|Nice though my photos may be.|
It's difficult and scary and puts butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. In fact, my partner and I were walking holding hands and talking about and she noticed that my hands got sweaty as soon as she brought it up. Stupid amygdala. While I do have a gay brother in law that they love dearly, I still worry that maybe transgender is step beyond that into weird territory. They're accepting, loving and as progressive as people of their generation can probably be expected to be, considering that they were in the military culture and are devout Catholics. But, there were some good signs. For instance, at a big family dinner this trip, the subject of North Carolina's bathroom laws came up and my brother and sister in law were absolutely supportive of transgender rights and spoke up for them in front of their kids. That's great. So, I know I'll have some love from the family.
Ultimately, we figured the best way to come out would be a letter. Well, maybe six letters, each with similar themes but custom crafted for each recipient. That way I could come out to my in-laws, my partner's siblings, my parents and my sister (though I'm fairly sure my sister already knows since we're Facebook friends).
|My sister is probably just happy that I'm not borrowing her clothes any more.|
- You are important to me. I don’t want to lose our relationship.
- I’m transgender.
- This is something I’ve been dealing with for my whole life and I need to have the courage to come out and be myself. I’m still me. (though people tell me I seem much happier as a girl)
- Your support for me is invaluable.
- Please call me by my female from now on, female pronouns, etc.
- I’m still me.
- You’re super important to me.
We decided letters are best because they'll give people time to digest the new information and then I don't have to sit there and have awkward question and answer periods with anyone, 'cause you just know people are going to ask questions about genitals. And I really don't want to have that particular conversation with them.
But my in-laws are something different. They're the family I see twice a year or more. I like them. They're Catholic but they were the first Christians I ever met who weren't completely insane. They're cool people. We visit them often and that relationship is super important to me. Especially since I'm not that close to my own family. I'd hate to screw up that relationship. My partner is also really close to her family and I'd really hate to screw up her relationship with her family. But she's with me on this. It's so amazing. She's so amazing. And she assures me that it'll go fine.