This is the next topic in my articles on issues that affect a Transgendered person.
Predominantly the reason I hid my true self, the man, away from the world is family. How does one tell a parent their only daughter is not a daughter but another son? How does one explain to children their mother is really a man? And so the list grows.
While the boys were children it was a relatively easy choice, growing up in this world is hard enough without throwing a Transgendered parent into the mixing bowl of youth. Now they are grown men themselves they are only concerned with me being happy as I am so telling them that I am Jez was easy – I knew they would be cool about it. In private they still call me Mum but in public it is Jez, yeah with a few slips now and then as is bound to happen.
Telling my parents was the hardest thing I have ever done. I suppose in their eyes I have killed their only daughter but truth is I never was that person. The truth is since I was of teenage years I have put a mask on in front of them so they saw what they wanted to see – a daughter. Even once I had started my transition as I did not know how far I was going to need to go I did not say anything. I withdrew from making family connections and that was something I needed to do. However once the changes in me had become more than little obvious I had to come out the closet once and for all. It has not been easy and still is not easy but I hope in time we will get there.
Siblings and their families is also a difficult issue. As I don’t see them from one year to the next you could say it does not really matter but it does. In the case of my brothers I was very aware that there could come a time we would have to meet and the concept of these two guys expecting to see some chick in a frock and finding a bearded dude in a suit and tie was not a good one. I am very aware that I have left one brother the unenviable task of maybe having to tell his teenagers that Auntie is now Uncle. However I know like my boys his kids are of a different generation when these things are less of a problem.
My grandparents are all in spirit but I believe in spiritual connection so have let them know through the ether. In life I doubt they would have been too willing to understand as they were of a different time when sexuality and gender were set in stone as only being acceptable as heterosexual and binary.
Coming out to family about anything they may not like to hear is never going to be easy. However we can be blinded by how we think someone is going to react. Coming out is very much saying this is how things are – take it or leave it. Trying to predict how someone will react to the news is actually being quite judgemental when we are asking them not to judge us. So instead we hide behind a falseness to keep the truth hidden and that, in its own way, is an imprisonment. Coming out, whether it ended good or bad, liberated me from that prison and has allowed me to learn to be me, to live as me and actually enjoy it instead of hating on myself for the pretense.
Love and light