Single and love it
I grew up the third of four children. Both my older brothers have families and my younger sister is married, but no children yet.
I am a single female with no plans to get married, but I date. After ten years into transition (MTF), my family frequently asks me why I made this “choice”, as if it were seriously a choice. I have tried to educate them and invite them to PFLAG meetings, but they still think I “chose” to be trans.
These comments are hurtful and I have plenty of friends to be with at the holidays. Here is my question to you; should I just let them know I have made other plans for the holidays, or should I explain the whole reason why. I'm almost exhausted in these explanations.
Single and love it
Dear Single and love it,
I will say that during the holiday season many transgender people as well as those in the LGBTQ community find themselves alone. The main reason is because family does not accept them or it can be that there is too much tension.
The aspect of being alone for the holidays or away from family is hard; I spent last year Thanksgiving and Christmas away from family. I was out to them, though it was not financially realistic for me to go. Like you, I did spend the holidays with friends that I had built over the year and cherished the time with them. It was nice to sit and relax with them and not have to defend who I was or to make someone else feel uncomfortable.
One of the biggest things that people think is that we choose to change and that we choose to be who we are. The reality is that we do not choose it, we simply choose to tell others and that also means that we choose to tell family and friends. This has become an escape for so many to fight against the transgender community. The people feel that if they make it seem like an elective choice then they have the right to discriminate against it as well as the right to ignore.
I will say that their not being open to attend a PFLAG meeting is a negative sign for them. They are not willing to understand, learn or be part of your transition on that level. I have found in my own personal life that trying to educate some people is hard; this is mainly because they have always seen me as a child. “What would a child know when it comes to things?”
The reality - that as an adult who has experienced life and has done many things - I do know and I am very educated in many aspects.
I would suggest that you let your parents know that some arrangements have been made and that you will not be able to attend this year. You can suggest that maybe you can get together at a different time, as the days themselves are being spent elsewhere.
If they want to know more in depth why, then simply put it that you would like to enjoy your holidays with those who accept you as your true and authentic self, rather than causing arguments or tension in the house. You may also let them know that it is not their fault and that they are more than welcome to share time with you on other days.
The holidays are hard times of the year; I ask that anyone who is transgender to find friends, loved ones, family and others to share it with. You do not need to be alone and I will guarantee there is always a place for you with someone. Do not be afraid to ask and do not be afraid to be happy. The holidays are days of being thankful, cherishing life and love.
To all my friends and family of the LGBTQ community and those who are allies to the community: Please be safe this holiday season.
Copyright The Gayly - 12/11/2016 @ 7:04 p.m. CDT.