Tag Archives: Town

Coming Out to My Dad

I stood at the bottom of the attic steps, my fists clenched. Dad had just gotten off the phone with some client for his work, his home office was up there, but not in like a creepy way. The attic office was actually very nice. He fixed it up to look just like a second living room.

I had already backed out of it too many times

I knew I had to do it, I had already backed out of it too many times. What if Dad didn’t want his “precious little girl” to be different than everyone else in this God-forsaken town? Would he find me disgusting and sinful like my mother did? Here it goes…Deep breath in, deep breath out…

The stairs seemed to spin

I turned the doorknob, and slowly opened the door. I walked up the steps, but I swear it was the hardest thing I have done in my life, the stairs seemed to spin and I had to grip the railing so hard that my knuckles turned white.
“Dad?” I called up nervously, trying to keep my voice from cracking.
“Yes, Sweetie?”
“I have something I want to tell you, but I don’t want to talk about it after.” I looked away as he looked up at me from his desk. “Dad, I-I like girls…”

He gave me a big, reassuring smile

I was expecting a big explosion, but the reply was, “Em, you seem so upset, what does it matter? Who you like, I mean… As long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters to me,” he gave me a big, reassuring smile. Then he stood up and gave me a hug.
“Well, Mom doesn’t seem to feel the same way about it,” I said, burying my face into his shoulder.

You are always loved

“I will talk to her, but Emily,” he leaned down so that we were eye-level, “You just ignore the people who call you weird or pick on you for it. You are you, and you are perfect. Remember that you are always loved. We love you no matter what. Okay?”
“Okay. Thank you Dad, I love you.”
He hugged me tighter, “I love you too, Sweetheart.”

Of Dandelions and Eurekas

My family is very open-minded

I live in a bigoted country, one of the worst in Western Europe for LGBTQIA* people. This forced me to grow up in ignorance regarding the LGBT world. I used to think ‘fag’ would be an insult and that ‘transgender men’ were cisgender men who were cross dressers. My family is very open-minded and they never taught me so but unfortunateley, my parents are not that knowledgable of transgender issues. However, I soon learnt that fag wasn’t really an insult, yet I remained with my ideas about transgender men.

I really wanted to be a boy

I didn’t know I was a transgender boy, deep down. I didn’t experience dysphoria before going through adolescence since my dysphoria is direct to chest, hips, and all those things that teenage girls experience. Yet I really wanted to be a boy. Not because I thought it was ‘better’ but because I felt so. I used to blow on dandelions and when the seeds all flew away and I had to make a wish, I would wish to become a boy. I sometimes went to sleep wishing I’d wake up a boy.

I was normal

With adolescence came dysphoria and I started to feel very bad. I was really sad and thought of suicide too. I still was ignorant about transgender people. But when I was in middle school, in the second year (twelve years old), I got in this group against homophobia. This brought me into the community, even if I didn’t identify as gay. I heard about FtMs and I googled them. I swear, I don’t know why didn’t I shout: “Eureka!” out loud. It really was a eureka moment as I discovered something I had being looking for since I was a young boy. It immediately fit. I understood, then, who I was, that I was normal. That other people were like me.

But I also heard horrible stories. I asked myself: “do I really want to live that life?” I wondered if by any chance I could just be a tomboy. But I couldn’t, I really couldn’t. I technically had already “came out”, crying that I wanted to be a boy, not understanding that I already was.

My acceptance was easy

I have now answered myself that question: “yes, I do want to. And I want to make it easier for who’ll experience this after me”. My acceptance was easy, or so it seems.

But really, my acceptance was when I stated that I was different from tomboys. My acceptance was when I asked my mother why couldn’t I have been a boy. You surely have heard stories that seem like mine, and mine surely is just one of the many. But I still wanted to share it.

And I’d like to add, friends accepted me. There’s hope in bigoted countries, too.

Discovering Me

In year 8, I was in French and sitting next to one of my friends. I just thought of asking him out. I, a bit stupidly, did and he freaked out. I was also freaking out and I started reconsidering my sexuality. I just always assumed I was straight and was a bit scared. All the boys in my year didn’t seem approving of homosexuals as they always made sly jokes about them. In year 9, I finally realised that I was bi. I told some of friends but I tried to be discreet as I was unsure of the reactions. By the end of the week, everyone knew. They were all approving. I was slightly surprised but also relieved. Now in year 10, I’ve had my first girlfriend but still searching for the right guy. I’m only one of two out non-heterosexual people in my year so my chances seem small, unfortunately.

