Near the end of October, I met with my boss and the manager for the research center where I work. They’re both pretty busy, my boss especially, so I had to set the meeting up 3 weeks in advance. Then I was nervous and obsessed about it for 3 weeks. I read all kinds of articles online about telling your boss that you’re pregnant. Most of them were annoying at best, and at worst, pretty sexist. Anyway….none of them really applied since I was first going to have to tell my bosses that I was born female and then get to the whole pregnancy portion.
I haven’t talked much about my identity at work. I’m very open if anyone asks me any direct questions. I often make the mistake of assuming everyone knows I’m trans (which also assumes that people even know what that is and means in general).
So, the time finally arrives for the meeting and I was super nervous. We all gathered in my boss’s office and sat around a small table. I began my awkward story and I felt my face getting all red and my neck getting all splotchy (which happens when I get nervous). It turns out neither of them even knew I was identified as transgender. Once I got that portion of the story out of the way, I felt like sharing the pregnancy part wasn’t so hard.
First, they were both super excited for C and I. They responded in a very congratulatory and appropriate way. Next, the center manager quickly asked what they could do to make the work environment as safe and comfortable as possible for me. I talked about some of my fears like there suddenly being some policy, once word got out, that I could no longer use the male restroom. I also shared some of my concerns about meeting with the higher up HR coordinator to arrange my leave. Both of them offered to come with me to support me when I have that conversation.
From my perspective, the meeting went great. It feels really nice to have at least a few people at work know that I’m pregnant. AND I am so much less anxious at work after getting this conversation over with. I also work on a few small teams and plan on telling some of my co-workers next month depending on how quick this Falco bump grows. I’m much less worried about their responses knowing that I have support from the important people.
I knew that my workplace would be mostly safe, and thankfully I work at a pretty liberal institution (even though the med school and health system aren’t always as progressive as the rest of the school) but I had/still have no idea what to expect. Like I think I mentioned before, a lot of the transguys I know who have been pregnant seemed to work from home or be independently employed. I haven’t really found anyone yet who has experiences in a big workplace as a pregnant guy. (And if that’s you and you’re reading this please chime in!!!)
Once I start to show more I know that navigating some of the stares and office gossip will be difficult, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. Right now I am just relieved to feel supported and to have my identity and pregnancy validated at the same time. Yay!