|Hi all. Sorry if HN isn't the right place for this. Posting from a throwaway account as my main account is tied to my online identity and I'd like to keep this information private for now.|
So, I've been the lead software developer for a startup for quite some time now. I love my job and the people I work with, and I'm happy to see the business growing at a faster rate than ever before. As part of my job, I spend a lot of time planning and meeting with other people (department heads, B2B partners and of course members of my own team). I'm basically the company's "point person" on all things tech / software related.
That leads me to my current dilemma which is that I've decided that I can no longer ignore an issue that I've dealt with for as long as I can remember: gender dysphoria. I'm so exhausted. My entire life has become work because I've "checked out" in my personal life due to the pain of having to pretend to be someone I'm not. I can barely look at a mirror anymore and I'm pretty much living my life day-by-day despite being successful in my career and everyone being so "proud" of me. I want to live a real life and not one where I'm pretending to be someone who appears to have their life together.
All that said, I'm worried about what will happen with my job. I'll definitely be "stealth" for quite some time but I expect there will be a point where the people I work with will find out. My coworkers are people that have been part of my life (or several years in some cases and none of them have any idea about this. I'm afraid they'll figure out what's going on and honestly I can't continue to avoid dealing with this myself.
So I guess my questions are:
1. Has anyone else been through this and how did you deal with it?
2. How will my team and other managers perceive me as a lead if they find out?
3. Should I stay where I am and open up to my coworkers or just cut ties with everyone and find another job where I'm starting new?
Thanks in advance.