Coming To Terms With Being Me

I had always felt different. It’s such a cliché, I know, but I just KNEW there was something staring me right in the face – I just didn’t know what I was looking for. I was upset a lot of the time for a reason I didn’t understand, but now I can see how blindingly obvious it was: I wasn’t a girl, but everyone kept calling me one.

I felt so wrong and alone.

PE was always difficult. I would loathe every second of the girls’ changing rooms, always leaving them in a bad mood or with tears brimming. The worst part about it was that no one, not even me, understood. We’re raised in binaries, as either male or female depending on what you were born with, and this is reinforced so heavily in our society that transgender or gender variant youth can feel so cut-off and isolated from the rest of the world. I hated my long hair. I hated the feminine school uniform trousers. I hated how people called me “she” or “dear” or “young lady”. I felt so wrong and alone.

It was probably in Year 9 when I first typed “I feel like a boy” into a search engine, and the results confused me. There was a whole universe of genders out there that I’d never heard of. I thought you could only be a girl or a boy, and that for me to be a boy, I had to like girls (which I didn’t!) – I couldn’t have been more wrong. I learnt about non-binary, two-spirit, genderfluid, to name but a few, and I also learnt that to be transgender there is no requirement for your sexuality. So, a person of any gender can have any sexuality. It was an eye-opening experience.

I was so desperate for me to make my mind up

I spent a lot of time after my internet discoveries thinking. I would go to secluded places at school and think. Think about the label I should use for my gender, about the label I should use for my sexuality. I was in a phase of confusion, which was honestly one of the most agonising times of my life. I hated seeing everyone so happy with their identity around me, so happy to be divided into male or female, when I was so desperate for me to make my mind up about this thing that’s deemed so important in our culture. I’d wake up one day and announce: “I’m a boy! I’m definitely male – I’ve finally decided!” only to then realise within a few hours that I was in fact genderless again, or sometimes even female. I would venture to YouTube and watch trans videos which definitely helped, but it drained me: they all seemed so sure in themselves, talking about how they’d always played with boys and action figures. Although I considered myself masculine, I didn’t really do those things, and that seemed to contradict what I was feeling at the time.

I came out to my parents as being confused about my gender, and to my luck, they were 100% accepting. We tried different names and pronouns at home – one day I was Liam, the next I was Phoenix – but nothing quite felt right and this made me more confused. “They” pronouns made me feel awkward, and “he” pronouns felt sort of forced.

I just had to accept that my identity would take time

This continued for a long time and it took me equally as long to realise: I was trying too hard to label myself. I was forcing feelings and thoughts before allowing them to surface naturally, and I was smothering my femininity because I felt it contradicted the male identity I wanted to have. I finally realised that I just had to accept that my identity would take time and I slowly began to embrace every part of myself. I accepted that I was sometimes feminine, sometimes masculine, and although I wasn’t happy about it, I accepted that I might always be genderfluid. And that’s okay.

It’s true what they say: things do get better. Feelings take time to understand. It was the summer of 2014 when I came out publicly after years of confusion and waiting for my feelings to settle – and since then, I haven’t looked back. I waited until I was certain that this was what I wanted, and coming out over the summer was just perfect for me. Some days I’m feminine, other days I’m masculine, and I like men – but I am male. This is me, and although it took a while to get here, I’ve finally found myself.

Take your time

So, if there’s any moral to learn from my story, I guess it would be this: take your time. Don’t rush so much to give yourself a label, because sometimes, it takes feelings a while to settle, and are often far too complicated to define by a single word. But, most important of all: don’t try to suppress parts of yourself because society dictates that you should feel a certain way. This is something I wish I’d realised soon.

Now that I’ve learnt this, I am me, and I couldn’t be happier.

A Long Wait

Coming out was a very natural process for me – everyone already knew I wanted to be a boy. I’d been telling my mum so for years. We just didn’t think there was anything to be done about it.

Then, by chance, I saw a Channel 4 documentary called The Boy Who Was Born A Girl. I saw a boy my own age having testosterone injections and shopping for packers. I sat and watched in awe until my mum came home and I started sobbing uncontrollably. I told her, “You need to watch this. That’s me. That’s what I want.”

What came next, that was the hard part.

So the coming out was easy . What came next, that was the hard part. First I went to my GP, then to the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. Then to a private psychiatrist. Then back to CAMHS. Then I went to the only Gender Identity Clinic for under-18s in the country. I went to an endocrinologist. I spent a year taking monthly injections to block my natural sex hormones and I still felt like my blood was poison. I thought I would die if I didn’t get testosterone; I said so. But I still didn’t get it, and somehow I didn’t die.

