Congratulations to me! I sat my parents down on Friday and explained my transgender identity to them, including that I’m on hormones and my likely future plans. Although my Dad’s immediate reaction was akin to child opening a Christmas gift that they really don’t like, with an audible moan “Aauuhhh!” of disappointment, as he explained, while he is not comfortable with it, he is only ever concerned for my happiness and well being, and will do his best to become comfortable with it. I think it helped when I assured them that I am not 100% comfortable with it myself and am working on that, together with my counselor, but that unfortunately it’s not something I can do nothing about any more for my own mental health.
The conversation that followed was all very positive, and while there were a number of questions that I’d anticipated, and which had made me hesitant to tell them the situation for fear of such questions, there weren’t as many as I’d thought there would be.
My Dad then asked me to send him an invite for the Line app, as he’s just signed up for it, which I did, forgetting my user ID is my female name of Ashley Johnson. Well that covered the matter of my intention to use Ashley as my name without having to bring it up, and it was received well.
While my Dad was first to say that he couldn’t see any of our extended family having the slightest problem with it, my Mum asked me not to announce it on facebook until they’d talked to people. I’m not entirely sure why, but I can kind of see why parents might like to announce the arrival of their (not so little) girl to their friends and family themselves.
A little later we took a walk round to the nearby Central shopping mall together as a family and my sister asked me what she should refer to me as from now, especially to people who don’t know me. Should it be as her brother, her sister, her transgendered sister……? Ultimately it will be as her sister, but for the moment, while I’m not wearing my femininity on a 24/7/365 basis, I think it should be as her transgender sister. I’m out now. I’ve told my immediate family, and extended family will be forthcoming. I’m not hiding my identity anymore with the people who truly matter and the doors are being flung wide open! I’m sure I’ll have many questions directed to me that I don’t know the answers to over the next few years, until I’m settled in to my new identity. There’s no manual for this and no right or wrong answers. Everything is unique to me and I like being in control, despite moments of sharp realization where I suddenly think, “My God, I’m actually doing this,” with a mixture of anxiety and excitement. I am actually doing this!
After shopping and after a French manicure with sis, she went off to meet friends and I returned to the Chatrium and whiled away the evening making mostly small talk and playing cards with Mum and Dad. There’s no awkwardness in the air between us and things seem as normal as they ever were. I’m working on Monday, then I have until 27th off work to spend with them over Christmas at the Chatrium. I’m sure there will be plenty more questions as they think of them, especially after they read this blog series, and I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to answer them. I’ve sent a link to my Dad, but they want a printed out copy and I’ll give them that this evening.
Exciting times. Now I need to look into legal name changing remotely from Thailand for passport, the DVLA, my mortgage in the UK, title deed of my property in the UK and banks both in the UK and here.