I’ve spent a lifetime isolating myself, those instincts still run pretty deep. I shy away from meeting new people and typically remain silent in a crowd. But I find myself sincerely enjoying the personal conversations I’ve been having of late. I’ve always avoided such talks because I always had something to hide, I could never say what was really bothering me.
So far the family I’ve spoken with have all been incredibly supportive. Today I had lunch with my cousin and dinner with my mother. It was exhilarating to speak and be honest, to actually be heard. I realize I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by so much love. I’ve read a number of stories from people who haven’t been so lucky.
I’ve come out to a few of my friends, though the conversation didn’t go much farther than ‘ oh, ok,’ and in a few cases stopping to explain what it means to be transgender. I suppose more in depth exchanges are to come and honestly I look forward to them. The conversation I’m dreading the most is the one with my father.
Don’t misunderstand, I like my father. For the most part. Ever since I’ve been bigger than him. It’s complicated, though I suppose it always is. He never laid a hand on me, so he deserves more credit than some. On the other hand he’s the main reason I’ve learned to stop crying and numb my emotions. He’s had a lot to deal with in his life time. As an adult I can appreciate what he was going through, I also understand my own temper and realize I may well have acted near the same if I’d had a child.
I learned this evening that my grandfather never actually raised his voice, as my mother put it he was aware of his own temper and vowed to keep it in check. I recall making the same vow, but with considerably less success. My grandfather, it seems, knew better than most that while biology might shape our behaviour it does not excuse it. I wonder what he would have thought about my transitioning. Actually no, I’m pretty sure I know the answer to that one.
There’s a few others I’m not looking forward to talking to. One is my cousin, we’ll call him Han, who’s the closest thing I have in the world to a brother, and he thinks I’m the closest thing he has to one… Honestly I would be totally cool with him still calling me brother. The whole pronoun thing is something I’d rather not concern myself with. In fact I’m strongly considering keeping my male name.
Another conversation I’m not looking forward to is with my best male friend, who we will call Cal. He’s a good guy, one of the best, sincere and dedicated in a way few can match. I honestly have no idea how he’s going to react. I think he’ll be ok with it, but I don’t know if he’ll understand. We’ve been buds a long time, it’s a friendship I really don’t want to lose.