Dress With A Difference Friday

So, for those who have visited recently, or even those who have just tuning in and read my last entry,  and via pictures on my Flickr account, You will have noticed I have now come to the conclusion I’m bigender and I’m very comfortable with that fact.

It was with this knowledge that I decided it was time to express myself at work, for a full shift. Not in uniform this time, but take advantage of a full day on a Friday; Dress with a difference day, aka Casual Friday, with a Toonie ($2 Cdn) going towards charity . I’ve done short days in uniform (DEU’s or flightsuit) and a couple classroom sessions in civvies, but never while working as the Duty Ops Officer.

I am proud of where I work and those I work with. “Dignity and inclusivity for all” is a major hallmark of the Canadian Armed Forces and Friday proved that.

“Oh, its Michelle on the desk today”, “Good morning Michelle” was how I was met entering the office and throughout the day. Later in the afternoon, when a flight crew from the other coast came in to pick up their kit left from the night before, the Master Corporal had no hesitation addressing me as ma’am multiple times (even though I’m in civvies, he recognized the position I’m in as that of an officers), and it feels completely natural. During my shift, I received may phone calls. I find now that while expressing my female self, I have an automatic tendency (I don’t need to think about it) to shift my voice to a more feminine one. A number of callers have only ever known me as male so automatically refer to me as “Sir” when I answer the phone with rank and name. I did notice though that a number of times the caller may have been caught off guard (and not sure?), as they just addressed me as “Capt” or “Hello Ops”, which has never happened before.

The day also presented opportunities to inform/educate a couple of members who didn’t know about this part of me. The CO’s Executive Assistant and I compared our boots and outfits (we were both wearing tall boots, black leggings and oversized sweaters, “hey, we dressed the same” she says with a laugh). She also said I needed to give her some make-up lessons…lol. Again, it felt so great to be able to participate in this kind of talk.

I’m comfortable with who(what) I am. I will continue to balance my expressive opportunities as life allows. There may be a couple chances in the near future, but, guess what? I have a major event occurring at the end of March. My first ever attendance at a gender conference; Keystone! Getting very excited. There may be a write-up or two and a couple pictures from that. 😉


1 Comment

  1. Sometimes I forget just how liberal Canada is on social issues and then we get reminders. For instance the pride I feel when I’m reminded that the military has allowed openly gay members since 1992. And much more recently the ability for members to express their gender as they wish, as long as it fits the dress code. It’s also reassuring that it isn’t just talk and they are walking the walk.
    Glad you had a good day work. My first day was amazing.

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