Coming Out to the Family -or- The Best Weekend Ever - Part 4
I can't believe I forgot to say this, but in the talk before I saw my uncle, my mother said something amazsing to me. After 20 years of butting heads about my transition, she told me "I'm glad you look like me, because you'll be a pretty girl."
That was the sweetest nicest thing she's said about my transition ever. It blew me away when she said it. Now I hope I can live up to that responsibility. I'm not the best looking woman in the world, but I do the best with what I have. And half of it came from her. :)
She also wants pictures. I'm in talks with a friend who does professional pics to see what we can do. I need to EMail her tonight.
But back to our story. I'd tried to send out 20 letters, but Facebook marked them as spam. I sent out another 4 after finding a way around the spam block, for a total of 20 letters on both sides of my family. I kept my fingers crossed.
I woke up Friday morning, and dreaded checking my EMail. But check it I did.
Years ago, I'd been beaten up by a distant cousin for not being Man Enough for him. Or even Mexican enough. That coupled with all the horror stories of coming out to families from the transgender people I've befriended or worked with made me believe that had I ever come out, things would be rocky at best, or violent at worst, if I ever came out.
Holy cow, was I ever wrong.
I did not expect the complete and total outpouring of support. I've not had a single negative comment in the bunch. I'm part of a huge close knit family, and it was humbling to realize these people, who hadn't seen me in so long, were not just accepting of my change, but welcoming me back. A prodigal daughter returning to the fold.
I answered as many of the messages as I could, and went to lunch with Steph. I'd come down to Texas without any non-neutral clothes. I hadn't figured I'd be coming out to the family, and I wasn't looking for work this time, so I didn't have any nicer clothes. Steph took one look at what I was wearing (jeans, sneakers, and a grey pull over women's top) and scowled. Her daughter Emily said "You're wearing a uniform. Everytime I think of you, you're wearing that." And it's true. I always dressed down for the folks.
"You have all those tops I gave you, try one of those." So I did...I won't ever need to dress down again. So I put it on, and it was a bit form hugging. Emily just giggled: "She has curves now!"
Indeed. Indeed I do. :)
After lunch, I came home, and worked on replying to all the letters. I considered taking off my top and putting the grey one on...but,...why? Thiere's no need to hide anything or play it down. Plus, it showed off my boobs nicely. So I kept it on.
Dad finally came out of his room to get readyh for work. We talked for a bit, before he brought up the inevitable: "So, I've heard you've started coming out to the family. I'm proud of you, son. I'm really proud of you." What followed was another (much shorter since he was late for work) heart to heart, where he told me that he was so happy for theperson I ended up becoming over the years. And finally he said "Now I want you to be a strong and confident woman."
I saw him off and went back to the computer. I saw more responses, more welcomes, more love, more phone calls...
...and I cried. I cried for almost an hour straight.
I love you. The family who welcomed me back. The friends who supported me. I've never felt so much love in my life and I hope I can live up to it.
Postscript: One more thing for the Awesome Weekend. I found JD's phone number a few weeks ago, after fifteen years of searching. I found several of her numbers in fact. JD was one of the girls who made me into the woman I am today, but I lost her when we both moved at the same time under emergency situations. After two strikes where the phone number was disconnected, the third number clicked through, but went to a voice mail where I heard her voice for the first time in years. Two calls went unanswered, and so did a third. Ten minutes after the third, my phone rang. It was her. :) We'll be talking soon. For the second time in almost fifteen years.