The clock started ticking when I returned from P-town. I originally wanted to go full time in January, but that proved optimistic. Family problems weighed on us and the added stress of going full time would not have been a wise move. We stayed home for the holidays, which was terrible for both of us, although we did have a really nice dinner at Le Petit Roberts.
Then as well there was the issue of how to tell our fellow congregants and to make sure the parents knew and knew who to talk to with questions. Eventually I was out to the Temple community in January after we had met individually with every family we could practically reach.
My legal name change was applied for in November and granted in December. I changed my major documents including gender the week before I went full time. Unbelievably the registry allowed me to choose between several shots for the driver’s license.
The week before I went full time I met the HR person at the security desk and we got me rebadged and the internal records changed. Ironically a technology company could only do certain aspects on a Wednesday. Pretty ridiculous. But at the end I had a new badge saying Rachel and the records were either fixed or in process.
March 2014 arrived and with it the fateful day. At that point I had been planning it with my management and HR since September. I was supported unconditionally and with great discretion. They helped me stick to my plan and a good thing too.
As people filed into the large conference room I greeted them each by name with a hug or a handshake. People had wonderful expressions on their faces. One friend had driven an hour just to be there – and to think I had worried about his response.
I gave a very short speech and left the room. An hour later a few people stopped by my office to wish me well, and a few emails said the same. At that point a couple of guys clearly had some problems with it but were not making it my issue at all. For months I ran into people I knew and had to reintroduce myself to them.
Now, 18 months later there are still no issues. Some people have been kind enough to say they can’t imagine me any other way. Well, neither can I!