Coming Out to My Property Manager

Okay, I have been meaning to do this for months—telling my property manager I am a transgender woman. I live in a housing program for people with mental health issues. They have properties that they rent out rooms in the houses, townhomes, or condominiums to people who are diagnosed with a mental illness (mine is bipolar 1) they own . I have two male roommates. The delay was because I was trying to find out for sure that housing discrimination is illegal for gender identity. I called the Human Rights Counsel for my county and got an email confirming this.

We have bedroom inspections every two months with the property manager. I have yet to have one since I have been going full time. I missed the last inspection so it has been about four months. The next inspection after the one I missed was supposed to be this past Monday, and as usual I was calling to reschedule because my own schedule doesn’t allow me to do inspections on the regular scheduled date. Also I was calling to find out if room inspections would be done at all. I called last week, and received a call from the property manager on Monday.

As I never want to present in guy mode again I had been concern about doing room inspections again. I had wanted to tell my property manager over the phone before he saw me in person. But, as I said I wanted to be certain about the housing discrimination legality.

So, when I got him on the phone I decide to go ahead and reveal my trans status, and after a prefacing that I had a major change in my life I did the usual reveal: “I am a transgender woman.” He was immediately accepting; asking me what I wanted to be called and what pronouns I prefer. I am now Stephie in the program, even if my legal name needs to be on the lease. And they will refer to me as she/her.

I asked if there were any other transgender persons in the program, and he said there was one non-binary person, whose pronouns were they/their/them. It leads me to think that these property managers must receive some type of training to deal with transgender residents. It was the ease of how he accepted me, and how he referred to this non-binary resident that leads me to think this.

I told him that I had no plans as of now to be housed with other woman. I didn’t even ask if that was possible. But, legally they should have to accommodate that request if I make it. The reason I don’t feel I need to move to another place is I am hardy ever there, as readers might recall I have written about basically living with my girlfriend. And a move would be a lot of work for something I don’t see as necessary at this time.

As for my roommates I don’t really know one who moved in recently, and I have not been going over there regularly, and when I did he was never there but twice. But the other one I have known for at least 15 years. I plan on telling him on the phone before I go over there presenting as a woman. I have been there to pick up mail recently dressed, but he was not there, or he was in his room. He is pretty cool I guess. He might not totally know what transgender people are, but I think he will probably accept that that is the way it is. If not the program has a contract with a group that provides outreach mediation. Whatever the response I am going to me. That’s Stephie. And, I will dress and act accordingly when I am there, which still won’t be that often.

So, that is the deal. Maybe the most risky reveal I have ever done, except possibly coming out to my parents (see – Not Now (Revisited) for how that went). I had planned on a blog post on what I would be willing to risk. But most of the things that would have been risky ended up being fine. My biggest risk as it always has been from the start is safety. As a woman I face safety issues, and as a transgender woman I face bigger safety issues.

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