This is a facet of my life that I have grown out of. It seems, indeed, that it was just a phase. It's still an integral section of my life, however, so I'm not taking this down for any reason. ~J Teager, 2/3/2008
There comes a time, I think, in everyone's life where they finally bring up the nerve to tell a secret to their parents. Be it like my mother, who, upon moving out, told my grandmother that she used to shoplift candies from the grocery store. Be it like my father, who took many years to share with his parents that he was planning on going into the army, and dropping out of college. Or be it like my Uncle, who upon reaching Rice University, sent them a letter stating that he was gay.
I reached that time last night, and it is certainly the option behind door number three.
As I talked with my girlfriend last night, I realized that before we met together as a couple IRL (we'd known each other IRL before, but not together), my parents would probably like to know who I am. For those of you who don't here, I'm transgender. Not like it's much of a secret here, it says that on the outies group-node.
We spoke, and I got up the nerve to start formulating an email. I'm awful at articulating what I want to say orally, which is unfortunate but true. However, text has always been a worthwhile medium in which for me to communicate, so that's what I decided to do1. I then ran the letter by her, which put her to tears, and by a close friend, who was also moved by it. Moving people wasn't really my intention, but hey, whatever works. So I sent it off last night at 11PM EST, knowing mom and dad wouldn't read it until the morning.
I awaken to a phone call, from my father. Seeing as though I said in the email "please don't call me", this gave me quite a fright. However, checking my voicemail, it was just to find out my drivers lisense number for the FAFSA. I send it to him in an email, hoping that that will lead him to read the other, in my mind more important, email. He does.
However, I decide to sleep for three hours, shirking calculus. How can I think at a time like this! Ten minutes ago I awoke and checked my email, to find a reply. With apprehension I opened it, only to find complete acceptance and understanding. I don't think it could have gone any better.
So this is Amanda Robin Teager, signing off.
1The following is the complete text of the email I sent. I hope it helps somebody out somehow.
This is going to you and mom, Dad, though I'm only sending it to you. There is some stuff I've been wanting to tell you for a while, but have frankly been scared out of my wits to. It's not classes or anything, so don't worry about that. Those are fine (though yeah, C in Physics, but it'll be better next quarter).
I should probably just cut the pretense and say it. First, I'm Bisexual. I know you know what that means, so I won't define it. I'm also pretty sure you're cool with that.
The part I'm more nervous about is... I'm Transsexual. I just... I don't feel right in this body, as a male. Thinking about myself as a female feels... incredibly comfortable. Very "right". This is, to put it lightly, probably coming as a shock to you.. I've known for over a year now.. at least I've had a name for the feeling since then.
I'm sorry I'm sending you this in an email.. I'm awful at articulating my thoughts vocally, and this is really the best way for me to say it and say exactly what I mean to. I love you, both of you, so much. The main reason I've put this off, aside from fear of your reaction (which was probably foolish of me to put, I hope), was that of not wanting to burden the family any more than we already are.. we've had a rather tricky time as far as everything goes with our lives, and I didn't want to add a strange new variable to the mix.
This is why I'm online all the time... it's where I can really be me, be Amanda Robin Teager, instead of Justin. I'm still the kid you raised. Just... a daughter, not a son... it's so odd to say, I guess, to you.
Uncle David knows. I felt that if I was to tell anybody in the family, he would be a superb first choice, given circumstance. Most of my friends know, too... I'm sorry for keeping it from you all this time.
I'm going to be calling the Younkin Center once Spring quarter starts. They're the "success and councling" center. I have 10 therapy sessions "per year", wherever that starts, just by being a student here. They have a number of therapists who have expertiese in talking with Transsexuals and helping them out, and I want to do that. It's... a long road ahead of me, and I guess I'm asking if you're willing to support me.
I love you, both of you. And I will always be proud to be your child. Always.
If... you want to talk more about it, reply back. Phone is /probably/ not the best course of action.
~Amanda Robin Teager