Sunday, April 11, 2010

Coming Out to the Past

"Any understanding of the nature of reality automatically arouses great compassion because you see how you create so much suffering for ourselves and others when we don't see the essential emptiness of things."
- Ani Tenzin Palmo, quoted by Hilary Hart, The Unknown She

Up until now, almost everyone I came out to is someone in my life presently, including reconnecting with two ex-girlfriends, one from when I was 10 and the other when I was 19. But last night I received an email from a co-worker from 2 to 3 years ago who asked: "Where did this Sophia come from."

"She is me and I am her," I replied and wrote how three years ago I had reached a point in a long struggle in which transition was the only answer, closing with, "I know now this is the person I was meant to be."

Last February, when I found out my name change was official, I modified my Linked In account that had my old name on it to reflect the change. In my status, I stated that I would like people to update my references from the old name to Sophia.

Going back to Linked In last night, I selected each of the references, and discovered that I could request a modification. So for every reference, I sent the request with a slight edit to what I sent to the person who wanted to know where Sophia came from, and I changed my status, removing the reference to my old name.

This morning I got two emails in my inbox. One of them was an announcement that the chief architect, who is now the CTO of his own company, had updated his reference. As I read it with Sophia, she and her, it seemed to actually fit better. This means I now have one of my two managerial references, should I have to get another job after I transition to full time. I marked that one for display, and proceeded to hide the others while waiting for the corrections to come in.

The second email came from the original person that triggered these actions. His response was positive:

Thanks for letting me know. I have known only a couple of people who changed their names. It took some practice to call them by a new name - but I will work on it for you.

He sent it to the old email address, however, so I made sure to reply with the new one.

This seems to mark a new phase in my transition: Coming Out to the Past, something that I hadn't really anticipated. But the experience is really beneficial, because soon I am going to have to provide a short, personal letter to attach to a transition notice, and this just gave me a little practice.

Hugs and God Bless,

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