I heard recently that my line manager from job long since left, died recently. We’ll call him W for now, although that’s not his real name. Even now, I’m a bit touchy about naming people specifically, but hey-ho. It’s not like you know the city, my bloke name, where I work, or what I do. Plus, there’s a photo here and there to truly out me…. but, moving on. 🙂

So W was not – by his own admission – someone with an IT background. He said to me that he could read people and provided I was straight with him, he’d do the same. He wasn’t a politician, but he was diplomatic. He wasn’t technical, but he got projects done right. He wasn’t loud or aggressive, yet he had respect. He wasn’t soft, but he was caring.

In the last few months, when I’ve been working on my coaching course, I found myself talking about him and rolling out stories of how he handled things and how that made me feel. Sure, we had our ups and downs as you would in all relationships. But, in the main, he was…. well, inspiring, if I’m honest. W’s still the yardstick to which I measure other managers.

Often, I lack the terminology to express why something worked. It’s only now that I’m working through the coaching course that I’m seeing what – or so I assume – W did naturally. He did a bit of paperwork, sure, but he led us as a team. He didn’t manage and there’s a huge difference. W was there to talk to and while we didn’t agree on everything, he seemed supportive, honest, and, if I can take my ego out of the loop, fair.

I would describe W as a top bloke. I think a lot of companies should employ people like W. He’d make the right kind of difference.


Trying something a
bit more springtime

Again, spiralling from one topic to another, the idea of making a difference came around – better than the comet of self-doubt, mind 🙂 – as we had three different sets of parents get in touch with the group. They want to know what they can do to support their child who’s come out to them as trans.

I think it must take a lot of guts for a kid to do this. I also think it takes a brave parent to not only search out a trans group, but to walk into the place when you don’t know anyone and don’t know what to expect. Just who are these trans people? What will they say to me? How will they look? Will they be friendly or defensive?

How do you prepare for that meeting as a parent? What thoughts are going through a non-trans person’s head as they walk in the room and see us Maybe I should ask, but you know how it is; you don’t want to appear rude, right? I’m not so bothered if they think my outfit isn’t quite right, it’s more that I’d hate them to be weirded out. Not that we have any weirdos at Chams [gibber gibber] 🙂

I start off by asking how we can help and letting them talk. They have a lot of questions, and, like employers who come to us for help; they want to know they’re not making a complete hash of it.

Pro tip: if you’re listening to your kid, not judging them, taking them seriously, and letting them grow in a supporting and loving environment; you’re doing a top job already. Keep it up. Yes, it’s tough and yes, it may feel difficult, but you’ll make it.

BTW, did you miss the note handed out when you left the hospital? Yeah, we did too. Apparently, it says there are no rules and everyone’s winging it. That would have been good to know when we had Wee Man and Little Miss. I spent months feeling like an imposter. But, hey, improv FTW. 🙂

So, yeah, I’m beginning to think we may need to put some more information up for parents if we can. Not 100% sure what yet, but if you have any ideas, the comments box awaits.

Going back to my post about W, I find these parents who support and love their kid for who they are; that, to me, is fantastic. Maybe, like W, these folk will make a huge difference and not know it. Each time a trans kid is loved and accepted by their parents, that’s another well-adjusted soul who doesn’t need help in later life. That can’t be a bad thing, can it?

Take care,

PS: Get well soon, Val.


  1. Sorry to hear about your deceased former work colleague. I had a similar experience myself just recently when I heard that an uncle of mine had died. Sadly, I hadn't seen him for a long while (in part because he was an uncle by marriage, not blood, and he and my aunt had separated years ago), but I'd always been hoping to run into him again someday. He always had this roguish, if slightly sleazy, charm about him (as someone else in my family said, he always put them in mind of someone like Arthur Daley), and by all accounts had had a fairly interesting life (so that's something, I suppose).

    On the subjected of deceased work colleagues (or at least people who work in the same place I do), I think there have been a few of those in my life as well. One was someone who'd apparently died in a freak water-skiing accident during a holiday (how's that for a shitty way to go?) while another was someone who'd died after a battle with cancer. While I don't recall having ever had much to do with the first individual, I'd interacted a fair bit with the second, who'd been a superior of mine. She was OK, though one of those people whose "suggestions" (ie orders) for "improvements" in the way you did things you always dreaded hearing. Whenever I heard a statement beginning with the terrible words "[The above individual] thinks it'd be a good idea if…" I just knew that what I was really about to hear was going to be the most monumentally stupid idea I'd heard of since… well, since this person's last suggestion really!

    1. Arthur Daley, there's a name from the past! 🙂 Sorry to hear about your uncle. He sounds like quite the character.

      As to the suggester, that experience does sound familiar. Apparently it's not deemed work appropriate to use the phrase "How about you jog on?" 😉

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