Work Can Be Dark & Scary
I work as a laboratorian for a major Minnesota healthcare company in both the hospital and clinical settings. I don’t want to mention their name here, but I will say they have a wonderful and proven track record when it comes to recognizing the rights of Trans* people. I also have the benefit of generally working with professional and open minded people, most of us in the lab are generally college educated, with an associates degree at minimum.
I have come out to a few nurses, and my laboratory colleagues in the hospital setting, however I have remained in the closet in the clinical setting. Up until recently, there have really only been 2 issues I’ve considered in regards to fully coming out and transitioning.
1. When I’m working in the clinical setting, it is a float. I don’t have a home clinic, I simply float from clinic to clinic, and there are 60+ clinics in this particular system. While I do enjoy the people I work with, I don’t have the same connection with them as I have forged with my colleagues over 14 years in the hospital setting.
2. I have frequent patient interaction, as phlebotomy is part of the clinical setting requirements. I find myself worrying about how patients would react to having a trans*person performing a sometimes painful procedure.
At a recent clinic visit however, I encountered something I hadn’t experienced yet at work. Transphobia from coworkers. A small clinic, in a very affluent part of the Twin Cities, and a clinic site I had been floating to for a couple weeks. I thought I knew these coworkers, I thought they would open and understanding. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It was an innocent conversation on a slow work day, The girls had made a comment regarding what kind of purses they had, and I let it slip I had gotten a great deal on my pink Coach wallet when my wife had picked up her Coach purse. I tried to play it off as I was kidding, but I wasn’t convincing. For the rest of the work day I was harassed.
I know this is a step along the journey of transitioning. I know that I’m taking these punches so that future generations won’t have to. However it still hurts, and that’s why I’m posting here, because I know that you’ll understand.
And that’s where I’m ending this post. I just wanted to vent. I just needed to tell someone who would understand. Will process this, and eventually grow because of it. I just wish the processing and growing were easier.