What follows is the story of how I came out as a transsexual to my father.
The full story starts in January 2002, but I'll pick it up on June 13, 2002. I am 21, 40 pounds overweight, extremely depressed, and convinced my life was going to end early1.
I knew my father was going on a business trip on June 13th, and that was my target date to deliver the letter, right before he left with a note to not open it until he got to the airport. With the letter I also gave him a most excellent book entitled True Selves, which explains what the deal is with being a transsexual (I HIGHLY reccomend this book).
I put my letter, folded in the front flap of the book and wrapped the parcel in a page from the sunday comics to disguise the whole thing. At about 02:30 Thursday (the 13th) morning I worked up the courage to put the thing on my father's luggage in the kitchen. (I even took a photograph of it as a memory.) I slowly worked my way upstairs as to not wake my father from his slumber too early and laid in bed.
It needs pointing out that it is impossible to sleep after making a life altering decision. I sat in bed until 05:30 shaking while worst case scenarios ran through my head: Will he open it early and kick me out? Will he open it up early and kill me?!?
At 05:30 my fate was sealed as the house began to wake up, and, surprisingly, my heart sank: MY FATHER'S GIRLFRIEND WAS GOING WITH HIM! THAT was not in the plan! She was going to take it SO poorly and I didn't need her negatively influencing my father.
Well, I am thankful to say that nothing bad happened that morning (aside from JoAnne going with father). They both got off to the airport and from what I hear father didn't open the thing until he was at the ticket counter on the way home. He got home on Sunday, but by that time I already had two new pink tourmaline (for my birthmonth, October) earrings. On the 16th we chatted briefly. Yes he saw the note, Yes he saw the book, Yes he freaked out at the ticket counter, No he didn't read the book because of his girlfriend.
That was the day I broke my father's heart. He had expected me to grow up just like him, to have children and to carry on the family line. I had zero interest in freezing sperm so I will never have any children to carry on the family name. Sorry father, but it wasn't meant to be.
It wasn't until late July that he read the entire book and he told me that he would support me no matter what. Today is March 6, 2004 and his unwavering support continues to this day. He hasn't used my old name or the old pronouns in months. Indeed all of my family (sans my mother, who I haven't seen in many years) have been supportive.
1: While I hadn't seriously contemplated suicide, the depression was so great that thoughts of "what would it be like if I wasn't here" were creeping in.
2: My letter is as follows:
This book is my way of saying "I need help." Please read it in its entirety and feel free to ask any questions you want. I will answer ANY questions and I do mean any - let your need for knowledge prevail over modesty.
Additionally, this book is not meant to be a complete transcription of my life and experiences, but rather an introduction to the subject - to let you know that gender identity disorder and transexuality (sic) aren't some freak happening. It is a real condition and is treatable.
I have the name and telephone number of a therapist in Fairport who has over 15 years experience with gender conditions. I would very much appreciate an appointment with her to get a "professional" diagnosis and get started with treatment.
I'm telling you this now because I'm tired of living in secret.
The female name I have chosen for myself is "Lisa Marie" (first, middle).
n.b: I had debated for a long while about posting this. But, as I say above: I am SICK of hiding. I'm a transsexual and I don't care if the world knows it.