A year ago today my family was on their way here; everyone converging on Samantha’s and my house. We had a really fun little reunion planned, and it turned out great (despite several of us catching a pretty bad cold during the week). We went snowmobiling, ate some great food, did a tour of a local chocolate factory, and went to a hockey game together. By this time last year my whole family knew I was trans; I had come out to my parents about two years before, and my brother and sister had found out earlier that year. There was a moment we were all sitting together that I spoke up and told them how grateful I was for them – and to say thank you to them for accepting me and supporting me. I told them I didn’t know exactly what the future looked like, but that I felt so fortunate to be with them.
An open letter to my extended family, colleagues, and friends.
I’m not even really sure how one goes about writing something like this. Even after a lifetime of living with this, and several years of being out to a handful of the closest in my life, I’m still learning how to say what needs to be said. Nonetheless, I will do my best to be both as succinct as possible, and provide enough foundation to hopefully help you understand. I sincerely wish there was a way I could have told you this face to face, and can only hope that my sincerity comes through in what’s written below.
Transition has me looking back on my life quite a bit in addition to looking forward.
One of the things I was thinking about recently is all the times growing up that those around me complimented me for being an attractive man.
The older I’ve gotten, the more experiences I’ve had with people, and the more I’ve thought about God – the more I realize how much energy I have spent in life worrying about judgement.
Not God’s judgment; human judgment.
Yesterday I finally did what I both have had an intense fear of, and a lifelong desire to do. I finally got the courage to go out to dinner and a move in “girl” mode (okay, not really a movie. More on that later.)
I have to say I was surprised.
I’ve spent much of my entire life with deep fears about what might happen if I were to show “the world” the real me, deep fears about my ability to “pass”, and fears of the unknown. I say I was surprised because what I found out was that the world just doesn’t care that much (in a good way).
This is as good as any place to start I suppose.
This morning was the morning that I informed my parents of the name I had been thinking for myself; Madelyn. I told my mom first, she said it was a nice name, but she was reminded of Madeleine Albright, which was a bit of a bummer for me (although admittedly I thought the same thing when I first considered the name). I have nothing against Ms. Albright, but she’s just not the reason I chose the name, nor a particular source of inspiration for me personally. My dad came in the room and my mom told him, I think he must have said, “that’s a nice name” or something like that in the background. It was somewhat a non-event, and we were on to other topics.