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Possibly coming out as trans to a family member tomorrow

Discussion in 'For Parents and Family Members of LGBT People' started by KaiOfBees, May 1, 2022.

  1. KaiOfBees

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    And I'm really nervous. I'm visiting family for a week and heading back up north in a couple days, so it just seemed like a good time, I guess.

    My family was raised Christian, and I don't know how far any of them may have drifted from that mindset by now. I would just say "bad impulsive brain" but, to be honest, that's just how my life works, I guess. I just do stuff and then find out what happens, and make what I can of life from there. Much as I would like to, I can't predict the future by thinking hard enough. But that's not really a reason to just stay stuck in life.

    Being back with family has been an experience. I love (most of) them, and I know they love me. It breaks my heart to think of how their perception of me will change when they find out the truth. I'm young, and while I desperately want to transition, I'm not ready to push them away for what could be forever. I don't want to lose them. I don't want them to grieve for the sister/daughter/granddaughter they had, and stop seeing me as me. I wish I had never been cursed with this fate, this choice.

    Thinking about actually saying it makes me wonder why I want to, other than that eventually they're going to find out (assuming I transition). But they ask me how I'm doing, and I feel this gulf between us. I want to connect. I want to heal our broken past by being honest and authentic and letting them be part of my life. I want to give them a chance. There's already a physical distance between us, and that makes it hard enough without feeling like I'm hiding half of myself from them.

    Sort of unrelated, but yesterday I saw my brother get married. (I like his wife. :slight_smile: ) I don't currently have plans to ever marry, but it made me wonder how much of my family would show up to my wedding if I chose a female/femme partner.

    Oof. Lots of emotion. Mostly just sad, I guess. And scared. I don't really know how to end this. If you pray, I could use some prayers.
     
  2. Sunchimes

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    Hi @KaiOfBees

    First of all congratulations to your brother and his wife :slight_smile:

    As for your family, I do understand that you don’t want to push them away or have them grieving for their sister/daughter/granddaughter. It’s tough! But you need to be honest with them for everyone’s sake but most of all for yours. You can’t be “who they want you to be”, you have to be “you”. You mention that they love you. That’s important because if they love you then they will more than likely be supportive.

    As hard as it sounds, it’ll be better in the long run if you just be open and honest and tell them. It’ll be far better for you to get it out of the way so that you can proceed to live your life as you are with the knowledge that they know the real you. It’ll be better for them too so that if in future you do transition, it won’t come as a shock to them.

    Are you comfortable doing this face to face with them? Or perhaps you could do this when you return home. You could write emails/letters to them explaining how good it was to see them, but you feel you must explain something that is important to you and hope that they understand etc etc.

    However you do this. Good luck! I’m so glad you are comfortable with who you are and I hope all goes well for you with your family.
     
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  3. chicodeoro

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    Good luck, KaiOfBees. Sunchimes is spot on - being honest about yourself is the right thing to do in this situation. Sometimes you just have to own it and see where the cards fall.

    Do let us know how it goes!

    Beth x
     
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  4. KaiOfBees

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    Thank you for the kind words. :slight_smile:
    As much as they care about me, I know they'll struggle to accept it. I actually have had a little bit of experience with this. When I was in my teen years I sort of blurted out to my mom one day that I wanted a girlfriend. She started crying and then left to spend some time on her own. She came back, knocked on my door, and said she loved me. After that she absolutely refused to acknowledge I had said anything.

    And somewhat recently I made a vague sort-of coming out post on Facebook. The next day, my grandmother sent a group text about praying against the "gender nonsense" in America. I don't know that it was about my post, but I suspect so. That will be the hardest for me- she raised me for several years and I've always felt the need to repay her for that. Especially since I was going through a really hard time and never showed any appreciation for the way she cared for me.

    I plan on telling one of my brothers in person, if I find the courage in the moment. And I think it's best to tell the other through email, as he has a hard time with communication and I don't want him to feel pressured to find the right words on the spot.

    For the longest time, I couldn't even imagine what I would say. I kind of pictured myself just showing up to a family gathering one day after HRT had done its work, and just letting them deal with it. Realistically I know that's not the best idea, but I just don't know what else to do. More seriously, I thought I might wait until I had started T or at least gotten an appointment to tell the ones I trust. I don't know how wise that is either. I guess I just want them to know I'm serious about it. But I just don't know.
     
  5. KaiOfBees

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    (Also, oops, just realized I posted this in the wrong forum, was supposed to go in Family, Friends, & Relationships. Could a mod help me out with that?)
     
