I decided to start crafting a coming out letter. It has been a long time coming. I've read a lot about coming out to friends, family, children, coworkers, etc. Each is a unique audience. I wrote this first letter primarily to read to my pastor. If you could review and provide comments I would appreciate it. The one thing that I did not do in the letter, that so many other letters attempt to do is explain gender dysphoria or what transgender is or means. I consciously decided not to do that. First, if anyone has any questions I want them to approach me and ask. Second, what I've noticed in coming out letters, particularly ones that try to explain gender issues in a way that justifies transition, it is a slippery slope. In many letters, it is almost like the writer is giving the reader authority to weigh in or to disagree. So, I've tried to intentionally limit discussions of "Why" and "What I am". They can ask if they have questions and they can accept me. There is not a lot of middle ground here. Thank you for your help!
"There is something that only very few friends and family know about me. Something that I have struggled with since I was a very young child. I have gender dysphoria. I have had therapy and attended support groups off and on for over the last 28 years or so to seek understanding and to cope with this. Over the last six months I have started attending therapy and support groups on a regular basis to gain support, knowledge and acceptance. Over the past month I have started to be treated medically based on the recommendation of my therapist and doctor.
What does this mean? Over the next two to three years I will transition to living as a female. This will be an adjustment for everyone, particularly friends and loved ones who have always known me as Scott. There have been and will continue to be people who accept me unconditionally without any understanding. But I know there will be those who struggle with this, seeking some sort of logical argument or explanation prior to acceptance. I do not have a logical explanation for why I am this way or why I now feel that it is critical for me to live as a female after living as the gender that I was assigned at birth for 42 years.
Why now? I have prayed about this since I was a child. I have asked for many things and made many promises to the Lord. I have asked the Lord to change me, to help me cope and to accept me. Each time I've prayed I have felt a love that is strong and accepting. I am female in mind and in spirit, but male biologically. There a many people in this world who face serious challenges. It just so happens that this is the life challenge that I was meant to face. I was made this way for a reason. I don't completely understand why yet or fully appreciate or comprehend. But I do know and have known for years that the Lord made me and he accepts me for who I am. What has been the most difficult for me is that even though I am accepted by Jesus, I have never fully accepted myself. Though I still do not fully accept myself, transitioning to living as female is a step towards this self acceptance. It is a very painful step for many involved, yet it is a necessary step for me to emerge from the shadows and to live an open, healthy life.
I fully expect some anger, rejection directed towards me. No matter, I will always love those who have known me and supported me as Scott. However, for sanity sake I will step away and out of the lives of those who act out in destructive ways or are abusive. I will hope and pray that anyone who rejects me based on this will find the peace and joy that comes with acceptance. And my door will always be open to anyone who genuinely loves me and seeks understanding.
One more thing, many transgender individuals who have gender dysphoria transition to their perceived gender or they commit suicide. My hope is that I can help others avoid this pain, isolation and rejection by setting a positive example and helping create an environment of acceptance and understanding. For people who are transgender, there is a lot of confusion mostly due to lack of support, misinformation and / or rejection by friends, family or society in general. In some way, I hope that I can help and "pay forward" much of the love and support that I have received over the years to others in need.
In closing, if you have any questions about issues related to gender identity or gender dysphoria, please approach me and ask me those questions. I am looking forward to discussing as well as providing resources to those who genuinely seek understanding.
Thank you for your love and support."