How to be me
by Allison Blaylock
Transgender Advice Columnist
I am nearly 50-years-old and want to come out as trans to my family over the holiday (they already think I'm gay). I think it would be a good time to do it, but I'm afraid I'd "ruin" their holiday. Do you think it's an okay time, or should I wait? I wanted to do it then because everyone will be together, and it would be so much easier for me to tell (pretty much) everyone at the same time.
I don't know. Maybe I'm just nervous about the whole damned thing and just need someone to help me know what to do. I haven't started any transition or anything. I just know who I am and want to live that way.
Your friend and reader
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You are in a truly difficult situation. This time of the year is always a time for families to get together and share in memories. The holidays are a time of the year many people within the LGBTQ+ community, in general, are shut out of family get-togethers because they are not accepted.
I know the holidays are times for many of us to enjoy and share, it is also a time for reflection. In the past, I have spent a few of the holidays without family, though not for lack of acceptance.
If the family is currently accepting you, then it may not be too bad. But there is a difference from coming out gay or lesbian to a family and coming out as transgender. The acceptance of transgender individuals is one which is looked at completely different than the other groups. People, in general, have an easier time seeing someone who is attracted to the same sex as it has been more accepted in media along with seen in public. The transgender community is just now becoming more visible, and we are being met with resistance in some areas.
I came out to my parents and most of my family in October, so it was close to the holidays, yet not as late as say, Thanksgiving or Christmas.
The thing you must keep in mind is there can be rejection, sadness, joy, and so much more. Plan what you want to tell them, be ready to give answers, also be ready for them to be silent and not be ready to talk. You can arrive with clothes you prefer to wear, though I suggest not going to the event in clothes they may not accept.
Do make sure your network of friends is strong and are aware that you may be going through with this if you decide to come out with family this holiday. It will allow for support in both the aspect of acceptance or rejection. Having friends close by can be a huge help.
A person coming out is a time for celebration, and regardless of being LGBTQ+, many family members may even get rejected just for being straight and dating the person no one likes!
There is truly never a good time or a bad time to come out, only your time. The idea of having all the family together is a plus, sort of keeps it where you do not have to repeat over and over, and if one rejects, maybe the others can get them on board.
Please do not let negative things change how you are and that you stay strong to yourself. The only thing stronger than being yourself is being your authentic self.
Copyright The Gayly – December 12, 2018 @ 7:10 a.m. CST.