Living your authentic life
by Allison Blaylock
Transgender Advice Columnist
Happy Pride! It's time for Pride and I'm ready...ready to tell my family the truth! I am transgender.
With all the news about the transgender community right now and just that we simply want to go to the bathroom, I just think it's time I was just me. I'm ready to fight the fight with everyone else.
However, my family is very old-fashioned. How would you suggest I tell my parents and siblings I'm trans (M to F) and plan to begin living my life that way? I love them, they love me. Why does that have to change?
I thought I'd write and see what you think. I really want to hear your take on it.
I'm hopeful - and my name is Jessica (not Ray!)
It is never an easy choice to live your authentic life. There are many factors that come about and one is truly being worried about telling family and friends. We spend our entire life growing up with our parents being there for us, we are cheered on as kids in activities we do, and as we get older they are there to give us advice. The ability to share this moment in your life is not one to take lightly.
I personally did an email that I had drafted for about three months and in the email had things such as references - websites, books, and that I have been working with a counselor. I pretty much put my heart out there and waited for their reply. I used this same technique with my best friend of 10+ years along with siblings.
I have told many people that I am very fortunate that I have a great and supportive family. You might find that some friends and family members do not understand, do not want to believe, say hateful/hurtful things, or never wish to talk to you again. If this does happen, I apologize, as it is a horrible thing to have to deal with.
If you choose to do it in person, I might suggest having a friend who is LGBTQ friendly go with you as moral support or maybe to help defuse the situation if things go awry. I encourage if you go this route to tell your friend not to interrupt or talk over, only step in if you ask them to do so.
If the question comes up about restrooms, locker rooms, and changing rooms, the simplest aspect is that women (that includes trans women) use female based facilities.
Pride month is always a good month to break the silence as there tends to be a lot more discussions going on and more people are listening. You can always invite friends and family to join you at a Pride event. This allows them to see we can have fun and celebrate life as we are authentic to ourselves.
I wish you the best on your journey and always remember it is your life, you get to transition on your terms, never do something that is not comfortable to you.
The Gayly – June 17, 2016 @ 8:10 a.m.