continued from here
Dad quizzed further as I sobbed and struggled to breathe. I finally managed to compose myself enough to talk again and explained to him that I needed to be a girl and that I had been seeing psychiatrists and taking hormones for quite some time. For the next 2 or so hours he had a lot of questions to be answered which I obliged. He asked:
How long have you felt that way?
Is it something that your mother and I did?
Are you sure?
Are you gay?
Have you worn women’s clothes?
What drugs are you taking and why?
What effects will hormones have?
Do you want to be a drag queen?
This was probably the hardest thing that I wasn’t expecting, after my sister’s response and how easily she accepted it. My dad was very different with an onslaught of questions. He wasn’t against the idea but it did take a bit to sink in. It was actually kind of nice as I got the chance to really talk about how I have felt for so long.
I really didn’t expect him to take to it so well but he was very cool. He did make me promise not to tell Mum until after Christmas which I agreed and looking back that was probably quite a smart move. It was really hard to keep it all from coming out when my sister and Dad both knew. I went out a few times with Dad and my sister to discuss more about what my plans were and how I intended to tell the others.
I have been out now for almost 6 years. During that time I have come to realise that life goes on and, every day that goes by, it gets easier for me to find my place and tell others who need to know. My family now accepts me for who I am with the exception of my mum. I know that she is okay with it but she is still struggling to let go of the old me. Mothers are always the hardest to crack.
Let me leave you with this advise if you are gender questioning and you already know that you need to swap genders. Try to come out as soon as you are ready. Plan your approach and have a backup plan if you are living with family or friends who might freak out and kick you to the curb. Have your bases covered for any questions they might ask. That was something I didn’t think I was prepared for but I had almost all the answers I needed.
And last but not least: give it time.
My mum took eight months of blackmail, threats and denial before she finally came around.
It’s not hard for me to see where I fit into this world now.
If you had asked me not four years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to give you a clear answer; I was a confused girl stuck in a predominately male body, and feeling very lost. I wasn’t sure that the place I am in now was going to be any better, and although the snow-covered Turkish Delights of Narnia seemed easier, reality had to kick in. Unfortunately for me it wasn’t just a swift kick though the trees and clothes out of the wardrobe.
My doctors at the time made it harder by asking open questions about the possibility that I might just be gay, or just different, and suggesting that being a girl wouldn’t change anything. Well, I have to say that as treacherous as much of the journey out of the closet was, I am much better for it. If I had listened to the psychiatrist I had at the time, I know I wouldn’t have been as happy as I am now. I would still be stuck in the make-believe world I had created to shelter myself.
I — like so many gender questioning teens — was stuck in an unfortunate position where I was scared to come out to everyone because, in my mind, they wouldn’t understand. For some, that was true; and for others, it wasn’t. It was an eye opener though and it showed me who my real friends are and who was only interested when I was fitting into their mould of what every boy should be.
At this time I probably should mention that my sister was the first person I actually came out to. She was probably the easiest and best case scenario anyone could ask for.
I told her over Skype and although a little taken back she managed to ask, “Are you sure?” a few times and then she said, “Okay if this is what you want. You’re my little sis”.
I guess I should have known that she would be great with it, and she really put me at peace with it all.
The hardest thing I ever had to do was tell my dad. Dad and I had always been reasonably close and this made everything harder because I knew how much he loved having me as his son. My brother wasn’t always around that much and, until I started to transition, he was always the black sheep of the family.
Because of this, I had always been the one that Dad took everywhere and did all his manly bonding with, and as much as I enjoyed his company most of the time, I didn’t enjoy the stuff we did or the places we went. I was on my way back from holidays in the US around Christmas time and, because of the length of the flight, had a lot of time to think about coming out to Mum and Dad when I got home.
Dad picked me up at the airport on Christmas Eve and decided that he needed a coffee, so on the way home we stopped off at his favourite coffee shop. After ordering and sitting down he asked how I was doing, seeing as he hadn’t seen me in over 7 months.
I gave the standard “alright” kind of answer and then asked him the same. Sensing that I had something on my mind he quizzed me if everything was okay, and let me tell you it was only a matter of seconds before I broke out in tears.
I blurted out “I can’t handle keeping it to myself anymore.”
Viola’s story is continued, here.