A coming-out at the workplace appears to many to be challenging and difficult. But you can be calmed: more and more employers go professionally with it and get competent advice. So the chances are that a coming-out will work!
You should know
- Be yourself! – You can live and work according to your gender identity.
- Take your space! – As a trans person you may use the same rooms as others. You may choose the toilet on which you feel the safest.
- Plan ahead! – If you plan to change your name and the corresponding pronouns, it is best to put it together with the coming out. The message is: “I am telling you who I am now … Please respect this change” is clearer than a coming-out that has no direct consequences for the environment.
You can decide
- The timeline – Do you want to come out before/without medical approximation, during or after?
- The amount of information – Who do you inform yourself, who should the employer inform? What information is given?
- What’s best for you – Do you want to come out to your customers or do you want to refer them to someone else? Would a short timeout or even a change of job within the company be appropriate?
Things to consider
- The collective experience – Are there already outed trans people in your company? Are there outed lesbian, gay or bisexual colleagues who can say something about the openness of the company? Is there a diversity policy? Is there a trans policy?
- Select a contact person/advocate – In smaller companies your supervisor is your contact person.. In larger companies, you can also speak with HR, diversity management, a specialist unit for equality or a suitable alternative. See who is the easiest to approach and support the subject.
- Making the approach – Make it clear that you have to discuss something important and that it must be confidential. Tip: You could show your supervisor a picture of how you intend to show up at work in the future.
- Frame the contents of the conversation – It’s never about whether, but about how your coming-out is designed in the company. Make it clear that it is a joint project of you and the employer to make communications appropriate.
- Become an ambassador – If the issue of trans@work is new for your company or organisation, this might be a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness for our offers, such as how to accompany a coming-out.
Are you feeling insecure? Do you have specific questions? Turn to our specialist offices, we will accompany you.