Trans*date 2014.06.03: Talking to Parents

Yesterday, I called my mom to talk to her about the next steps I’ll be taking in transition.  I thought for a few rings that it would go to voicemail and I was relieved.  Then she picked up.  She sounded tired and, for a moment, I wavered but then launched into the update I wanted to give her.

I told her that I’d decided to take testosterone, that chest surgery wasn’t imminent but a definite possibility and that I wanted to legally change my name.

That last one is the one I was most nervous about.  I told her that I didn’t hate my name – the name she created for me – but that it didn’t describe me anymore, it didn’t fit.  I told her my new name, a name that will have the same initials and same nickname.

She was quiet, she took deep breaths.  I could tell she was feeling a lot of emotions.  She told me that there was a lot going on right now with her and my dad (health stuff, estate stuff for my dad’s sister, etc.) and that she needed to take some time to think about all this.

She told me that all this change would take time to get used to, that she would always think of me as her daughter. That’s kind of a standard response for parents of trans kids, I think.  It didn’t offend me.  I told her that I wasn’t interested in rewriting my history.  She said she was glad because she wasn’t going to tear up pictures of me as a girl.  Good thing, they’re a part of my life and I was damned cute.

What I said to her and what I came to realize as we were talking is that I don’t want to rewrite my past, I want to write a different future.  A name change requires some editing in terms of birth certificates and the like, but I don’t want to erase my time as a girl/woman.  Those are as much a part of who I am as being a boy/man.  I am all these things.

She told me that she wanted my dad to call me, so he could talk to me directly and ask any questions he had.  Later she emailed me and said that Dad didn’t seem to want to talk about what was happening with me (I don’t know that this means he’s negative about it, but he’s overwhelmed taking care of stuff for his sister’s estate).  She also said that she knows this is an important time in my journey and that they appreciate how sweet and generous I’ve been with them about the changes want them to acknowledge and support.  And she told me that they would support whatever I did.

So that happened.  I think it went as well as it could given the gravity of the changes I’m describing.  I also think I’m going to give them both time to absorb and process before trying to talk about it more.

And while they are absorbing and processing, I’ve got an appointment on Thursday to talk to my NP about testosterone.  My wife is coming with me.  Once we know how that’s all going to go, I need to talk more to my wife about my name change and think about when to begin that process.  I have a spreadsheet with information on how to change my name legally in this state and all the other steps I have to take, and money I have to spend, to get my necessary documentation changed.

It’s happening people, it’s really happening and I’m starting to get really excited.

 

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