I am a 35-year-old queer lady working in IT. I have been out at work as a lesbian for 10 years, and always felt comfortable doing so.
But now I’m hitting a new challenge in my life. I was recently unemployed for a year, and during that year my female partner went under treatment for gender identity issues, and changed genders to male.
The relationship has worked out for us, so I am now a queer lady partnered with a queer-identified man. The word “queer” seems to be the best identifier for me: I have a nuanced enough identity that I don’t identify as “bisexual.” I’m not in a “lesbian” relationship. And I’m into my partner, but not most guys.
In the last few months, I have found myself starting at a great new job, but find myself plagued by the feeling of being in the closet.
Having a girlfriend was always shorthand for saying that I’m gay at work, but now I have a boyfriend who doesn’t want the whole world to know — upon first meeting — that he used to be a woman. If I told my coworkers the whole story — which might be too much right now anyways — I would be ‘outing’ him before he has even met most of them socially and has a chance to decide what he wants them to know.
How does someone like me avoid this feeling of being in the closet?
Socially I’m in a whole new world here.