potentialtransdyke said: So, finally coming out at work. What I most need is advice on how to come out to co-workers as a trans woman and as a butch woman at the same time. The two are sort of interdependent, in that if someone doesn't believe or understand one they will not accept the other.
This is a tough one. I remember dealing with this when I was just coming out. A few things to consider: is this an office job, retail, manufacturing, farming, etc.? Think about the spaces that you and your co-workers use to socialize, be it during work or after work for a drink or something. That brings me to the second thing to consider: what is your current relationship with your co-workers, do socialize outside of work at all? Find the space that makes sense and talk to them about your identity and, importantly, what you are asking them to do; what does this mean for the language they use and also how to understand you as a complex person? Consider the depth and interdependence of the relationships you have with your co-workers.
That said, being butch is going to make explaining this potentially a headache wrapped in a migraine, topped with a swift punch in the tit (most painful thing I can think of today… ouch). For one, people tend to equate trans women with high femme, or conflate the experience with drag. But a good way to break that down is to hold up a mirror to their own gender. Explain the difference between gender identity (like being woman identified) and gender expression (like being butch as fuck) by asking them to consider their own gender identity and expression and how they fit into gender roles and how they don’t. Tomboys, sissys, faeries… are also a part of cis people’s experience and often weaved int their own personal narrative. This bridge a gap in understanding how gender is policed and administered throughout our lives by starting from what we all know, or think we know, about gender, childhood, and social expectations. It’s not a sure way of doing this, but I’ve found that explaining anything is easier if you can relate it to an experience that person has had or is familiar with. Just keep the conversation growing from there.