After months of planning, and meetings with management, I finally came out at work a few weeks ago. Below you will find the letter I wrote. This was shared with everyone in the organization prior to my first day in new clothes.
I figured some of you might find this helpful as you draft your own letter.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
You all probably know me as the slightly awkward long-haired “dude” in engineering. I’d like to think that I play this role well…
Yup, I’m an odd one. However as some of you may have already noticed I am making some changes in my life – namely trying to strike the “dude” from that first sentence.
That’s right, I am crossing the line between genders. A friend refers to this as the “ultimate hack”, hacking a male body into a female body. I really love this analogy. I started this journey long before moving to the [Org Name], a little more than 2 years ago, so you probably never had the pleasure of seeing me with short hair, and a beard.
Feel free to laugh at my poor excuse of a beard. I was approaching 30 by the time I could grow one and I was quite proud of it.
[Old First-name] will always be a part of who I am, but when I return on Tuesday, May 22nd I will do so under my new name Emma Renee [Last-name]. I ask that you please call me by my new name – Emma. Renee is also fine, though I am more used to responding to Emma. I also ask that you try to refer to me using standard female pronouns (she, her).
Most of you haven’t known me very long, which I hope will help make the change slightly less difficult to adapt to. But if you do happen to slip up, don’t worry, I am not going to jump down your throat. We are creatures of habit, and I understand this change can be difficult and will take time. All I ask is that you try.
I’m still the same person you have worked with over the past few months and my commitment to the team remains unchanged. If you have questions, please feel free to approach me or send me an email. I might not have all the answers, but I’ll do my best to share what I know.