In the third instalment of Noah Kennell’s experience of applying for an apprenticeship at Atkins, he reveals the moment he disclosed his transgender identity.
It was a week before my due start date with Atkins – mid August time. I was postponing the phone call. I’d already moved to London and signed the contract. The systems were already in my old name. Excuse after excuse not to call. Even running in a sweaty gym staring at my reflection seemed more preferable.
But I knew long term waking up every day and picking up my ‘female skin’ wasn’t going to be sustainable. Walking into female toilets, hearing uncomfortable pronouns, wearing clothes that highlighted my feminine body features. Nope nope nope.
I picked up the phone. I half expected it to melt as I stared at the screen. It didn’t. I dialled the number of the lady in the early careers recruitment team I’d been liaising with. She picked up the phone. I hold my breath. Here goes nothing.
“Hi Stacy – I’m trans. I identify as male. What do I do?” The words tumble out of my mouth and out into the universe. The weight had been lifted a little. They knew and that was all that mattered. To say she wasn’t surprised would be untrue – but the positivity that radiated from her voice down the phone calmed any fear I had.
We discussed my name. My pronouns. How to move into the company smoothly. We agreed to push my start date back by a week. As I wasn’t already ingrained in the business it would be easier to start a fresh.
“Bye Noah. We’ll be in contact soon.” The first time my name was used in a professional conversation. The weight had gone. Now an extra week of holiday.
Best go suit shopping and a have a short back and sides ready.
To read about the Application process for Noah, please click here.
To read about Noah’s Interview experience, please click here.
To read about the future for Noah, please click here.