  6. quebec

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    KaiOfBees.....Coming out can be wonderful and terrible. Occasionally at the same time! Some important factors in deciding when to come out are:
    *****Come out when YOU are ready. Don't let anyone push you into it if you are not at the place where coming out is right for you.
    *****You might want to consider using a letter WHEN the time comes to tell your parents. A big plus to a letter is that you don't have to be present when the letter is read. That can be a very big help as it eliminates the potential face-to-face confrontation that can easily go bad. Coming out in writing means you will not be interrupted or face a barrage of questions that you need to answer immediately, in the heat of the moment. You get time and they get time too and that counts for a lot. It gives the people reading the letter some time to think before they talk to you. After all, you've had time to think about your sexuality...giving them some time to think about it too only seems fair! Even if you don't eventually use the letter, taking the time to think about it and to write one will help you to be sure to say what you need to say and leave out the rest! You can then use the letter as a "script" for when you do come out face-to-face. Check the two sample letters out (see below)...they could be a real help!
    *****Also...when you do come out, whether it's tomorrow or a year from now, your parents and/or friends will probably have questions. Take some time now to think about what those questions might be. Such as; "How do you know you're trans?" or "How long have you felt this way?" etc. The questions themselves will vary a great deal dependent upon your family and friends...so take that into consideration. If you work up a list of five or so questions with the answers already planned, you will be perceived as a more mature, serious person.
    *****Remember...you are a part of our LGBTQ Family and we do care! Keep us updated on how things are going for you!
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:

    Dear [parent],
    This letter is a bit difficult for me to write, but I feel that it is important for me to write it. There is something I have been carrying inside of myself for some time now, and I now feel ready to come to you with it.
    I am transgender. Specifically, I identify as [insert gender identity here], which means that I [insert either the proper definition of your gender, or the most easily understood explanation for your gender identity that you feel they will understand (i.e. “I feel like a girl on the inside.”)].
    I know this may be a bit difficult to understand at first, and it may be very new to you, but it is something I have known for some time. I trust you with this information about who I am, and I would like if in return that you start calling me by my chosen name, which is [if applicable, here], and using my pronouns, which are [here].
    I plan to [insert aspects of social transition you plan to pursue here, such as changes to your presentation. If you plan to pursue a medical transition in the near future, such as hormone replacement therapy or surgery, you may mention this here, too.] This is to help me feel more at home in my body as well as the world, and it’s a feeling I hope that you can understand.
    I’m still your child, with the same likes and dislikes – I’ll just be living more authentically as the true me. And I know that you may have some slip-ups calling me [Name] or using [pronouns] at first, and that is okay. I would just like to know that you are trying your best to learn, understand, and support me. If you do slip-up, you do not have to make a big deal out of it. Correcting yourself is enough for me to see that you care about and respect who I am.
    If you have questions, I want to talk about them and help answer them. I also understand you may want to speak with other parents of trans children to learn more. There are plenty of resources for parents and families in person and online, and I am happy to show you some of them.
    Thank you for your understanding and your support,
    [Your name]



    Dear Friends and Family,
    For months, I have wrestled how best to address speculation concerning a major change in my life. To most of you, this will come as a shock. It is not my intent. However, there really is no other way to convey what I’m dealt with, why I sought help, and what has taken place. It has taken many rewrites, prayer, thought, knowing what I’m about to share, will be controversial for some and difficult for most to digest. However, I felt it was needed in order to close out this chapter not leaving you speculating.
    From the outside looking in, I suspect one would have thought I lived the good life. In many ways I did. However, in many others, this was not the case. They say, never judge a book by its cover. Well, in my case, you were just seeing the cover. Inside was something much different. Much like a tsunami coming ashore without warning, so too was my life, shattering dreams, hopes, promises and expectations. No one knew the internal struggle, nor the pain I have lived with most of my life, including my own family. Deep inside, I was hurting but could not tell anyone out of fear of rejection.
    In short, my brain does not; has not; nor ever will; identify with my anatomical sex assigned at birth. The diagnosis is “Gender Dysphoria.” Unlike most medical conditions, you can’t see what I have. Ultrasounds cannot measure it, MRI’s cannot scan it, and blood work cannot identify it. Confirmation of diagnosis is through relief of symptoms found though medical intervention. Just like most diseases or birth defects, there is no clear cause.
    They say the hardest step in fixing a problem is admitting you have one. I had one, but I couldn’t face it. Time and time again, throughout my life I tried to run from it, but it wasn’t going away. Since early childhood, I tried to mirror my behavior like that of my father and other male role models, thinking my actions would ultimately program my thinking. It was a false assumption, but for a child I knew no better.
    This carried over into adult life as well, thinking if I just overcome the next hurdle; sooner or later, my brain would be normal. I prayed it away, suppressed it, joined accountability groups but nothing changed. My brain could not relate to men, yet I kept going through the motions, playing a role so that I could be accepted. Over time, it has taken a toll on me to the point I was beginning to check out on life.
    I spent a considerable amount of time studying “Gender Dysphoria,” seeking answers to what I was living with. Endocrinologists, psychologists and other experts in these fields gave me insight as to why I was suffering. In short, I was told this was biological in nature, and nothing could be done to change it.
    Popular belief outside of the medical community holds that people with “Gender Dysphoria” are “Gender Confused.” This is far from the truth. No one would choose to undergo a drastic change, being “Confused.” We are born with it and is inherent with us from our earliest recollection.
    Within weeks of beginning hormone drugs, the anxiety I lived with most of my adult life began to fade. Never before, had I felt such comfort. The need to focus on concentrating was no longer there. The war going on inside my brain was subsiding to the point of tranquility. No amount of therapy, suppression or mind altering games, could provide such a relief.
    To you, my friends and family who are reading the news for the first time, I am sorry if this has hurt you in any way. It was never my intent. You are receiving this letter because you have impacted my life in some way, and I will forever be indebted to you. Although my heart and desire is to remain your friend, I recognize to some this may not be the case. I am okay with that. However, I want you to know, you will always have a special place in my heart and I will treasure the memories.
     
