I am writing to tell you about a matter that is essentially personal but will result in some changes at work. You may have noticed some changes in my appearance over the last several months, and it is now time to explain what is going on.
I am transgender. I have had transgender feelings since I was 6 or 7, but I kept those feelings hidden and did my best to make my life work with my female body. Alas, my discomfort only increased, and 3 years ago I entered psychotherapy to explore my options.
I was diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder, the treatment for which includes psychotherapy, hormonal treatments and/or various surgeries. Accordingly, I have been working with my therapist and doctors, following the Standards of Care that set out treament guidelines for this condition.
Outside of work, I have been living as a man for the past 16 months. My family and friends call me Rich, and I have had my name legally changed to Richard Louis Whitehall. My drivers license shows me as male.
Human Resources has been very supportive and is making arrangemens to change my name and gender on all company records. I plan to begin working as Rich on August 18. I’m very pleased to be able to take this step toward personal wholeness while staying at a job I have found very rewarding.
This change willl not affect my ability to do my job. In fact, I may be less distracted when I no longer have two personas to juggle. Also, as I enjoy being myself more, you may find me more enjoyable to be around.
Some of you may not understand the life changes I’m undertaking. I would be happy to answer your questions or direct you to additional information. Some of you may not approve of what I’m doing; that is your right. However, I expect that everyone will treat me with basic human respect.
Beginning on August 18, I ask that you call me by my new name (Rich or Richard) and use male pronouns (he, him, his) when referring to me. I know this will take a little time to get used to, and I expect that you’ll make mistakes at first. All I ask is that you try to get it right.
Richard Louis Whitehall
(formerly Karen Louise Whitehall)