One of the things which prevented me from telling my family bout my transgender identity for so many years was the fear of hurting them, and I have. By doing what I’m doing I’m causing pain to the people I love the most in the world; my parents. I’m sure this is something which many transgender people experience and during times like this I really miss knowing people who are going through or have gone through the same thing.
My feeling of liberation after having “come out” to everyone has been replaced with regret for the pain I’m causing and the changes I have imposed on the family dynamic. I hope this will be a temporary phase as I can’t imagine wearing this guilt for the rest of my life. Unfortunately I also could not imagine wearing my mask of masculinity for the rest of my life, which made my confession, and the changes I’m making physically, a very necessary step, with an unavoidable period of adjustment and hurt.
FaceTiming with my mother last night I could understand that it is a very sad time for her at the moment. Although my personality hasn’t changed, she’s grieving the loss of a son. Her boy has gone, together with his name. No longer should she say she has a son or refer to me as he, him etc., and she will miss him.
I think my parents are a little in a state of shock at the moment and quietly reflecting on the many ways in which my news will impact upon our lives. Their quiet reflection is strange for me because they’ve always given their opinion on my life and actions whether invited or not, and I have always valued it and taken it on board. Now during one of the most important things to happen to me and which affects all of us, communication is hesitant, and reserved and without firm opinion. I respect their need to think about things and understand their reluctance to risk saying something which might upset or offend me. This is a necessary period of consideration and even mourning, and I hope it comes before a time of questions, interest, discussion and understanding.
While I see the sadness for my parents at having lost a son of 43 years, I was him. I lived that life and I have those memories. I shared those years with my family and that can never be taken away. I can reminisce, remember and share nostalgia about what we did together and the experiences we had, and I celebrate who that man was. He’s also not changed so very much. A name. A prefix. A shift in perception. Not a lot else besides physical changes which are to come. He is still me. The experiences of the man have made the woman what she is today.