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Best Parents Ever

November 18, 2009

My parents never cease to surprise me. They were so disappointed when I gradually cut my hair and started wearing “men’s” clothes: I had a really hard time doing those things because I knew they suffered. For a long time, my mom looked at me as if I had a terminal illness, except right before haircuts — then she couldn’t look at me at all. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined their reaction!

When my dad found my letter, he woke me up just to tell me that he loved me very much and that he’d deal with my mom. He showed her the letter today, and they both came to tell me that they had imagined many of the feelings I had written about, and that they just needed time to adjust. Neither of them feel ready to use my chosen name, but that’s fine by me; it would feel weird, anyway.

I’m partly relieved and partly wary — it’s hard to believe that they aren’t going to confront me at all. But I’m trying to wave those concerns away, because even if I do meet resistance in the future –when I start T, for instance– it’s useless to worry right now. In any case I know that I’m immensely privileged to have gotten such a warm response. I just wish it could be this way for everyone.

This whole experience goes to show that people’s reactions really can’t be predicted. I had read about cases like this, where open-minded parents respond badly or viceversa, but for me, the lesson only sank in through experience.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2009 9:53 pm

    Congrats, genderkid! I’m very very happy for you! Your journey has become a bit easier after this, I feel. I too wish that everyone’s case could be the same. This post gives me hope for my coming out to parents in future.
    Cheers! ^_^

  2. November 18, 2009 10:37 pm

    Glad to hear they responded so well! Congrats!

  3. November 19, 2009 1:38 am

    Mine supported me too. Surprising!
    It’s one of the fond things I remember about my Dad since he died in May.

  4. Andrew permalink
    November 19, 2009 2:47 am

    I won’t say I’m not jealous, but I am incredibly happy that it went so well for you.

    • joaquinjack permalink
      November 20, 2009 9:01 pm

      I’ll one up you and not use any double negatives by saying it out straight- I AM jealous! :P I’m actually really nervous about all of this, partiularly because my dad’s very Evangelical. I know that what I tell him isn’t going to mesh with his beliefs, and we’re going to be at odds because of it, but I’m not going to compromise and neither, I suspect, will he. Luckily, he’s very loving and he hasn’t been too preachy at me about other choices I’ve made lately, so I think he might be ready to ease up and let me make my own choices.

      • Andrew permalink
        November 23, 2009 8:22 pm

        I already came out to my parents.

        It didn’t go well.

  5. nome permalink
    November 19, 2009 2:49 am

    Well, congrats. :) Hopefully they’ll adjust nicely to accepting their son.

  6. November 19, 2009 6:40 am

    Wow. I’m impressed by your parents reaction! Congratulations!

  7. November 19, 2009 1:20 pm


  8. Ariel Silvera permalink
    November 20, 2009 9:31 am

    Great stuff! I’m happy for you :)

  9. November 23, 2009 1:14 am

    Awesome news!

  10. November 23, 2009 8:35 pm

    Ack, Andrew, I’m sorry your coming out didn’t go too well! Did you do it recently? Many parents seem to react badly at first, but then they calm down. In any case, I offer my sympathies.

  11. November 23, 2009 8:38 pm

    Thanks to all the well-wishers! And Firebolt, I’m glad I gave you a little bit of hope. That’s why I included my parents’ old negativity in this post: to show that, at least in my case, previous bad experiences don’t necessarily mean future bad reactions.

  12. Justin permalink
    November 27, 2009 2:32 pm

    Well good for you! You’re lucky to have pretty accepting parents.

    I’m about ready to talk to mine as well but i’m on the ledge between “it’ll turn out fine” and “might need to look for a place to live.” 0_0

    My mom was very supportive when she questioned my orientation (i told her i wasn’t going to limit myself to one gender or the other though i wasn’t LOOKING for anything at this point) but my dad is totally ignorant (meaning he ignores the thought/idea.) My dad and his family (minus my favorite aunt) are prejudice types – they make fun of, scoff at, etc anyone who isn’t white or straight (though my dad has cut down on that talk after I’VE cut him down a few pegs… really need to watch my temper.)

    I’m my dad’s “baby girl” and he hated it when i cut my hair (it’s medium length now – was very long – and looking to go shorter soon). BOTH get bothered when i buy/wear men’s clothing. I’ve pretty much decided that i’m going to talk to my close friends FIRST so i have a place to go if my parents react worse than expected….. I’m planning a weekend stay with one when i leave my “coming out” letter…..

    • genderkid permalink*
      November 27, 2009 3:50 pm

      My family also used to poke fun at queer people, but I think they just didn’t realize the consequences of their jokes — how they were hurting me personally, and the queer community as a whole. That doesn’t excuse their behaviour, but it helps me forgive them.

      Coming out to your friends first sounds smart — I thought about staying at a friend’s house the night after leaving the letter, but I knew I couldn’t stand the suspense of not knowing my parents’ reaction! That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good plan; it just wasn’t right for me.

      I really hope things go well for you, Justin! : )

  13. mirandanyc permalink
    November 29, 2009 12:29 am

    I’m glad this went well for you! It’s a big hurdle, I’m sure.

  14. joaquinjack permalink
    December 2, 2009 5:05 pm

    I totally came out to my dad last night. It went well.

    Thank you for inspiring me.

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