When I hit eighteen, I was finally referred to an adult GIC willing to prescribe testosterone. After years of yearning and impotent rage at the system and outright begging for hormones I urgently needed, I got my wish.

That sense of community is a wonderful feeling.

I’ve been on testosterone for over a year now. The changes are pretty subtle, but I’ve never been happier with my body or how I’m perceived by others. I’ve stopped measuring myself against impossible standards of masculinity. I’m taking some time to think about surgery – if, when, and how I want it done. I’ve met loads of other trans people, and that sense of community is a wonderful feeling.

It’s been a long journey, and it’s not really over, but I’m finally able to enjoy it.

I had only ever heard ‘bisexual’ in a negative context

I realised I wasn’t completely like my other female friends when I was 10, just before starting secondary school. My eyes were always drawn to women, and I was confused.

I had always gone to an all-girls Christian school and although my parents were really accepting of gay people, they didn’t talk about it. So I never fully understood different types of sexuality.

Part of me hated myself for my feelings. I pushed them to the back of my mind and continued life as normal.

It felt better knowing that there were other people like me

When I was 13 I came across a definition of the term lesbian on the internet and read a few personal stories. I decided that I must be a lesbian. I didn’t tell anyone, but part of me felt better knowing that there were other people like me.

I really hated myself

But I still hadn’t got to the heart of it. I was still really confused, because I realised that I still liked boys even though I liked girls better. I had rarely heard the word ‘bisexual’, and only ever with a negative context: ‘bisexuals are sluts”, ‘bisexuals are greedy’ and ‘bisexuals need to make up their mind’.  Hearing these things felt horrible and was eating away at me inside.

Then one day, when I was about 15, I was taking a long bath and thinking. What if bisexuals aren’t horrible, what if I actually am a bisexual, am I okay with that? And I was.

The moment I said to myself out loud, ‘I am a bisexual’, was the happiest I have ever been.

 

Your sexuality doesn’t define you

When I was 17, I was in higher education and I realised that my focus on female
teachers and a few fellow students was indeed infatuation and desire.
All it took was a university club night that was full of lesbians for everything to click into place. My friend who I went there with turned out to be just a clubbing friend and when I came out she lost interest me. But never mind, my world had opened and for a year I had a secret night life agenda where I met some great and carefree lesbians, who gave me the courage to come out.

She would support me through whatever I needed

The most difficult thing to get my head around was telling my mother – we were really close and I didn’t want this to be a problem or affect how close she was to me. She laughed when I told her, as we sat having a coffee. I think she was shocked, but then she took my hand and told me it didn’t matter and that she would support me through whatever I needed.

Luckily, we are still as close as we were and she loves telling people about me, leaving my sexuality as a last detail because, why do you need to describe someone’s sexuality when telling another person about their life, interests and successes? It’s definitely not how I define myself. Yes I have a partner, she is also female, but what about the fact that I’m a teacher, I’ve spent the last ten years travelling, learning languages and doing the things I love. Surely that defines me more?

Around my mid-twenties I hit a hard patch

Maybe it doesn’t and don’t get me wrong, I’m an out and proud lesbian. People ask so I tell them I’ve never dated a guy and I’ve always been attracted to girls. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable saying stuff like that, now that I’m nearly 30 and still having to bring it up in conversation with my employer or a new colleague. In fact, around about my mid-twenties I hit a hard patch where I felt myself going red when it came up in conversation. This was so different from when I was 18. I would just say it when I met people and have a ‘just deal with it’ chip on my shoulder. But now, successful in my life, feeling like being gay has had very little impact on the rest of my life, I see the things I’ve achieved in my life as equally important.

Yes, I have achieved telling my best friends, at the time, a group of 8 popular, very attractive heterosexual 18 year old girls. Luckily, my fears that they would shun me or think I was attracted to them were all proved to be wrong. They are still my best friends. But aside from that I’ve also just led a normal life, the same way a straight person would hope to. I went to university, I’ve travelled and lived abroad for the past 6 years, I have had a few long term relationships, I’ve worked my way up the career ladder, I’ve had fun. It’s all possible.

Your sexuality doesn’t define you

If you’re comfortable with yourself and let others see that your sexuality doesn’t define you, that it’s just an extra bit of information on a need-to-know bases, like if you like sugar in your coffee, then others will relax and see you for a whole person and not just a gay one. If someone is weird with you after you’ve mentioned it, take it as their own personal issues. You’ve done nothing wrong. You are no more intimidating than the mail man who just asked you to sign for a package. Who knows, maybe he was gay too. Who cares! The only person who needs to know about what you do behind closed doors is your significant other half.

