My Coming Out Letter to Relatives in 2011 at a Family Meeting – Shared in Hopes that it Fuels the Courage in Those Who are Wishing to Come Out

8/28/2011

Closets are For Clothes, Not People

Closets are For Clothes, Not People

Dear Family,

I am incredibly fortunate to have such a loving family which makes the task of what I am about to tell easier, but it is still extremely difficult.  I hope you understand that the topics and issues I am about to share are private, and cannot be shared with other individuals in the extended family or community.

And it is also my hopes that you will listen with an open heart, compassion, and empathy.

I am in the process of a “transition,” which began a few months ago.  But in reality I’ve been fighting and dealing with this issue for my entire life.  This transition is long overdue and it wasn’t until recently that I had the courage to face it.

What I am referring to is what is called by the Medical community as “Gender Identity Disorder”(GID) or “Gender Dysphoria.”  This means from as early as I can recall, I felt like I “knew” in all ways that I was not a little boy, but a little GIRL… you can imagine how upset and different this made me feel, along with shame and fear that I would alienate and shame my family and had no real words to explain what I was feeling until I became older and understood what this ACTUALLY WAS.  I am “transgendered,” (or TG), and I am changing my gender from male to female.  This is a secret I have kept to myself for most of my life, and it has caused me and my family without them knowing what was going on inside me, enormous pain, suffering, guilt, shame, and emotional and bodily injuries on all levels.

This gender mismatch has contributed greatly to all my past behaviors that seemed inexplicable to family members, in addition to my inability to fit in (socially/professionally) on numerous playing fields in life.

The facade that I put forth as a male was never intended to deceive anyone, but done more so as a survival mechanism.  In fact, I deceived myself on many occasions thinking I could prolong the inevitable by pushing my male persona harder.  This facade is one that I need to abandon if I am to save myself.

The enormous amount of emotional strife took a huge toll on me and I simply cannot and will not any longer lie to myself and live a life that is a facade and untrue to myself.  I will no longer tolerate unhappiness due to my inability to accept myself.

It is an incredibly difficult subject for most people in society to grasp, as it’s misreported, misrepresented, and there are many misconceptions regarding this topic.

The reality is that this is something we as TGs are born with, and it’s incurable.  There is no method available to “fix” this, and there is nothing wrong with my physical health.  This is not caused by people “recruiting” or by “bad” parenting or “negligence” on my parents’ part.  This is not a choice I’ve made, a phase I’m going through, or me acting out.  Actually, GID is really a bio-medical issue, more than anything else, something that science is rapidly explaining as happening in the womb during gestation and hormonal washings of the fetus.

I told my parents about this in 2005, and their love, acceptance, and compassion has been the sole reason why I’ve been able to survive to this point.  It is absolutely critical to have those that we love support us through something as big and heavy as this topic.  I only recently mustered up the courage to see a therapist who has helped me enormously, and the sessions have helped settle me down and allow me to see myself and deal with my issues in a healthier manner.

I can no longer live a lie, and as a result I have been living as a female for a short period of time now.  I cannot simply abandon my past life and that is why I’ve decided it was time to tell everyone in my family and social circle.

Most of us take gender for granted and as a given, a non-negotiable.   Unfortunately nature doesn’t strictly adhere to those nuances, and our society does.  This fear of being caught, outed , and rejected  by those who I deem the closest people in my life has been the primary reason I haven’t told anyone about this until now.  It has also been the reason why I didn’t seek out therapy sooner.

Changing one’s gender is the most difficult thing any person could possibly do, and I understand this is not a topic that is comfortable for everyone.  It may also cause shifts in the dynamics of how we interact, and I understand if that occurs.  But know that any pain, confusion, or loss that you may feel was unintentional on my behalf, as I was only trying desperately for my entire life to fit in and function with the incongruity that I was born with….

It is in my hopes that you will take some time to step back, and take in the enormity of this situation, and treat it along with me and my family with compassion.  I ask that you open your heart to what I’m saying and envision the struggles I’ve dealt with, and understand that this isn’t easy for me.

And above all else, there is nothing to be afraid of as I am still the same loving person to everyone concerned.  Just that now I am presenting myself in a manner where my inner sex matches my outer physical appearance….the two are congruent for the first time in my life.

For those who wish to understand the situation further, I am willing to answer questions….but please try to refrain from making assumptions or jumping to conclusions about this unless the facts are from a credible source or from myself.  I welcome any questions and I want to thank you for your support and understanding.

Natalie

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2 thoughts on “My Coming Out Letter to Relatives in 2011 at a Family Meeting – Shared in Hopes that it Fuels the Courage in Those Who are Wishing to Come Out

  1. Pingback: Choosing Self Validation Over a Contingency Based Friendship: A Letter of Self Love | Menopause Before Puberty: Thoughts and Discussions on Transgenderism, Sexuality, and Other Trans-Related Issues

  2. This phobia is the reason why I was scared to transition at first….but then it became a choice of “learn to cope with my situation through transitioning to a more comfortable ‘Me’, or “remaining stagnant and murdering myself.” I chose life, and I too have lost many even before I began taking steps to transition. Years after the fact, I don’t regret, and I refuse to go in reverse. The MAIN KEY of my moving on into and through transition and growing was by building “self-confidence” and “self-respect.” It’s hard to maintain, especially as the world lowers its brow, yet in order to make it to see a day of change, we as TG Women and TG Men must do our best to stabilize before, during and after transition. It takes years to transition, and a life time to improve.
    Pity and shame on your ex-friend. More Power to you and ALL you do. My Respects and I bow my head to you, dear friend

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