Prom was so much fun! Not my actual high school prom, I mean my recent grown up prom night. So, I have lots of other photos to share, but since this is my web-log (or "eblo" as the kids call them), I thought I might write a little instead of just sharing photos. FYI, if you'd like to just see some photos, be sure to check out my Instagram. I just posted some rather beautiful, artistic looking photos of my recent trips to upstate NY and the Great Lakes. But, today I wanted to share something beyond just simple photos. I want to talk about coming out.
|Nice though my photos may be.|
In these photos below you'll notice that I'm with friends. First off that's great because it means I actually have friends. But what I really love about these photos is the fact that these friends of mine have only ever known me as a girl. My friend asked me if I were interested in a prom night, then we texted back and forth about different dresses and shared eBay links and photos, then we met up, hung out and had a great time. And at no point did I ever have to come out to them! It was great.
Now, on the other hand, I just spent a week with my in-laws and that brings up an unfun idea. I have to come out to them at some point. This makes me insanely nervous. Not only have they never seen me as a girl, they think I'm a 100% normal, hetero, cis guy worthy of being with their daughter. My partner is amazingly supportive (far more so than an amoral rapscallion like me probably deserves) and we spent a lot of time this week talking about how and when I might come out to them.
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.|
Thus far, all I've come up with is an outline for the letters. Like this:
- 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.
This is scary to me. It really is. While honestly, I'm not that concerned about my own blood family. I'm just not that close to them. I like them and all, but I'm happy living a good number of states away from them. It's better that way. If they, in their Republican or Evangelical way, want to disown me I can take it. I'll be upset, but I'll live. As far as I'm concerned this is who I've always been and they can take it or leave it. The relationship will be on my terms now.
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.
Phew. Well. Let's see then. Letters. Letters. Letters. Time to draft some letters I guess.
So now the question is when. A friend of mine is having a wedding in late June and it's going to be outdoors and in my neighborhood. I was so looking forward to wearing a beautiful dress and being out and social with all my friends. Then it hit a snag. My friend invited my in-laws so there went that plan. Unless I manage to come out to them by June. I really, really, really want to go to this wedding (and the pre and after parties and all that crap) as the real me. But that means coming out now!
A deadline! Oh my gosh. Can I do it? Can I summon up the courage to come out to my in-laws before the wedding?
Good luck! It already sounds like (hopefully!) that they will be there for you. You can usually tell where someone will stand when you get to the bathroom debate or by the candidate they choose (i.e. both my parents and in-laws liked Trump or Cruz, and my father-in-law scowls at even the concept of transgender. One way or another though, indeed, you have to do it, and the sooner, the better.ReplyDelete
Also! I saw the picture you posted recently - you're doing/looking awesome growing your hair out - I'm surprised that your in-laws didn't just guess or know that you were transitioning anyways :)
Thank you! For my inlaws I think it'll be fine in the end. They're democrats after. Now, for my mom and dad who voted for Cruz and Trump respectively, I don't know. We'll see.Delete
No guy-fails yet. But maybe soon! :)
The web forum crossdressers.com has many threads about how to come out to friends and family. An example is this, by Jennifer. http://www.crossdressers.com/forums/showthread.php?149851-I-told-my-wife!&p=2428087&highlight=#post2428087. I believe its in the open are of the forum, where membership is not needed. If you need to join to read it, you'll qualify immediately.
Hi Rhonda- Thank you for the link. I'll definitely check it out. Also, I think TS Roadmap (if it's still around) also had some links. Maybe I'll post up some links when I get a chance.Delete
This week I came out to my brother (Republican, gun guy). It went better than expected, I underestimated him. My ex-in-laws are next. They're still important to me. It's going to be really hard to tell my ex-father-in-law, who was like a dad to me for many years after my own had died. He's quite conservative, wears a flag pin all the time. They are such lovely people, though. They'll be okay. Probably doesn't hurt I'm not still married to their daughter. So Faith, thanks for your letter ideas. I'm going to use them. Hugs, and good luck to you too.ReplyDelete
Hi Erica- glad to hear it went well with your Republican brother and good luck with your ex-in-law!Delete
When I finally get around to drafting my letter, I'll post it up!