There are many coming out letters to be found on the internet, this is the one I used for coming out to my managers and I used it with some of my coworkers too:
I have worked here at COMPANY NAME now for almost 6 years and as a direct hire employee for about 4-1/2 years. I have enjoyed working with the people here in the YOUR department and find the work I’m doing to be both challenging and exciting. I look forward to being here and contributing to the success of COMPANY NAME for a long, long time.
However, I do have a very personal issue that I do need to discuss. It deals with a subject that is the basis for many prejudices and misconceptions. It has caused me many years of anxiety, guilt, and confusion. But the time for hiding from myself has passed. I have finally reached a point where I can be honest with myself, and can now finally be honest with others, whatever the consequences may be.
The issue of which I speak is gender. A person’s gender identity can be divided into two parts…physical gender and mental gender. A person’s physical gender is determined by chromosomes, and there are no questions in that regard. However, their mental gender is assigned based on a complex series of chemical processes that react on the developing fetus’s brain. People assume that your physical gender naturally matches your mental gender, as it does in most people. But there are people who have the mental identification with one, but the obvious physical characteristics of the other. This affliction causes a lifelong struggle, beginning as soon as a child realizes there is something wrong with the way the world looks at them and the way they perceive themselves and how they fit in. They do their best to cope in a world in which they feel uncomfortable and alone. The term given to people who suffer from this situation is Gender Dysphoria, more commonly called Transgender. I am one of these people.
Unfortunately people who suffer from this affliction are often stereotyped. They are often depicted as mentally ill, homosexual, or as having some type of deviant fetish. I am certainly none of these things. I have been married for almost 21 years to a woman that I love very much, and we are trying hard to work our way through this. I am a very devoted father to two daughters and three step-daughters and grandfather to four grand children. I have had a very successful career, and will continue to do so in the future. Being transgendered has nothing to do with sex or with illness, it has to do with self-identity, and the two are worlds apart. It is an affliction that I certainly did not choose, but one that has affected me for my entire life, and one that I am working to correct right now.
The pressures on a transgendered person are tremendous. They must live their lives living a role they feel they were not born to play. They must create a persona that is acceptable to the outside world, but may or may not represent their true selves. They must internalize their struggle for self-acceptance, which forces them to live a very uncomfortable existence. All these things lead to a tremendous amount of stress and strain on the transgendered person, and at some point in their lives they reach a point where they cannot keep it in any longer, and must work to correct their situation.
There is an internationally accepted protocol of treatment for people who are clinically diagnosed as being transgendered. Since it has been proven that a person’s gender identity cannot be changed, this treatment deals with a person’s physical world, which can be changed. It is designed to make the transgendered person feel more comfortable within the confines of their own skin by making their body more closely match their mental gender, and often leads a person to complete gender reassignment surgery. It is called the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care, and it follows the following framework:
• It begins with meeting with a gender specialist who must make a determination on who is a true candidate for continued treatment and who is not.
• After an intensive three-month screening has been completed, people identified as being truly transgendered are allowed to begin a regimen of hormones. In the case of a male who identifies as female these would be female hormones. These hormones have numerous effects, both physical and mental. I have been on such a regimen for over a year.
• The next step in the treatment is known as the RLT, or Real-Life Test. The person is required to live full-time as a member of their mentally identified gender for at least one year prior to becoming a candidate for gender reassignment surgery. This is a very difficult task involving legally changing your name, modifying all records, and learning to live in a whole new world. I hope to begin the RLT in a few months time, and that is why I am telling you all this.
• People who successfully complete the RLT are then allowed to seek gender reassignment surgery.
I am planning to begin my RLT DATE. I plan to legally change my name and I will be living and dressing totally as female. Needless to say, a change of this magnitude needs to be coordinated with many people. I know of many instances where work place transitions have gone very smoothly and without incident. This is typically the result of much planning, forethought and sensitivity for all parties involved. That is why I am coming to you at this early stage.
I ask for your patience and tolerance during this very difficult time. Besides these very difficult issues here at work, I am going through a very painful time with my wife, family, and friends as they struggle to accept my situation. I am feeling every emotion that you can imagine…..excitement, fear, nervousness, wonder…you name it, and I’m feeling it. I feel confidence; because I know what I am doing is the right thing for me to do. I feel pride at finally having the courage to confront issues that have perplexed me for my entire life. But most of all, I am feeling relief in the sense that my years of hiding from myself are almost over. Anything you can do to make this process easier would be greatly appreciated.
I was hired at COMPANY NAME because of my background, training, and experience. Since then I feel that I have proved my self to be a valued employee through hard work and quality of results and I am very proud for what I have accomplished. In the time I have been here I feel I have lived up to the high standards which COMPANY NAME strives for. Although some things about me will certainly change, the things that make me a hard working, dedicated, loyal employee will not. In fact without the extra mental baggage that I have carried these many years, these qualities will be enhanced.
I really enjoy coming to work each day because of the quality and strong team spirit of the individuals I work with and that spirit can be seen throughout this company. I believe that COMPANY NAME is a company that accepts people for who and what they are, across the entire spectrum of humanity.
I thank you for your time.