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  7. Sunchimes

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    You are welcome :slight_smile:

    They blank it don’t they? I had similar when I came out. Some family members completely blanked it and carried on as if I’d said nothing. It’s when they’re not sure how to deal with it isn’t it? The main thing with what you said here is that even though your mum cried and left, she came back to you and told you she loved you. That tells me that even though she might find this difficult she won’t abandon you because of that love.

    It does sound like your grandmother may well have posted the group text about “gender nonsense” in response to your post on Facebook. It’s tough for most people to understand gender issues but the generations above our own (especially grandparents) seem to struggle more due to lack of education. I found that in my coming out journey, the sexuality part was the easy part to explain. The gender part was (and still is) difficult to explain and for people to understand. Sometimes people look at me as if I’ve got 6 heads when I try to explain my gender to them.

    Your grandmother raised you for those years so she loves you. Let’s hope she accepts you as you are and at least tries to understand.

    That’s a good idea. You know who is best to tell in person and who is best to write to.

    I totally understand what you’re saying here. The invisibility when you haven’t transitioned makes people not take it seriously so turning up after taking T and presenting as “you” gives the physical proof that what you’re saying is real. But yes, that would be a bit of a shock for everyone.

    Perhaps doing this after you’ve got an appointment and the ball is rolling is a better idea.

    Also @quebec just wrote an excellent reply for you. Letters may be better, as you say for your brother, but also for your mother and grandmother. You can pack so much information into a letter. When face to face there can be outpouring of emotions from everyone and you may be asked questions on the spot and then you don’t get chance to explain properly. In a letter you can pour your heart out and express everything.

    Take your time and make sure the time is right for you. It’s not easy. Remember we are all here for you too.
     
    #7 Sunchimes, May 2, 2022
    Last edited: May 2, 2022
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  8. KaiOfBees

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    Well, I ended up not doing it. But... I DID come out to my little sister as bi. I figured, worst case, she would break down crying. But it actually went really well! I just pulled up an image of the flag on Google and asked if she knew what it meant. She said sort of, so I explained it just means you can fall in love with people of either gender, and that the flag represented me. She said she had a friend who was bi in the past, and she didn't really get it, but it didn't bother her. Then she hugged me and thanked me for telling her.

    That was probably the scariest thing I've ever done. It was kind of a last-minute spur-of-the-moment thing. I'm really glad I decided to take the plunge, though.

    My family actually had some friends over at the time, and we both have social anxiety issues so were hiding out in our room. The others started making some really homophobic comments, and she kind of went "Ugh" and shut the door. I guess that's what gave me the courage.

    I kind of regret not telling my brother... It's been a long time since I've seen him, and we really connected during my stay. He's the only one who's attempted to use my new name, and apologied for getting it wrong sometimes (which is still more often than not, but that's understandable). I found out he still prays and honors God in his life, but... It may just be wishful thinking, and being around a more open and accepting community the past couple years, but I think he would have accepted me, and kept my secret. I regret not finding out. I regret that I'm still keeping such a big secret from him after we connected so much. But I know there will be more opportunities. And maybe it is best to wait until the future is a little more solid before coming out.
     
    #8 KaiOfBees, May 3, 2022
    Last edited: May 3, 2022
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  9. Sunchimes

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    I’m glad that you were at least able to open up to your little sister and that it all went well.

    It’s terrifying but when it works out well it’s a good feeling afterwards isn’t it?

    In good time, when you are ready, you will get the opportunity to tell your brother and the rest of the family.

    Well done for telling your sister :slight_smile: :slight_smile:
     
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