Over the weekend, I discovered that I had a small chunk missing from the sidewall of the passenger side rear tire on my Nissan Sentra SE-R. Seeing as this is a performance car, the integrity of the tires is critical. So what’s my point?
This was the first time I needed to have any automotive work done since my transition. So, the repair shop didn’t know Janet. They knew (and had an account for) my male identity. In other words, another “coming out” moment was ahead of me. I considered just using a different shop entirely, but I decided that would be cowardly.
So I called the shop, told them what I needed, and they said they would give me a call back as soon as they had the tires. They had to send someone to go pickup my 225/45 R17 tires. Yes, very much “performance” tires. I got the call, and went over to the shop to have the tires installed.
I walked in, and found out that the manager I used to work with was no longer at the store. (As a matter of fact, he had committed suicide. I don’t know why.) I was directed to the new manager when I indicated I was there to get tires installed. The first thing I did (as I am now accustomed to doing) was hand the gentleman my carry letter, and allow him a minute to read it.
His response? “So then, do you want me to change the name on your account?” to which I replied in the affirmative. I also indicated he should remove my late wife’s name as well. Yes, we had been going there even before she became ill in 2008. He did so, and then asked if I would be waiting for my car. I said I would be, gave him my keys, and took a seat in the waiting room.
About 45 minutes later, they brought my car around to the front of the shop, with two brand new tires on the rear. I got my keys, and headed home. It’s amazing how much that letter has simplified my life. Face to face “coming out” experiences have so far been non-events. Here’s hoping it stays that way.