I am now in my eighth year of coming out as trans and yes I am aware that this is a long time. It is also the only way I know how.
A colleague and friend I have known since 1990 was told two Saturdays ago that a few years ago I had made initial inquiries with HR about how a possible transition might be viewed. Their response back then was that it was up to me and to their knowledge my company of over 6,000 didn't have any other transitioned people although I know that statistically there must be some in hiding or simply in stealth.
My friend was a little taken aback because although he knows about my dysphoria he was surprised I would make such an inquiry. That option is now off the table but it felt good to disclose it. Such has been my experience with the people I trust in that my friendship with them has been validated. In my wildest dreams would I ever have foreseen being able to do this in the past.
There has been such an organic flow to healing my psyche and reinventing myself that it has not encouraged taking shortcuts although I can see how the young generation tends to proceed much quicker. Perhaps it's because their world is not as daunting as ours was.
The urgency that took hold of me upon first coming out had me spring from my stasis after years of suffocating suppression but then things settled down. When the dust cleared and I found my footing again I discovered that I could think more clearly and had a different plan in mind altogether.
Every Sunday before mass I see a banner near the altar which translated from French reads: "Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by God".
It is the plan I now intend to follow.