Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Transgender Blog Challenge Day 4: Coming Out to Family

Day 4's question is:
How did your family take it when you came out?

I somewhat unfortunately didn't lose any family.  I say "unfortunately" because there are some relatively bigoted relatives on my father's side who I could really do without.

I came out to my parents using a letter which they re-read to my brothers.  They were verbally supportive, calling me on the phone and telling me it was fine and they supported me, but their actions and comments were extremely hurtful for... Gods, it had to have been at least two years.  My mom would make a lot of insensitive jokes and they'd both do things that were like... "testing" me, I guess, like gnawing into me about why I wouldn't accept a pair of feminine embroidered shorts my grandma tried giving me, just these little annoying things that really added up.  At the time I was broke and my mom had been cutting my hair, and she started refusing.  I can't confirm, but I get the impression she didn't like cutting my hair in men's styles.  I started cutting my own hair, which got Dad angry at me for some reason.

Dad's reaction was more annoying even though he for all intents and purposes took it better.  For a really long time he'd make these disgusting, sexist comments about how maybe I'd meet a man who'd make me feel like a girl again.  I'd say that wasn't going to happen and he'd say things like "Oh, I'm not saying it will happen, I'm just saying it might," as if there was something magical about penis that would make me feel feminine.

Finally I couldn't take it anymore and I wrote a letter explaining the history of how I've been dealing with this for a long time, pointing out the really insensitive things they'd been doing and why.  This made Mom blow a fuse and we would up arguing in the house one night.  We haven't had any major problems since then and after many years it mostly blew over, although they're still painful memories.

The rest of the family found out in their own time, mostly through my parents, Facebook, or the grapevine.  Like I said, I haven't lost even one relative, and even otherwise bigoted ones have been somewhat receptive (and a few at least act a little less bigoted).   On my father's side nobody really talks about it with a few exceptions.  On my mother's side people talk about it a lot, and in a pretty positive manner (they're likely to bring up trans pop culture moments that come up, my aunt and grandma on that side get annoyingly excited over anything Chaz Bono and make me come over to watch his movies/shows/etc., and so forth).