After coming out to my wife, I have been trying to build my courage to tell my parents. Trying to find or create opportunities to tell them about me, whenever I was visiting them.
I have a wonderful relationship with my parents and they always have been loving and kind to me. They are open minded, yet I was not sure about how they think about crossdressing or transgenders, as we never really talked about it. As I used to live in my mind a lot, I would play out all kinds of scenarios in my head and keep going thru them all, to try and figure out what could happen. Obviously this didn’t bring me closer. So many times I set out to share my story, when visiting them. But never did I find a good moment, as I was just too nervous and afraid of telling them. The fear of rejection was so overwhelming that it reduced my good intent to nothing. And then I would end up going home without sharing my secret. My mother often asked how I really was doing and then I just kept to the happy face and smiled, telling her I was doing great.
It is a year ago I believe, that I switched my strategy. I could no longer live with the idea I was having a secret and that I was not true to them. I build my courage, took my car and drove to them on a surprise visit. They live nearby, so there was not a lot of time to think. When I arrived they were indeed suprised to see me and asked me how I was. Without giving it too much thought I said I wanted to tell them something. My mom was in the kitchen, and my dad in the living room, so I had to wait a bit. She started to ask whether it was about my relationship, our children or my work. I told her I had to share something about me. This strategy had worked for me before. Putting myself in a position in which I just have to open up. This single sentence, “I have to tell you something”, is like opening the door and inviting them in to learn about Liv.
When we sat down I started my story. I was very nervous, and constantly checked their faces, to see how they would take it. I started to explain, that since my childhood I have always felt different. That I feel I am a girl/woman in the wrong body and that I basically fit the label of a transgender. I paused there, to check their response, but before I knew my mom had jumped up and was hugging me. My dad accepted, but I saw him process it. Their reaction was so sweet, and one of their first questions was why I had kept it hidden for so long. They were worried for me as they could imagine it must have been such a burden for me to keep it a secret for all my life. I made sure they understood it had been my journey and I have always felt their love and support. It was more that I had only started to accept it for myself since a couple of years.
I am so happy I told them, because they are more than supportive. We talked for hours, as they started to ask me questions. My mom kept hugging me, visibily moved with my lifetime struggle. My dad told me how he finds it difficult to understand how it must be to feel you are in the wrong body, but he fully accepts and supports me. It almost felt it was not a big deal for them, in a positive way. And that they are more worried about me feeling ok, that I am safe and get support.
My dad explained me he would find it hard to learn if I would want to transition in future. He explained it as it would feel he would lose his son and has to get to know a new person. I told him how I am trying to find a balance between my male and femme side. And that this is an addition to the person he already knows. Yet I do understand what he meant.
Coming out to my parents has been such a relieve, I never would dreamt that my parents would be so understanding and supportive. They worried more about the fact I had to keep this a secret and had been processing this on my own for the first 44 years of my life. It has been one of the hardest things I have done in my life and I am glad I did. Not having to hide, keep secrets, knowing their feelings and being able to talk about the full me has lifted a weight of my shoulders. My fears have been proven unfounded, and however long I thought about what would happen, the way things unfolded, did never cross my mind. I guess the only way to truly learn what the other thinks, is to ask. Looking back I should have told them much earlier. But I rather look at the now and feel fortunate on where I am today.
When I left, my mom hugged me again and then said “now I have a daughter as well”. This one sentence, their unconditional love, is so wonderful and means more than anything. It gives me so much strength and confidence. I just can’t thank them enough for being here for me. I know I am fortunate with such a loving reaction and I wish and hope that everyone who is on a similar path will find compassion, acceptance and love as well.