Telling the truth…

I told my youngest daughter, R! I told her today, while we were out on errands. I told her and she took it so well I am left wondering why I thought it was such a huge thing in the first place. I told her and she still loves me, she said that it doesn’t change anything for her! I am really just overwhelmed! She took things so much better than almost everyone else, aside from Martin. I followed A Morgan’s example and showed my daughter photos of me as Beth, I think this helped her to process everything.

(Thank you all for your help on this! Avril and Daughter M, Leslie Ann and all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for all your encouragement and suggestions! I owe you all so much.)

I was able to tell her all the things I have been wanting to tell her, that I wasn’t happy about keeping this secret, that I worried over how to tell her, that I loved her enough to trust her with this. I had a letter for her prepared, to either read to her or have her read, depending on the situation. But I didn’t have to use the letter, I told her as I was driving and she was great! I gave her the letter after, something to keep as a reminder that day she found out that her Dad is a woman.

I asked her for the letter, so I can post it here. In case anyone wants an example of how to tell your child you are transgender. I am not saying it is great, or even correct.  I am saying there are so few examples that even my letter is better than nothing:

R,

You aren’t in trouble, no one here is sick, your Mom and I aren’t having marital problems, the world is still spinning and no, you aren’t getting a pony. I want to share a secret with you, something only three people on the entire planet know. Before those three knew, I carried this secret alone for my entire life, which is 45 years of hiding, of living in fear.

Before I tell you, I want you to understand a few things. First and foremost, I love you as only a father can love a daughter. You mean the world to me and I don’t want that to change, though I accept that some things may change. I will always love you, nothing you say or do will change that. You will always and forever be my daughter. Second, I didn’t choose this, it was determined for me at birth. 

I have known since I was very young that something was wrong, that I felt wrong. As a child I knew that I was much more like the girls than they boys and it was very confusing. It took many years of denial and trying to be a “guy” to finally realize that what I am is transgender. As a teenager, I thought I might be gay, but that wasn’t quite right. Then in my early 20’s I thought I may be a cross dresser, but that word also felt wrong to me. It only described a man dressing in womens clothes, not a woman in a mans body, as I am. I am planning on transitioning, changing this person into more of a woman, with hormone treatments and feminization surgeries.

You are probably wondering how this truth I am giving you is going to change things. Well, this secret is still for now, a secret. I am not sharing this with others, our family and friends, my work, cannot know who I am, not right now. I understand you may need to talk about it, so if you do I would like for you to talk it over with me, your mom or Martin. I’m sorry, but it’s not a secret for finding out if a friend is trustworthy. This also means that you will see me a bit differently. But inside I am the same person you have always known. I cry easily at sad movies, or tv shows. I will still share the same love of musicals; we can still watch “Bye Bye Birdie” together. Only now, you will understand that I identify more with Kim than Hugo. We can still have breakfast together, and you can still sit on my lap so I can tickle you. Those things that matter, they haven’t changed.

In case you were wondering, I have a name appropriate to my gender, it is Elizabeth or Beth. I don’t care what you call me, or what pronouns you use. “He” or “She” doesn’t matter to me, you call me whatever you feel comfortable with. It’s bound to be confusing, I still have to dress a certain way for work and for going out, for now. In the end, I just want you to remember that no matter what, I love you.

5 thoughts on “Telling the truth…

  1. Thank you Leslie Ann! It has been, it was so much worse in my head. I am so lucky to be accepted as much as I have been. I know that many are not and it's such a terrible thing. I still haven't told anyone outside my immediate family. My mother, step-father and brothers don't know. I am almost certain I will sadly lose one of those brothers, but who knows, perhaps I will get lucky.
    My wife was probably not overjoyed that I told our daughter, but she supported my need to do it in the end. No real fallout, again, very lucky I know.

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  2. I'm a bit late catching up with all this as we have been away but well done. I'm glad we could help even if it was just in a small way. I am so glad that it all went well and by the way, your letter is amazing. Your conversation with your daughter was started in almost exactly the same way as the one we had with M except for the pony bit – we should have said that as M wants one too! 😉 M also has to keep it as a secret until mid next year when Lucy is full time and we do involve her in conversations and she really is not fazed by it all at all and actually gets irritated if we ask her too often if she is ok. She has also read my blog and enjoyed it which is amazing.

    I hope your wife will come round in time. It is hard being on the other side and even though I consider myself very accepting there are times I am a bit taken back by the whole situation and the enormity of Lucy's transition (not in a bad way, just a “oh wow” way). Does your wife belong to any of the partner support groups? There is a great one on Facebook which I belong to. Sometimes it helps talking to other wives/partners but also makes you realise that some people are suffering far worse.

    Avril x

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  3. I am glad you were able to get away and enjoy yourselves 🙂 You and your daughter helped in a very real and large way. My wife will come around, she is slow to change but eventually she will embrace the idea I think. Once she sees that I am not changing on the inside, that I am still the person she loves. I have hope, and I cling to it. It is such a big thing, sometimes I worry of the damage I might be doing. Or that I am not supposed to be happy, that it's selfish. I don't think my wife would want to join a support group, I will mention it, but I think that her joining something like that would make it real for her or something. I just get the sense that she is happier ignoring what is happening. I could be wrong so I will mention it.

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  4. It is always there if she changes her mind at any time.

    I also don't think you are being selfish. Lucy is very similar to you where for many years she has hidden everything away and beating herself up about what impact it would have on everyone else. She has thought about every last person and even the people that are not key in our lives and this is why she has been later in taking the steps to transition. At the end of the day everyone gets on with their lives without considering the impact on anyone else of every decision they make. Now it is your time to be you.

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