I know that I dislike using gendered language, but I can’t quite think of another mental image that will match up with that particular exclamation. It’s the sort of thing for which I’d have gotten odd looks or laughter at the least, and teasing or mocking at worst. When it boils down to it, sometimes just being yourself can be risky.
But there’s a couple of things that I took away from that moment. For one thing, I’m comfortable enough with my work environment that such a display didn’t send me (as it would have in the past) red-faced and running to some place where I could be alone for a while. For another thing, nobody even paused, flinched, laughed, or had any reaction at all. That’s an incredibly comforting feeling.
Sometimes, you get lucky, and the people around you know you for who you are, and accept you. Not tolerate you. That would be what I got from people in the past. You’ve seen toleration. It’s rolled eyes. It’s barely concealed contempt. It’s ugly.
I’ve got acceptance.