Stand up comedy – coming out at work

Ok I promised to tell this story back in my first post. It’s about coming out at work and it goes something like this…

So I told the boss one morning. We’re both early starters so we had plenty of private time. And I just straight out told him that I was transgender. He was very surprised, but felt very honoured that I had told him. 

I told him that things weren’t really going to change too much and that I wasn’t planning to come to work in a dress because I didn’t think I would be comfortable doing that. (And to be honest I’m still not comfortable at work in a dress. I like my separates). 

Our conversation was interrupted by our mail delivery. And there was a package for me. The boss asked what I got. And I had to answer, “Um…you know how I said I wasn’t planning to wear a dress to work? Well these are dresses…”. He just laughed as I turned red. What were the odds on that happening? Talk about timing! 

Timing. Timing is everything for a comedian. Without good timing even the funniest thing falls flat on its face. I like to think that I have understated humour… Unless I’m doing a dad joke. 

I’m generally a quiet person. At work I’ll speak up if I’ve got something really important to say. Or if I need to lighten the situation with something funny. Actually that’s probably me all the time.

It’s Tuesday. We always have a staff meeting on a Tuesday. No boss today though, as he has a government meeting. He knows that I’m telling everyone today and wishes me luck. 

So one of the things that we do at the meeting is to let everyone how we’re feeling… You know like “I’m a 3. Things are going wrong and I have deadlines today” or “I’m a 9. Everything is going to plan and I had a great weekend.”. The mood of the meeting is a little down around a 5-6 average. Me, work’s been good, I’ve told my family and the boss that I’m transgender and it’s all been good so I’m way up the scale. 

It’s my turn to rate myself. “Well, I’m a 10. I told my parents on the weekend that I’m transgender…” my workmates, all girls by the way, are killing themselves laughing, figuring that it’s just me trying to lighten the mood. I dig the hole a bit deeper,”…and they were so accepting that it was better than I could have ever dreamed.” I don’t think most of them heard most of this part because they were rolling in the aisles with laughter. 

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The girl in me was like, “Well that didn’t go according to plan!”. The comedian in me was just lapping it up. “Could I have gotten a bigger laugh?” I knew however that there was no point in trying to correct them now. They were too far gone. Needless to say the meeting was in a much better mood now. 

I resolved to telling them in the coming days in ones or twos. And I also resolved that I would never tell a group of people in one hit again. Even if the comedian in me loved getting those laughs. I eventually told them all and they were so accepting and apologetic for laughing at me. I really can’t blame them given the timing, my delivery and my reputation. 

Thank you so much Sue Ann for opening everyone’s eyes to the possibility that I wasn’t joking. 

Photo by Hailey Kean


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