Outed At Work
The title to this blog post explains the obvious. Originally, I wasn’t going to write this post, because a few months ago something like this would have crushed me. But I realise that this can sometimes happen to transgender people, even if they tried everything to prevent it.
When I began working for ASDA, I presented the necessary people with my birth certificate as they needed a form of identification, this made it clear that I was transgender and I declared as such. I also asked that it remain strictly confidential. ASDA have a strict ethos about no discrimination and privacy values, so I was pretty confident that this was the best place for me to work.
I’ve been working there now for 6 weeks, one of my section leaders began to talk with me. She asked if I was going to PRIDE, I had been asked it before but just shrugged it off, I realise that anyone can go to the event, but I figured that she either thought I was gay or transgender. I started to panic, had someone spread my personal business? Then I began to remember all the time the staff had called me she, despite the fact I came to ASDA as Nathan. So I asked her, “why would I go to pride?” She told me that she knew I was transgender, said it was obvious. Explaining more, she told me that she had asked and someone had confirmed, said that there were two – like a twisted game of spot the difference.
I really like my section leader, so I tried really hard not to take offence, and for the rest of the day I was fine. On my days off it hit me, I started to feel as if my privacy had been breached, I consider being transgender a personal matter, and only I should be the one to tell people, those who are close to me. I decided after a debate with myself, to ask my store manager, I didn’t want or expect to get upset but I did. She explained that my documents were locked safely away and that the people in the office are not legally allowed to discuss my business. But I know it came from someone, a school friend of mine also works in ASDA and I’m starting to worry that I’ve placed trust in the wrong people.
I’m just glad that I am at a place in my transition where this will not greatly affect me. Although it plays on my mind and has made me more paranoid in certain situations, like incorrect pronouns, I know that I am able to deal with this. It has only made me want my fresh start to university to come even quicker.