Whether we are eighteen, twenty eight, or thirty eight years of age. There comes a time when we feel like it is time to come out to our parents. This process is very nerve wrecking, and can go smoothly or horribly wrong. When telling your parents, there are ways to do it, and not do it. In my experience, which I will share, the jury is still out on whether I did the right thing or not. Here is my story…..
Leading up to the process of telling my parents that I am transgender, there was a great deal of anxiety. In my mind, I thought that the response would be equal and moderate. However, I was wrong and that was not the case. At the time I had four parents, my parents divorced when I was ten years old, and then remarried. The responses from them were very mixed, and some were very harsh.
So I think I will start with my mom and step-dad. They were not the first ones to know, but they were the most difficult. Between the two, my mom was the first to know, and that did not go well at all. First she didn’t understand what transgender meant, then avoided the topic all together. There were many attempts to discuss my transition with her and they all ended with “I can not talk about this right now” or “maybe your hormones are out of whack”. There was one time that me and my mom got into a really heated argument. We were discussing bathrooms at that time. Let’s set the scene. The place was one afternoon at her home, I was getting ready to walk out the door.
Mom: So what bathroom do you use?
Me: Well I am a woman, so I use the women’s bathroom.
Mom: You are not a woman nor a man, there is only male and female, and what you are is just fucked up.
Me: Well that is a harsh way of putting it, glad I have your support! said with an angry tone
Mom: Well that is how I feel and if I see a freak in the restroom while I am in there, then I will show my ass and call the police.
Me: If you ever do that and I find out, I will never see you or speak to you again, and that means you’ll never see your granddaughter again. You need to get with the program, it is 2017, and bigotry is a thing that needs to die.
That was pretty much the end of the argument. Over the next year, we basically kept our distance and said very little. The first Christmas was a argument as well as the following Easter. Christmas 2018 was able to be myself in makeup, but still wrong name and pronouns, Christmas 2019 had my real name on the presents, but still wrong pronouns, and now here we are leading up to Christmas 2020. Curious if she will be able to get the words she and her out of her mouth.
As for my step-dad, he stayed fairly quiet for the most part. He would make his jokes about my transition, but that is kinda normal for him to joke with people, especially the kids. So really there wasn’t much conflict, I guess he felt sorry for me because mom gave me hell. Although, he does not call me by my name or use proper pronouns, he does not say the old name or pronouns, I can respect that.
My daddy and step-mom were a different story. It was during the first year of my transition, which would have been 2016. Not sure on the month, but it was before Christmas. There was one night that I was really upset and depressed, and needed to talk to him. So I started telling him through text that I had something going on that I needed to get off my chest, that it was causing depression for me. At that time, he texted me and asked what it was, and that no matter what, we would get through it together. The next message was me explaining to him who I was and what transgender meant. We talked for quite some time that night, which him and my girlfriend are the only two that I can talk to for hours. At the end of the talk, he told me that no matter what, he loves me unconditionally and that he supports me in anything that I do.
That was the reaction that I needed from a parent. Parents should love their children unconditionally, no matter what.
My step-mom was very awesome the first time I went to visit. She immediately started complimenting me on my makeup and clothes. She also was the first one to use the correct pronoun and my name. The first time I heard that, I started crying. After having such a hard time back home, to hear and have the support of family was a relief. It was also a sign of hope. Hope that not everyone is the same and that people can change with time. Before i left she walked out with some lip gloss, and asked me was there any that I wanted. That was so sweet of her. When I left, I cried, and cried all the way home.
This is how my story has went so far with my parents. Although there has been bumps in the road, I am being patient. I believe that people can change. We as the human race are nervous about change, but we are capable of it. There are some people in my life that have lived through Civil Rights Movement for women and African Americans, and these people also support me and the LGBT community, because that is the right thing to do. It is the human thing to do. Not everyone’s transition is the same, and nobody’s parents are the same. So try to be patient in the beginning, and if good thing s are not happening, then put some distance in between y’all and try again later.
Everything will be ok, you can do this.
You are strong and you are beautiful.
We are stronger together, than apart.
We are never alone with each other.