I finally did it last Thursday, I told my boss and a coworker that I was married to a guy. My boss’s mouth just dropped for a second and I thought she was confused enough to be questioning if she was even awake. Funny enough my coworker didn’t even hesitate (but he did tell me later he had a trans-woman as a friend). Now, I don’t blame my boss for the hesitation, when I interviewed with my job originally last November, it was a week before my husband came out. So our discussion had been about my wife and our 21 year marriage. I can see reasonably where this was unexpected news, especially since we talked about marriage after my interview (yes it is normally a forbidden topic, but at the time I honestly didn’t think I either would get or want the job).
Fast forward a month after the interview, I get the job offer from them and get hired on with a six month probation period. This freaked me out as my issue with my old boss cost me my job shortly before the probationary period at my previous job ended. After talking with my husband, we decided to stealth it and pretend that Jello was still my wife since I was the only income in the family and my husband was trying to wrap up his college education.
So for the last six months my coworkers have been asking about my “wife”, not in a nasty way that my previous job was, but in an interest in how we were doing. Each time I flinched inside, and each time I almost blurted out “No that is my husband”. Each time though I would remember we are running on fumes financially, and the most important part was ensuring I can support him. My coworkers have been very nice, and during that time. Meanwhile I kept an eye on my coworkers during that six months. I wanted to make sure that I was prepared to jump jobs just in case. However, I hadn’t seen any signs of homophobia (but they are older Christian women so I was, and still am, unsure).
Well, three weeks ago my six month probation ended. Originally I was going to tell them immediately, but I felt awkward that I had lied to them for six months that I had let them call Jello my wife for six months. At this same time I had a couple of possible fed jobs (and it would be easier to go to a new job being in a gay marriage then telling my boss and coworkers the change in the situation). So I held on for a couple more weeks.
However, even doing that bothered me, I believe in my husband and it tore at me the entire time that I couldn’t loudly proclaim my love for HIM (even though it was to ensure I could support him). So Thursday, after talking with my hubbie, I sat down with my boss and just gave a brief explanation of what had actually happened. I confirmed I did not lie when I was originally interviewed and that at the time Jello was outwardly my wife, and that shortly after my interview but before my hiring Jello came out.
My boss was pretty cool about it (as was my coworker). I was surprised at how hard it was to say that to my boss though. I literally had to stop myself shaking before walking into the boss’s office. I knew I had nothing to be ashamed of, but this was harder then coming out to my parents (and that was hard). I am so pro-LGBTA that I poop rainbows, but I thought I was going to hyperventilate just before I opened my mouth. I still did it, but now I feel bad that I went stealth for six months about being married to a wife. I feel like I betrayed something, even though it may have cost me my job. In the end though supporting him was more important than anything else at the time.
Is it weird that I think it would have been easier talking to a new job and just being a guy in a gay relationship then it was to try and explain the transition? I am so proud of what my husband goes through and how well he stands up to people. I just worry I don’t measure up.
I don’t think it’s weird at all to feel it would be easier to come out as gay in a new job then explain that your wife is transitioning into your husband. Many people have a very hard time understanding the why and how of being trans. Being gay is much more accepted at this point in time. Even if people “don’t agree with your gay lifestyle” they at least aren’t shocked about it and you probably won’t lose your job over it. I am constantly amazed at how supportive you are of Jello. It’s wonderful. You’re wonderful. He’s a lucky man.
I agree with Lesboi. In this case, you’re basically coming out as someone with a transgender partner…. which is different than coming out as someone who is gay (which you would at a new job). I think the first one takes a lot more courage. Bravo! – Also, it must be a relief to not have to be “closeted” at work anymore!
I agree with the other commenters. Being gay is something that is understood by society. Transgenderism is still a mystery to a lot of people. I’ve been lucky enough not to have had anybody react badly to my own transgender relationship, but there have been times when I wish I could tell people that my partner is transgender without having to answer a bunch of confused follow-up questions.
Nice job! I had a hard time coming out to people about my husband as well. I had always been very open about being a lesbian and being married to a woman — so everyone knew. I still don’t know if everyone knows that my spouse is now a man — I work with a lot of people and I haven’t told everyone individually! It is not easy. Congrats on making the switch 🙂