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The following is an email I sent to my parents and sister yesterday explaining how exactly I feel one-month on from telling them about my transgender status.

Hi guys,

I Just wanted to let you know how happy and liberated I feel since telling you all my news at Christmas. I’m genuinely a much happier person, and I’m becoming much more easy going in general.

Years of suppressing myself and lying to most people in my life was bringing me down and now I feel elevated; as if I’m walking taller and prouder and (excuse the cliché) that a massive weight has been lifted from me.

I knew embracing this would be good for my mental wellbeing in the long run, but I also had no expectations of it being like waving a magic wand that would solve all my problems. However it really is night and day in regards to the lightness of my spirit.

I’m excited and optimistic for the future and feeling brave on a daily basis. It’s made me want to be the best me I can be and I smile to myself at odd times throughout the day with that thought. I’m actually enjoying exercise, my new found sobriety and healthy eating! I’m feeling fitter, healthier, stronger, more alert and switched on to life than I have in years. I’m actually engaged in my own life again and feel I’ve found my place. I used to think life was a bit blah and I could drop dead next week without it bothering me. Now? Hell no. My possibilities, including the way in which I manifest my femininity are almost limitless and I’m looking forward to my future. Essentially I now have a real pride in myself that’s giving me strength and value.

I know I ultimately have your support and I do appreciate that it’s a difficult time of adjustment for you at the moment. I needed to write to let you know the positive changes in me that this transition is bringing about. Your acceptance is a huge part of these positive changes in me, and whether you feel comfortable talking about issues surrounding my transition or not, I know you love me, and are taking the changes on board. It takes time to get used to. I love you so much and thank you for that.

Love Ashley xxx

I genuinely feel everything that I included in that email, and just knew they would feel a level of relief to learn that the changes occurring have so far only been good and positive for me. Parents especially naturally worry for the success and happiness of their kids, and I expect to feel the effects of negativity in the future from some people or in some situations, but life is full of challenges worth facing. Running away from possible problems results in a stagnant existence that might aw well not be endured. Facing things head on truly makes me feel alive, and as my sister observed, as far as mid-life crises go, this one is self-improving rather than harmful.

Part 24