I’m two and half years into my relationship and we plan to start a family in 2016. Be strong and true to yourself and you can have the life you always dreamt of.

I went from depressed and suicidal to accepted and open in a few short years.

I realized that I was at least somewhat gay aged five, when I got a crush on my female teacher. She was about fifty and was covered in wrinkles, but I thought that she was beautiful and I was obsessed with her. I wrote her name in my notebooks, I thought about her all day, I smiled whenever I was in her presence. It didn’t take me long to search for ‘girl crushes’ on the internet and find out what I thought I was – bisexual.

They called me in to lecture me about how I was greedy and disgusting

Aged eleven, I decided to come out to my best friends.
“Please, don’t tell anyone else, I don’t think people will be very nice…”
Twenty minutes later, insults were spilling out at me all through the corridors. “Faggot.” “Carpet muncher.” “Lesbo.”
It only took another hour for my House Office to find out, and they called me in to lecture me about how I was greedy and disgusting, and how I deserved to be bullied for my sexuality. It took a week before I tried to kill myself for the first time.

Over the two years after that, the bullying intensified. I lost many friends, and every day I was treated horribly – followed home, beaten up, even sent death threats, all for being gay. Privately, though, it began to affect me less. At thirteen, I got my first girlfriend. We lasted over a year, and our relationship gave me a lot of joy. While I did try to kill myself again, the attempts grew less frequent and I had my last one aged fourteen.

Some of my family were not accepting, but other members were loving

Now, at fifteen, I’m okay. Since a whole bunch of other girls have come out, people have been forced to be more accepting, the teachers who picked on me aged eleven have left the school. Some of my family were not accepting, but other members were loving and accepted me. I’ve also had another couple of girlfriends.

I’m okay. You will be too, I promise.

What I did in the morning was old news by the afternoon

In the town where I grew up, everybody knew everybody. You couldn’t do something in the morning without the whole town knowing about it by the afternoon. There were no support groups, youth clubs, nowhere I could go to receive the message “who I am is ok”. I need you to know that. Who you are is ok.

I’ve been there

Life is messy. Things don’t always work out the way you planned. Maybe you are learning things about yourself, and you don’t know how to handle it. Maybe it’s painful. You might not have anyone to support you, or you might be too afraid to ask for help because once you say something out loud it becomes real and you have to deal with it. I’ve been there.

Do things that make you happy

Friends and family might be trying to tell you you’re not ok. If they are, I’m sorry- I know how much that hurts. But don’t let hatred ruin your heart. Try to live your life as openly and honestly as possible. Do things that make you happy right now.

Love yourself

Self love and acceptance is one of the most important things, it has the power to change your life for the better. Meet new people, do the things you have always wanted to do -and love yourself. That is the most important thing.

Coming out doesn’t need to be a big deal

“Really?! I mean that’s cool and all, I just didn’t expect it. I’m glad you told me though.” That was the first reaction I got. I suppose it was a bit of a shock for them. I only asked them if I could tell them something and suddenly, whoomph, it’s all out there.

But they were supportive about it and that’s all that really mattered to me. My heart started beating REALLY fast after saying those words, and my palms got all sweaty but I was just nervous, I think. Not really scared.

It was a relief more than anything really. I could finally talk to someone about crushes and life that I might not have been able to talk about otherwise.

After that though, my sexuality – as well as my romantic attraction – changed definition and it was a LOT harder to, well, spit it out. So, now when I just say it I just slip it into normal conversation. Then if they ask, I’ll say it. For example:

FRIEND: WOW did you see that guy just then?
ME: yeah, what about him?
FRIEND: he was like, sooo hot!
ME: yeah he was attractive, I suppose, I’m more into girls myself really.

And then it was the whole “Oh really? Oh that’s cool”

And then the whole “So do you have a crush on anyone? Hmm?” (I go to an all girls school, which is… ‘nice’… if you get my drift.)

But really I suppose my point is, I never made a fuss about it. I never saw it as something to make a fuss about. It’s love, right? Or the lack thereof, in some people’s cases (asexuals/aromantics – in case you wanted to know).

And obviously, if you wanna tell your whole school and throw a huge party for it, go for it! I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t. Do whatever you want. Likewise if you only want to tell your best friend.

But don’t be afraid. There’s always someone – even if you don’t think there is – who cares about you and everything that comes along in the package of you. And most of the time more than one person at that.

But just be prepared to hear that “Really?!”