Thursday, January 12, 2023

The First to Know

Do you remember the first person you told you were transgender? Chances are you do because it was such a traumatic experience. I had some sort of experience in the process because back in the day I came out to a group of close friends as a transvestite. The difference being was I was coming out to them as a relatively harmless desire to dress in women's clothes versus the more permanent drive to actually becoming a full fledged transgender woman. The whole process brings to mind the old joke "What's the difference between a cross dresser and a trans woman...approximately three years." Of course you can change the years to fit your own situation. 

Image from Sai de Silva on
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The first person I actually came out to as a transgender woman was my daughter. Needless to say I was very nervous. I called her up and scheduled a breakfast with her. After exchanging pleasantries I finally gathered enough courage to blurt out I was transgender. To my amazement, she paused a second and said why was she the last to know. When actually she was the first to know. Of course she mentioned her Mom and I told her Mom knew of my crossdressing desires but never knew I was trans. In all fairness to her Mother, I didn't really know of the depth of my gender dysphoria until later in my life. Also, for some reason, I don't remember any questions concerning my second wife or my daughter's step mom. 

It didn't take long to find out her response was a positive one. In fact, over the years, she has turned out to be a staunch LGBTQ ally and is now dealing with one of her three children coming out as transgender. I guess in many ways I was just a ground breaker in providing her with new gender information. She even went further by offering to take me shopping for women's clothes which I politely turned down because I was doing quite well on my own and was beginning to feel secure in my fashion choices, finally. On the other hand, what I did take her up on was an invitation to have my hair done at her hair salon. The first time I went I was positively scared to death but came out of it knowing I had just gone through one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The estrogen in the room was so thick you could cut it with a knife. 

Sadly the experience of coming out to my daughter was not going to be the norm. In reality because I had waited so long to come out of my gender closet, most of the people close to me (including family) had passed on. Out of the very few remaining was my only slightly younger brother. Deep down I knew coming out to him would not be easy because of his redneck right wing in laws. Would he chose the easy way out and terminate our relationship. The answer was predicable and swift and came around the Thanksgiving holiday. 

When I came out to him, I told him I would respect his wishes if he didn't want me to come to the family holiday dinner as my authentic feminine self. In no time at all, he said no I would not be welcomed. It happened over a decade now ago and we have not spoken sense. If he couldn't look past his in laws and accept me for what I am, I had other options to fall back on. I know as the transgender community as a whole goes, I was very fortunate to have those options and moved on. 

I am sure all of you have your own often dramatic coming out stories. I hope your experiences tend to go towards my daughters acceptance and not my brothers rejection. 

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