psychiatrist, I was told that he thought I was transsexual and should transition. Regrettably, circumstances made it impossible for me back then. Slow and easy may be the best approach for those who need to be pried out of their shell, but some others can actually benefit from fast track transitioning. One thing I have learned from getting to know the members of my support group, is that everyone's situation is unique.

    Melissa XX

  4. Hiya
    Kinda agree with Calie...the need to transition can't just be based on a single view. Mental health can be optimised in a number of ways. Do you have poor mental health? Not sure why you are telling eg. your employer, if you are waiting for the affirmation of a therapist to validate your potential transition?
    Sure, when I transitioned, I was able to point out to my partner and our families the authenticity of my diagnosis. This was what they needed. Almost abrogating my responsibility.
    But...and I *do* mean but, I was extremely dysfunctional by then. With family and employment etc, comes responsibility, and I'm inclined to take a view of the whole.
    Guess I'm not sure what point I'm making, other than to express my heartfelt concern for you and Mrs Stace, and wish you well xxx

  5. Well done on helping your friend who was chocking. It could have got much worse if you hadent done what you did.
    With regard to the dsiagnosis, I think the main diagnosis you need to consider is your own. I know how we sometimes feel the need for others to affirm what we think, but the only person who really needs to be sure of who you are is you.
    If you are ready you are ready.
    If not then take your time.
    Big hug.
    PS you do really seem to have a great company that you work for.

  6. Thanks all. The thing with my friend chocking was that he got over it much quicker than I did. I'm sure that's not right...

    As for the other comments... Thanks for making me think, I've been trying to get a succinct reply and it's just not coming. So I'm going to try and work through my thoughts in a post later this morning instead...

    Thanks for caring enough to question me :)