I've been negligent about keeping up my blog. I haven't been nearly as prolific about writing anything as of late and usually I'm researching and writing, but all my energy has been poured into the transition at work.
This is mainly due to having to disclose to all my patients. Considering that my gender identity was a carefully guarded secret until I was almost 40. Even after that, my true gender was only known to my ex wife and my present wife. The exception was that of a handful of other transgendered friends online up until about 4 years ago when I made the decision to begin my protracted transition that I am just now completing.
While I am very comfortable in every day life, this has not been the case with my primary work activity as a therapist locally. I can't say that I have really been distressed from disclosing to over 75 people since November, it hasn't been comfortable at times, particularly with my established patients. I haven't felt as much stress over telling my new patients that I wish to work with individually. I have nothing invested in them to begin with and they haven't formed an attachment to me in one session to the degree my other patients have.
The wonderful news is that to date, I have been able to retain 100% of my established patients, somewhere over 45 patients. With the new patients, I have had 82% who wish to work with me after my disclosing that I am transitioning soon. These retention rates are beyond my wildest expectation. I had shared with my supervisor at the beginning of this process that I expected to lose somewhere between 20 and 30% of my patients.
Until I actually transition, sometime in early to mid April, I continue to disclose to new patients and the very few established patients I have left who I see infrequently. I will be glad when this is over and when I see a new patient they meet Lauren and no explanation will be necessary nor offered.
Overall this process has been very easy; the people I work with have been quite wonderful and totally supportive. The women of the office have really reached out to make me feel like "one of the girls". Recently, Patty and I were invited to a coworker's home for dinner and another female therapist was a guest. It was the first time they had had an opportunity to meet me as I really am. They were as comfortable with me as I was with them and this further raises my confidence in making a smooth work transition.
The thing I think that was most critical in paving the way to a successful transition at work is that I have emphasized that while my transition is voluntary, theirs is not, and I recognize that for them to make this adjustment after having known me for so long, many of them for almost 12 years, is a huge adjustment. I think they have all been admirable in making the adjustment and it is a constant reminder that I am very blessed to be working where I am without fear of losing my job and with such wonderful people. I know so many who have not had that experience.