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Day 24: A Better Day Perhaps

2014 October 16
by Jen DiGiacomo

I return to the office with a renewed enthusiasm. And perhaps it’s because we have more of a skeleton crew, but it’s a better day. A much better day.

Or perhaps my attitude is better. We chat more amiably today and I’m not afraid to be cheery and even broach the subject myself.

One topic I raise is the concept of transitioning and assuming a feminine name (or femme name). One coworker relates a story of an associate at a previous job who transitioned from David to Debbie. It was more of a public unveiling after going dark for a few months. No longer David, now Debbie.

Now let me be clear. I’m not trying to be critical of anyone else’s journey. Everyone has their own path to take. So I hope this doesn’t get misconstrued as me opining for others. But for me, and only me, a femme name rings hollow. As I’ve said before, I don’t feel like a woman trapped in a man’s body. Maybe a lesbian trapped in a man’s body, but I’ve truly enjoyed my life. This is simply a part of me that I no longer want to keep hidden.

In other words, I don’t want to go dark and reemerge as someone new with a different name. I am still who I am. Only 20% more awesome (you’re welcome, Bronies). So my plan is not to change my name or go dark. Everyone calls me DiG (soft G). And I hope everyone will continue to do so. Because that is who I am regardless of the shape of my body, the timber of my voice or the size of my girls.

I should confess, however, that my first name is Joel. Pronounced like the Christmas-y Noel. So I already have a gender neutral first name. Perhaps if my first name were more definitely masculine I’d feel differently. But I don’t, so there you go. End of sermon.

For lunch, I meet one of my old interns, and it’s a nice, amiable conversation about work and life. Again, not planning on revealing my story, but I figure, what the hell. He’s a little surprised and a little unsure of how to react, but my comfort with the story, the humor I have in the situation seems to carry him through.

After work, I meet another colleague for drinks, a designer, and the reveal goes much the same as the other have in NYC. Surprise. Support. Laughter.

In fact I give, perhaps, my best rejoinder so far. We are talking about what women drink. I used to have a predilection for Guinness Stout. But I gave that up years ago when my metabolism slowed. More recently, I drink Stella Artois. But I am looking for something with a few less calories. She recommends tequila. I then share a story of my college years that entailed downing multiple “Prairie Fires” (tequila shots with ample helpings of Tabasco) back-to-back-to-back-to-back.

She then asks if I’ve ever blacked out from drinking tequila.

I pause with a wry smile and… wait for it.

I don’t know. I don’t remember.

Captain Jack Aubrey would be proud.

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 23: Not a Good Day
Day 25: A Really Good Day
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