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The Transition of Others

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As the saying goes, "As one transitions, those around them transition as well." I am reminded of this fairly frequently, but more-so this week. My mom and sister have been struggling with my transition.

My mother and sister still live in the Northwest Ohio area. I told them of my transition and being transgender at different times. I came out to my sister back in April 2014. I came out to my mom later that year. I have struggled with my gender identity my whole life. My mom was vaguely aware of this struggle in my early years. Eventually, I was put in therapy when I was 14 years old to address what was going on with me. My parents really did not know why I was dressing and going out in public. They thought I was acting out. That I was engaging in risky behavior. But they did not understand or know what it was. I did not know what it was either.

After a year or so of therapy, my therapy ended and was considered "successful". Successful in helping me repress my true gender identity and successful in fooling everyone that I was "normal". Whatever "normal" is. So fast forward 30 years. My father passed away a year and a half ago. My mom is struggling with his death and all of the ramifications of that. And she is struggling with my transition. Not just coming to terms with it. But also trying to understand how this could happen. Naturally as a concerned parent, she is looking back trying to understand how she missed this. She is also trying to fill in her history with the story of my experience.

This past week, she has struggled with the coming "death" of my male gender and what that means to her.  Getting used to having a new daughter and no longer a son. Does she call me by my female name? Or my male name? I told her to call me whatever she felt comfortable calling me. That it was okay and natural and that she needed time to get used to this. My hope is that eventually it will be difficult to call me her son. But I understand that to her, I am her only boy. She was concerned that I would demand that she refer to me as a daughter and that it was going to take her time getting used to it. I told her that as long as someone's intentions were not malicious that I wouldn't be upset if someone misgendered me or forgot to call me by my female name.

My sister is having the same difficulty with having a sister versus brother. The sense of loss is very real. Even though I am the same person, in this very bigendered world, we wrap our identities in our gender roles. Those around us interact based on how we present ourselves and are perceived. This is more-so the case in a close knit family. And when we no longer act or present in a way that represents our gender roles since birth, this is considered an act of rebellion, an affront to  "normal" people who consider this "abnormal". How people deal with this, depends partly on them and their relationship with me.

Regardless, my expectations are the same. I expect to be treated with respect and expect to be accepted without understanding. My word taken at face value. Yet, I will cut everyone some slack. My transition will take time for people to adjust to. Some more than others. I have been struggling with my gender identity for 40 years. If it takes people some time to adjust and get used to it, not having that experience, it is totally understandable.

Everyone take care. I hope that everyone has had a wonderful week.

Love,

Lisa

 

 


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Posted

Dear Lisa,

In your photos and writing I see and hear a sweet woman, who is considerate and kind, patient and yet steadfast. Thank you for this, your most recent post. 

All aspects of being TG and letting others know is hard. Harder than it should be, I think. After all we are the same people at our core that we were. So if they loved us before and now learn how deeply we need to express this side of ourselves, why oh why is it such a trauma for them? I suppose part is a worry that we will hurt ourselves either physically or in spirit. And, of course, there is a concern about how our gender will affect others feelings. 

Sounds to me like you're handling it very well. You're a beautiful example for all of us.

Hugs,

Emma

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Hiya Lisa. You Rock Sweetheart. You certainly Know how to Dress Beautifully, and the name " Lovely Lisa " absolutely suits You. Lisa, I Am 54 Year's Old, and I have been MtoF Transitioning for almost 8 1/2 Month's now, and I know that I have been the Happiest and Most Content, that I have ever been in My life, since I started Transitioning. Darling Girl, Respect is the very least that You deserve. My attitude, is, if other People do Not like the way I am, that is their problem. One of the Nurses, at Our Doctor's Surgery, called Caroline, said to Me about four week's ago, that MtoF Transitioning, is one of the hardest thing's to do. She has the utmost respect and carecare for those of Us who are Transitioning. She also said, that when All is said and done, We only want to be on the Outside, who We have Always been on the inside. Now that Lovely Nurse, has got a Heart of Gold, and She is so Kind and Understanding. She has also over the year's, done a lot of research on the "Trans" world, so that She "Can" understand it. Good on Her. Lovely Lisa, wouldn't it be Great, if more People were like My Friend Caroline. Lisa, I hope Your Family comes round. If not, You have a whole Family of us Trans-Girl's, and Trans-Male's, too, right here at TGGuide. I Am lucky, My Very Best and Oldest Friend has stuck by Me, My Other Good Friend has stuck by Me, and I have an awful lot of Friend's, who are sticking by Me. Hopefully Lisa, Your "True" Friend's Will stick by You. Lovely Lisa, You keep going Honey, and Dressing as Beautifully as You do, You will be fine. Give Your Family some more time, to see if They do come round. I hope They Will. Lovely Lisa, Good Health, Good Luck, Speak Soon, Keep Smiling, Take Care, And My Very Best Wishes. Love and Hugs, Stephanie. xx 

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Thank you so much ladies. I did visit with my mom and sister in Ohio after I wrote this and we talked for several hours. I think that they are much better. I think that everyone wants to be able to categorize or describe something in concrete ways, leaving no room for gray areas. My mom and sister are certainly not like that. However there are others who are. I cannot explain to them why I am like this, or how me being transgender came to be. There are a lot of theories and explanations out there. But no one really knows, why I am like this. And no one knows better than I, who I am. That is a fact. This is who I am. It is a part of me the same way that a limb is on a body. Further, I am female, regardless of what people say, because again, that is who I am. And no one know better than I do who I am, what I need to live and survive.

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