Coming Out

When we think about my own coming out to family and friends, it filled with anxiety, fear and indecision. What will they think of me? Will they still be in my life or will they turn away from me when they know who I am? What kind of hurt and pain will I be causing?

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Pandemic

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There have been whispers about a coming pandemic for years, but I am stunned by the rapid pace our world has changed.  We are ‘sheltering in place,’ a misnomer of a phrase, as the COVID-19 virus spreads through our country. We are now in week two of our self-imposed isolation, venturing out only for food and walks.  While I long to be busy again, for my partner and me, it has not been a hardship. We have food and enough savings to weather this storm. My partner can work from home while much of my daily plans outside our house, including regular visits to help support my 91-year-old mother in another state, have ceased. Mom is in her apartment alone, the refrigerator and freezer packed with food, and seems to be enjoying her quiet time after the recent passing of my father.  But at 91, she is not able to easily cook for herself and is surviving on mostly premade meals or frozen soup.

I was moved this morning to read about a transgender college student on Vox.com.  The student was living in a homeless shelter and using the campus gym to shower, and the school library to study is now struggling as the homeless shelter has no private space for her to take online classes or study. The article, Campus, dorms closed for coronavirus, leaving some LGBTQ students with nowhere to go, portrays how many college students are affected by their schools being closed because the schools were so much more than education. The schools provided food, medical care, safety net, behavioral therapy, and more.

Day by day, we see our world get smaller. Today our County Executive stated that we were getting very close to a ‘shelter in place order,’ requiring us to stay in our homes, except for food and other limited functions. How this would be enforced and for how long is anybody’s guess.  Given the rapid spread of this virus, I expect we are in for a very long period of our world being shut down.

Transgender Journey

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I just finished reading the newly published book, Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt. It is a fascinating, well-written narrative about being transgender in today’s world. Nutt tells the story of the Maines family interspersed with chapters on the history and most current scientific understanding of what it means to be transgender. The book is a portrait of a family and their journey from the adoption of two male twins, and the belief by one of the twins, almost from his birth, that he was a girl inside. Continue reading

Transgender Benefits

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As the executive sponsor for my company’s LGBT Employee Resource Group as well as an out gay executive in the company, I started to talk, last month, with the head of human resources, who is responsible for the health insurance that our employees receive, about adding transgender health insurance coverage. This year transgender benefits were excluded from health insurance coverage for our employees. Continue reading

Understanding Transgender

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As much I have read about the transgender experience through a number of biographies of trans men and women, and through a few trans individuals that I have gotten to know, the trans experience, while more known to me, still feels so different from my own life as a gay man.  Continue reading

Being Out Has Its Privileges

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A few years ago, before I came out, and long before I came out at work, I studiously hid even the slightest mention of anything gay. Since coming out at work last year and becoming the executive sponsor for my company’s newly formed LGBT Associate Resource Group, I have marveled as some of the LGBT related conversations I have had in the workplace.  Continue reading

Learnings from the Transgender Experience

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I continue to be interested and read about the experiences of transgender men and women. Today it seems like trans is everywhere — in the news and on TV. Just yesterday the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced proposed rules to extend nondiscrimination laws to cover transgender individuals under the Affordable Care Act. This is an amazing and important step that I could not have imagined a year ago. Continue reading