Will they still love me when they know the truth?
by Allison Blaylock
Transgender Advice Columnist
I have recently discovered I am transgender and I would love to come out to my family. The only problem is that I am very scared of their reaction. They know I am bisexual, and love and support me now. But trans issues do not come up much and I don't know their views on transgender people.
My fear is that they don't accept me and I have to find a new place to live. I would be able to do this, but would be on a very tight budget. This is causing me to stress a lot and I don't even know if it will happen.
Do you have any advice on how to tell them their little princess is actually their prince? And how to not stress over a future that might or might not happen?
Stressed College Boy
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Dear Stressed College Boy,
I will say that in my personal life I get asked this question a lot by people who are in that limbo stage. The aspect of coming to terms with who you are is the biggest step of all. I know that it took me decades to come to terms with myself.
Then came the time of letting family and friends know. I was completely and totally scared to tell my parents. I did not know what they would say or do. I had mapped out many aspects of my transition from when I would do this, that and so forth. The one thing on my “map” was not telling my parents about my transition until just a few weeks into going fulltime.
The fact that my parents at the time lived a few hundred miles away did help a little. There were only two ways to do it in the short time frame I had; I was asked to come and visit for a few days to help around the house to do “boy” things.
I had spent many months drafting an email to each of them, though very similar in context. I explained to them about my steps to my transition, that I had been seeing a therapist and even to the point of the hormones I had started just a few weeks earlier. Once I sent them the email, my heart dropped and my anxiety was through the roof. I feared what the reply would be.
I got a message back in about 15 minutes with them both saying that they love me and that will never change.
I will say that I am a unique case. Many times, I hear of families shutting down and not talking to the child who is transitioning. From what I can tell, it sounds like you have a lot of interaction with your family. What I would suggest is to bring up situations about what is going on in the world pertaining to the trans community – for example the case of Gavin Grimm regarding restrooms and trans men using the restrooms with men. This can be a way to sort of test the waters.
I would also suggest that you do some research on some trans men that have made a successful career. I think this would lend examples to them that their princess can be a prince…and be successful.
There is nothing I can say or do that will remove the stress or anxiety of this process. It is truly one of the hardest things that a child has to tell a parent. Some think that saying “I’m pregnant” is, though nothing compares to telling them, “I am transgender.”
Regarding the tight budget: I will be honest and say that it is best for you to learn to keep living within this tight budget. Things can be rocky for you even if your parents and family accept you. One of the biggest issues I had was that when I began to lose things, I did not restructure my budget to allow me to adjust to the change.
I wish you the best of luck and when you tell them about your authentic self, remember that they will have to transition with you. Think about it - you are already ahead of them and it can and will take them time. It has been over 18 months and my parents, at times, still have their slips and adjustments in many areas.
You being you is very important. Remember there is only one of you and that your future is bright.
Copyright 2017 The Gayly - 6/20/2017 @ 7:38 p.m. CDT