Openly Stealth: Being transgender at work

(My “You Got This From Your Couch” Talk transcript)

By Alex Papadopoulos

The moment in time in your transition that you decide to come out to your workplace, is very important, not because there is a right and wrong time generally that you must follow in order to “succeed”, but because doing so in different times can have different outcomes.

  1. Don’t come at them with accusations. Don’t ask them “why they didn’t tell you”.
  2. Don’t tell them that “they should tell” people. They would know if they should.
  3. And most importantly, don’t make it about you.

If you have accidentally gone into someone’s home, they need to know because they need to see what they can do so no one else accidentally comes in, but that doesn’t mean that they will be happy about it too.

Being trans, is not an easy endeavour, yet. Not at work, not in our personal lives, not in the world in general. A task as simple as “being ourselves” gets accompanied with so many hurdles, and so much discrimination coming from all angles (from our governments to our homes) that it’s impossible to keep up with every single thing that we need to “be careful of”.

There is still so much more to be done to make trans folk feel welcome and heard in the corporation world, when for so many years we have been excluded and fired because we didn’t fit in its narrative.

But the world is moving forward, and the fact that I can sit here and talk to you about coming out where you work (which in the past would be the biggest no no of the century) is already a huge step.

User Researcher & Designer, PhD Adventurer, Full-Time advocate of making the world suck less.