Coming out has had it’s ups and downs, mostly ups. The only downs have actually been of my own doing. Procrastinating, trying to second guess reactions, fear, you name it I’ve found excuses. However I could not in my wildest dreams have anticipated the responses of those I have told. Almost overwhelming acceptance and support from my friends and coworkers; male and female alike. Only one longtime male friend was a little ambivalent but I can understand that my little issue pales in comparison to what he is experiencing right now in his own life.
Probably the best response was from a male friend who I think of as a brother. “So if this is the ‘reality’ that you are now happy with, then well, I’m happy for you. and I thank you for sharing this ‘identity’ with me…takes strength.” he said this with so much compassion and understanding that I did cry a few tears of joy. We talked a little more and he let me know that he felt honored that I had so much trust in him to share something so personal.
By coming out selectively I have found new dimensions to the friendships I had already formed as a guy. I even have a few new ‘girlfriends’ to share ladies nights out with. For a few people this was a way for them to understand why I always seemed so down and quiet all the time. Now they can see that I am happier and more outgoing. Also that I smile more.
I have greater hope now for my future as a transgendered person. I also have validation that I am doing the right thing by starting to live my life the way I need to. That said I am still cautious. I know that I have been lucky so far.
My greatest challenge will be to finally come out to the remainder of my family. Those relatives that are left are not very close so I’m not sure it would be necessary to tell them at all. However, I am very close to members of my wife’s family and I would dearly like to share my new life with them. My wife is not so sure and she wants me to tread lightly and with greater care. She knows her brothers and sisters much better than I do so I’ll follow her lead. Telling them would not just effect my relationships with them but it could also alter her relationships with them too.
Still the only person that I am not going to tell at this time will be my father. He is old and not in the best of health. I do not know how he would take the news and in his fragile state I do not want to cause him undo emotional stress. My dad had dreams and expectations for me and I don’t want to crush those memories. I know that he imparted in me all the knowledge he felt would help me to grow up to be a good man. I don’t want him to think that knowledge was wasted because I might not be exactly the man he thought I would be. But if I could bring myself to tell him he would know that it was not a waste. My sons and daughter have also benefitted from that knowledge as well and I am sure they will grow up to the the people they were meant to be. Just as I will be the son and daughter my dad could be proud of.