Friday, 28 February 2014


Last Sunday I came out to my parents. Finally. And what a relief it is to not have that burden anymore! Yay!

Earlier I had asked my brother and his wife if they would accompany me for moral support. So, from their house, I texted my mom asking if they were home as there was some stuff I wanted to talk to them about. She said yes and the three of us drove there, me understandably nervous.

"So," my mom said, once we'd been there a few minutes, "what is it you want to talk to us about?"
"Well, uh," I stammermed, "The thing is, I'm pretty sure I'm transgender."
(That was a lie: I know I'm transgender, it's not something I'm "pretty sure" about. But somehow it felt easier to sound a little uncertain.)

Then followed a very long, rambling explanation from me in which I clarified all the usual stuff: that I'm not currently planning on having any medical intervention, that I've felt this way my whole life, that it's not a choice, that I'm still attracted to girls, and so on. I tried to make it clear how much happier I am now that I've stopped supressing this part of me. Lastly I said something like, but not as concise as: "I'm telling you this because I love you guys and want you to know me as the person I am, not the one I pretend to be."

"Well," my mom said slowly, "I don't know what I'm supposed to say. Of course we still love you. But I'm worried— won't this make your life more complicated?"
"I'm sure it will," I responded, "but I'd rather have a life that's complicated and happy than one that's simple and miserable."

It was clear right away that they weren't surprised. In fact, they had guessed that that was what I was going to tell them when I sent the text. My dad said it had been kind of obvious for a while. "We've always known that you were... different," added my mom. She put the word different in air quotes.

This was something I hadn't realized. If they've known since my childhood that I was "different," (to use my mother's word), than they've known for longer than I have. Suddenly it occured to me that maybe every anti-LGBT thing they said when I was growing up was not spoken out of idle bigotry, but intentionally for me to hear, in a vain hope that I might somehow turn out straight. That's probably silly though, and even if it were true, there'd be no sense in dwelling on the past now.

My mom asked what expectations I had of them now that I was out. I was confused by this and asked her what she meant.
"Well, for example, I somtimes call you son."
"Ohhhh... yeah," I said, "I guess I'd prefer something more gender-neutral. Like child."
"Okay, I'll try. But I'll probably slip up sometimes."
"That's okay," I said.
I didn't ask for female pronouns; I am, after all, still living primarily as a male.

I suppose the whole experience went about as well as I could reasonably have hoped for. It was obvious that my parents aren't happy about this, but they're willing to accept it, so that's good. Considering that some people are literally disowned over this stuff, I guess I should be grateful. Even so, I wish they could be happy for me that I'm beginning to feel comfortable as myself, or proud of me for making an effort to live authentically.

But maybe those things will come with time.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

A cold night

It was bitterly cold, and we never did find what we were looking for, but the night was still a lot of fun.

Last Thursday four of us drove out of the city for an evening of stargazing, equipped with a telescope, binoculars, sky charts and heavy coats. We were hoping to see the recent supernova in the M82 galaxy, but our inexperience, the light of the half moon, and the low temperatures kept us from finding it. Even so, we got a good look at Jupiter and three of its moons, which was still pretty cool.

Dressing to stay warm in -20° C is a very different thing from dressing to express one's gender. I suppose I was in "boy mode," but I'd have worn the same warm clothes, out of nessecity, in any gender. What was really nice is that the group consisted entirely of people I'm out to. Somehow I find it much easier to present male around people who know I'm trans than around those who don't. I guess that's because I don't feel like I'm decieving anyone.
What we failed to find...
I've been thinking and writing about coming out to my parents for a long time. Recently I asked my brother and sister-in-law if they'd be willing to come along with me when I come out, to provide moral support. They said of course they would. This will make it a lot easier, not to mention a lot more likely to actually happen. Currently the plan is for the three of us to head over to my parents' place the next time my father is in town, which will be next week. So now there is a definite timeframe for this happening!