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location:  Transition  >  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)  >  Family


1. How/when did you tell your parents?
2. How do your parents refer to you now - have they made the adjustment completely and now they refer to you as their son?
3. Do your parents/family still keep pictures up of you as a girl?



1. How/when did you tell your parents?
I told my parents I was having trans feelings in the summer of 2001, about a year after seriously considering my options of medically transitioning. I told them to go to my website (a slightly different version than what is here now), which at the time I was using more as a blog to write about my feelings of being trans and possibly wanting to transition. In retrospect, telling them to go to my website probably wasnít the best way to come out to them. I wish I had written a letter explaining myself instead. However, after they visited my website, an email exchange began in which many hurtful things were said, many of which I will never forget. Perhaps if I had written a personal ďcoming outĒ letter to my parents, things would have been different. Perhaps not. Still, I knew that I could not tell them in person, mostly because of my own insecurities and my familyís personal parent/child dynamics. Iím sure some trans people choose to tell their parents in person, but that was not an option for me.


2. How do your parents refer to you now - have they made the adjustment completely and now they refer to you as their son?
Both of my parents refer to me by Ethan and "him" now, at least in my presence; I guess I'll never know what they do when it's just the two of them - perhaps I'll ask one day, but for now I don't think I'm ready for the answer. My dad 110% of the time refers to me and treats me like his son...it's very different than the way he treated me as a daughter. My mom even noticed it...she claims he just didn't know how to relate to a girl. Which is interesting, because when I first came out as trans to them, he's the one that said the most hurtful things and said he never wanted to know about it and that I would ALWAYS be his daughter, etc. He's been my biggest ally since coming around. The initial name/pronoun switch was VERY rough, and understandably so. My dad never makes a mistake with the name, and it has been quite a while since my mom has made a mistake. To help them along, basically all I did was encourage them to ask me questions and take their time with it. I always say that it took me 20 years to figure it out so how can I expect anyone else to accept it in 20 seconds, 20 days, or even 20 months in the case of my parents. I know a lot of people who just say "Fuck it" when they encounter resistance from their family and often that just leads to resentment. So I decided I wouldn't do that. And it certainly has paid off in the end.


3. Do your parents/family still keep pictures up of you as a girl?
Yes. They asked me how I felt about having pictures of myself up from before transition, and I said it was OK to display them. While some people donít want any kind of reference to themselves pre-transition, it feels OK to me to have photos around. In fact, I kind of like having them around Ė it reminds me where Iíve been and how Iíve really grown into myself.