I had been a jumble of nerves over the weekend. I had committed to a journey that would be a lifetime coming and a lifetime after.
I had spent the week telling people at work that I was transitioning beginning Monday (hormones as well). I had no idea if I had the strength to do this so publicly. I was working at Target in a small town in Indiana. On the sales floor, in electronics and entertainment, a very busy part of the store. Of course, it was Target, so it was always busy anyway.
I had built a rapport with many of our guests. I hoped it was enough to keep them on my side, but you never know with people.
It was Sunday night and I had to get up in plenty of time to be at work at 6am. So I set my alarm for 4. There really wasn’t a need to set it because I did not sleep at all that night. 4am rolled around and I rolled out of bed and into the shower. I was a nervous wreck.
I spent a long time on my makeup and my presentation. I think I looked ok (a whole image thing with myself) and off I drove. I got there early, as usual. I just kept thinking “Can I do this?” I was contemplating reactions from coworkers and guests. Despite everything we had done leading up to this, I was afraid we had overlooked something.
I walked in with the rest of the crew. Nothing was really said. We chatted as we had done every morning. In we went.
I had to put my shelf strips in order and as I sat at my desk I had a couple people come up and talk to me. Welcoming me back to Target as me. One of them, who usually is just matter of fact, sat down and said if I ever needed anything to reach out to her.
As I walked out to the sales floor, I was still doubting how I would be accepted. I walked back with the same greetings I had received any other day, plus some shout outs from people I had not spoken with before. Those who knew me came up with hugs and congratulations. I was overwhelmed. I was overjoyed.
I loaded up my morning carts and dove in to work like every other morning. Circulating books with new releases and new positions. Then it came. 8am. The store was now open. The nerves at this point were bad enough that I thought was going to be sick. I felt weak. But worked through it. I gathered my inner strength and prepared.
What came next, I was in no way ready to take on. We had a good sale going and the traffic to electronics picked up right away. And there were no issues. Not a single person I was helping had anything negative to say. Some said nothing, but used proper pronouns. Others gave quick congratulatory hugs and smiles.
As the day neared its end, one of my all time regulars came in. I had been helping her pick a camera for the last few months. She was about to become a grandmother and wanted a good camera. I was about to loan her mine. I saw her and her daughter looking and I approached. She didn’t look up right away, but her daughter was looking intently. She said, “I was being helped by a very nice young man….” Then she looked up and after looking, got the biggest smile and ran to give me a hug. We talked for a long time. She asked everything she could and I was happy to oblige. Her daughter said she had not recognized me at all. They were so happy for me. I almost cried.
Just as my day was wrapping up, another regular was in the toy section. She did recognize me and came running up to me with a hug and conversation. Another very open minded person, she already did not follow gender boundaries with her child. She did not believe in girl or boy toys, just toys. We talked about a lot of different things, not just my new journey.
I left with such a positive outlook, and it continued until I left to move to L.A. I could not have asked for a better experience. My journey has been met with positivity along the way. I am beyond thankful for that.