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Day 16: Not So Terrifying

2014 October 8
by Jen DiGiacomo

If it’s Tuesday, I must be in NYC.

And this time I’m excited. Really excited. It’s time to tell my current boss, a former colleague and a friend from my days at AOL. Our current gig together is wrapping up shortly, so even if, on the oft chance it does go south, it shouldn’t be too awkward for too long.

I actually was hoping to tell her last week as part of my initial reveal, but fate has a funny way of tossing you curveballs, and I prefer to go with the flow.

Another mutilated analogy. <sigh> I fear you’ll have to get used to that, as Captain Jack Aubrey appears to have become my muse.

Back to the story at hand, we opt to have our chat in the office since everyone else clears out for lunch. I’m surprisingly NOT terrified, though I can feel my heart thumping in my chest.

Deep breath.

She reacts much the way I had hoped. She smiles infectiously, is so genuinely thrilled, and gives me a big hug, before leaping into a million questions.

As usual, I only have so many answers. This is step two of my master plan. Step one, the hair ties on my wrist. Step two, no more hiding. Step three, the evolution of boy and modes. Steps four and beyond, not sure yet. One step at a time, each step in its own time.

But the questions are wonderful. It allows me to dispel myths about being transgendered. It allows me to share details of my journey, not what other might assume or guess it to be. And perhaps most importantly, it allows me to talk about something I’ve never been able to talk about openly. I don’t think animated conversations with myself in the mirror quite count.

I tell her about my blog (this blog) and she thinks it’s a fantastic idea. An opportunity to share, an opportunity to teach.

Life being what it is, we only have an hour, but she promises me a shopping trip. “We are going to have a so much fun dressing you up!” I smile. I’ll take all the help I can get.

We hug again, and it’s good. Really good. In fact, we are much closer than before our chat. There seems to be a bond of friendship created, at least between women (well, in my case, almost woman), when confessing emotional vulnerabilities and sharing a part of one’s soul. It was the case with the first woman I came out to last week and it happens again here. After all this anxiety, after all this fear, I feel so blessed to have such wonderful friends.

The day passes and I head for another reveal in my black women’s high tops. They don’t look like women’s high tops, they are fairly androgynous, but I know, and it feels like progress.

I grab drinks in midtown with a former coworker, another woman. But this time the response is a bit more sedate. Not bad, just sedate. But I’ll take what I can get, and after an hour, I bound off to therapy.

My therapist seems genuinely surprised at my progress. I mean, I’ve come out to, what nine people? I’m starting to lose count. But I tell her I like to jump off cliffs every few years. I like the unknown. I like the exhilaration. I might even like the fear.

It’s another hugely positive session and I leave feeling happy and alive and ready to conquer the world. Okay, maybe not the world, maybe just my corner of it.

Note: When I began transitioning in 2014, I was known by my nickname DiG, which sufficed until I learned my mom had chosen Jennifer had my birth gone differently. So for historical sake, I leave my posts and podcasts as originally conceived, but know that my name is and apparently always was Jen.
Day 15: Out of the Closet, Literally
Day 17: Pronoun Trouble
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