I am not sure whether what I do the right thing when talk to people for the first time about my transition. I worry slightly that I am being apologetic which is not what I intend. I want to be considerate of other people’s feelings and not just insist take it or leave it this is who I am.
I was contacted by S, the daughter of my best friend, who sadly died some ten years ago and whose wife died last year. The last time I saw the S was at her mother’s funeral some nine months ago when she asked me “what’s with the long hair?” My response on such a difficult day was simply “it’s a long story” and she moved on to greet other mourners. This was also the last occasions I wore a suit out of respect for the situation.
Anyway, fast forward to yesterday when her husband got in touch saying they would like to catch up. So time to tell them what’s happening and I responded to the text saying
“Something has changed since you last saw me. S asked me “what was with the long hair? The answer is I am Transgender and I have transitioned since we met, so if you can face that possibility, you get me, the same as always just dressed differently! If you think the idea is okay, will send a pic so it’s not too much of a shock when we meet!”
“Ok mate yep a pic would be good and we could come over to……..( a town 30 miles from where they live) to catch up. Best of luck with the transition”
“Thanks; you need to know that I understand if you can’t handle the idea. I won’t be offended. I don’t expect anyone to just accept this. So far I have been lucky and able to work without problems which has been a big relief….Be good to meet if you still want to.”
So pic duly sent
“Look pretty good, what’s your new name?
“Thank you, Emily”
“In this day and age I think you should be who you want to be not dictated to by others. Great name. I will chat to S and we can arrange to meet at some point.”
I am wondering whether I am getting this right. I do not feel I am being apologetic and it is true if they can’t handle it I won’t be offended. I am doing what I need to do and there will be people in my life who can’t hack it. The way I feel right now is that if people can’t accept it, it isn’t a slur on me more a reflection of where they are. So okay our relationship ends.
This is something I will reflect on as it will come up several times as I reconnect with people I have known in my previous incarnation. However, it does seem to me I should not be giving them the option to say no they cannot deal with the change. It could almost be taken as an invitation to say no. I think it would be better just to say that I have transitioned and leave them to decide what they want to do with that information.