PREFACE: I wrote this very early in my transition. PS at bottom with some light updates.
Coming out never really ends, but the first round has to be the hardest right? Constructing those first messages to my friends was tough. But at the same time I sort of knew it wasn’t going to be a big deal. Constructing those same messages for my family has been even harder.
I cried while trying to write the first draft of the message I’d end up sending to my dad. He’s going to be the hardest to come out too. I honestly have no idea how he will respond. I feel like the best case scenario is that he just ignores it almost. Probably deadnaming me for the rest of his life. Hiding me away from the rest of the family on his side. Who I only ever see through the events he organises. They’re all old school religious and probably wouldn’t want me around their kids anymore. I’m going to be a freak to them, a deviant..
I can’t see this not crushing my Dad. I know he loves me, he won't want to hurt me. Every shitty thing I think he’ll do I know will think is with the best intentions. I’ll be a test of his faith. I know he has some homophobic/transphobic tendencies. He won’t believe me when I say who I am, and I’m afraid I don’t have a good argument to convince him otherwise. I’m just trans, it’s just a thing. I just am not a man, even if that's what I look like to him. How can you convince anyone of something so internal and innate?
He has never been a fan of me pushing past traditional roles. He was even really weirded out when I cuffed my jeans in college. Which was hilarious to me at the time. He told me people would think I’m gay. Again hilarious, why in the hell would that be a thing. Like I know its for sure a Bisexual signal, but straight people do it too. It seemed ridiculous in general. Even if it was true to me it was a non-issue. People think I’m gay? Great, must have dressed well today. It bugged him that I didn't care. I think as I’ve asserted my independence he has stopped trying to dictate these ideas to me. Just as I have also learned to not take any “advice” he’s ever given me at face value. It sort of got to the point where I’d practically do the opposite of what he would do. Every time I tried to take his advice its always ended badly. The path he walked I never could. As hard as I tried, it didn't work for me. Coming out as trans might be the ultimate instance of me diverging from the life he wants for me. He might never come to terms with my blasphemous life. Again, hilarious for me to type.
Since I’ve stopped living with him he’s become so religious and attached to his church community. Ever since he met his wife it’s been ingrained in his being.
I know when I decided to move in with him instead of my mother he was hoping I might share in that part of his life. Which was never going to happen. Hell the first time they said they were going to say grace before a meal I had to fight off a panic attack.I do not and have never liked the idea of organised religion. It makes me deeply uncomfortable. Though I learned to live with my dad's renewed faith, I have never liked it. I feel like we think similar things about each other. Both lost in our own ways. Both sure of our own ways. But we could ignore it. It WAS usually something easy to ignore. Except around the holidays, when my religious half-siblings would try, successfully, to start political arguments with me. I’m fine with not talking about our differences, they are not. And now I feel like I have manifested as the avatar for everything they do not like about my worldview. I don’t see a future where they are not confused/dumbfounded and defensive that I will exist the way I do.
That’s what I’m worried about. The defensiveness, and making it all about them. What did they do wrong? What is wrong with the world? What is wrong with me? What is wrong? I don’t want them to see me as a problem. I am the solution to myself. I just want to be. I just want them to see me for who I am and I fear that's not going to happen.
I see this all going down a dark road. If they can’t accept me, the real me, then our relationship is essentially dead. I don't want that to happen. I don’t want to lose my dad. I don’t want our relationship to die. But I can’t compromise on my needs, and for those to be met he will have to compromise his beliefs.
That is what it comes down to, will he come to an understanding that allows him to see me as the woman I am. Because I can’t be a man. I don’t know how and the more I stop trying the less I want to try. I guess I can dress more masc when I visit (Future me - I don’t think I can do that anymore, it would kill me mental health). But clothes are only part of the equation if my boobs are poking out. Maybe I can not use my voice. But IDK if I’ll even be comfortable doing that.
I thought I’d have months of time that I wouldn’t be bothered by being deadnamed or misgendered. I thought since I am also just getting used to it would be fine for a bit. I now know it won't be. Once people start calling you what you want you get a sense of satisfaction. Of feeling right in yourself. It’s really hard when that's taken away from you.
In a month's time I will be visiting for Christmas months after being out to my chosen family. In a year's time I'll likely have been on HRT for months. I won't be able to hide it, at least I hope I won't be able to hide it. I need to do it for the new year. This might be the last Christmas I see some of my family. And I don’t know how to feel about that.
I was also worried that I would be outing my partner, who was not super open about her sexuality with family. But she seems almost excited if anything. And I’m excited to be super fucking gay with her. EEEEEEEE.
PS from future me: Christmas came and went. I did not come out in person, I savoured the time we had. I sent him the letter shortly after. It did not go great. He tried to stay positive and affirm his care for me, but he missed the mark on so many levels. Even said specifically that he would not be disowning me. Which, to me, is not something you want said to you cause that means it was on their mind. I’ve only called him maybe twice, both times he used my wrong name. My birthday card came without a name (aside from the postage label which was correct). And now I’m planning on maybe going down in a few weeks. I’ve been on HRT for 5 months. It will be 6 then. I do not look the same. I do not act the same. And I definitely don’t dress the same. I’m already planning an exit strategy if needed. I refuse to put up with anyone who will not respect who I am. If I sense the vibe turning I will leave. It has to be known that it is either see me for who I am, or never see me again. It is too much time and energy to go home just to be made uncomfortable and othered. I will not do it.
But in other news my Mom and her side of the family has been freaking amazing. Immediate acceptance and enthusiastic even. Got some thoughtful gifts for my birthday. Love it. Excited for them to meet the new me!