Friends And Family Of A TranssexualNo one who has travelled the transsexual route can deny that it is fraught with challenges, obstacles and a host of perplexing, agonizing, problems and prejudge discriminations, not the least being the handling of interfamily and other close personal relationships.
I do not want to divorce my spouse due to my transexualism, I love them with all my heart so I can only say that it has been helpful of me to come out of the closet. Marital breakup was almost there because of my transexualism, when family and friends try to interfere in to my marital life that had us almost broken up the marriage of ignorants, transexualism was definitely in the picture. My transexualism was a secret in my life for many years. I had carried around with me in my life, buried as if in a concrete sepulcher for so many years, now I will become a fully female.
I knew it was there - attached as if by an unseen umbilical cord to my mind, unheeded, unwanted and unwelcome, but always thrusting to get out and be acknowledged by me as my other self, the feminine me that I am now bringing into reality.
I was brought up in the traditions and Christian religion of the South Africa community, “In an Afrikaans conservative Bur up bringing”. You may not speak or acknowledge that there is something wrong in your life, I was abused by my father because of this, when I was caught out, this was unacceptable for my parents, thus it was swept under the carpet and no one must know about this thing in your life. So you must expect to bear pain, discomfort and mental agony without complaints and always with a smile. It was with this attitude which won battles and wars, but invariably it also bred generations unable to express themselves, and to whom the honest venting of feelings was regarded as weak, effeminate and downright sissified. If I had been able to uncork my own deepest feelings at the appropriate times the course of my marital history might have been a lot different, possibly a lot better, and I might well have dealt with the challenge of my own transexualism much earlier in life.
I went through a period of deep soul searching from which developed a resolve to stop kidding myself. I am a transsexual. I had been aware of the condition without being able to understand it. My perplexity gave way to an understanding of it as a definable condition by the time, but my idea of pride, family honor and duty did everything possible to bury it, even though at times I was seething internally like a volcano with anxiety and pent up desire.
With the new circumstances of my new status I decided on a total change in my approach to my life. My feminine self was at long last let out of the closet of my mind and given increasing free rein.
With a new mental attitude strengthened as it now was by hormones and the knowledge that I had entrusted myself to the support of expert guidance, my confidence increased and I faced up to challenges which I had feared in the days of my great secrecy. One of these challenges was bringing my children, close relatives, work colleagues and friends into the picture, all with the idea of maintaining the social life I wanted and was used to. The last thing I wanted was to drive any of these people away, and thus fall into the lonely life of many transsexuals who have become social outcasts because of the rejection and prejudgment of family and friends.
I considered that the three most important people in my scheme of things were my wife, adult son and daughter, in the way they reacted was interesting. I started out with a one on one discussion with my daughter, at first with my daughter explaining that I have a female heart, She in turn spoke to my wife about my discussion what I had with her, of me having a female heart, a week later I called them around the table to speak about what I attend to do with my life. I had carefully chosen the occasion when there was no likelihood of interruption.
I hid absolutely nothing and answered their questions with total honesty. Needless to say the news hit them like a bomb, how could it have been otherwise? To their credit they kept their cool and their sense of humor, and there was anger, recriminations, but there was some skepticism. In this regard I think their first reaction was that I had gone off my head. Was I sure that it could not be cured? Had I caught something from someone? How long had I believed I had this problem? How would they explain it to their friends? Would a future wife or husband think it might be a hereditary problem? Was it contagious? Had it been known to happen in my family before? Why didn’t you told me before we got married?
With patient reasoned explanation I answered their questions and parried their misgivings. They had suggested spiritual counseling at the commencement of our discussions, but eventually they had to agree that the councellers they had in mind probably knew little if anything about the subject. This was the one thing I refused, as I had long since come to terms with the spiritual aspects as I saw them.
I had discussed the strategy of dealing with those spiritual matters with Ronald Addinall a clinical social worker specialising in sexology and psychosexual therapy with a specific focus in gender nonconforming people at Triangle Project, where I attend my psychosexual therapy. As pre-desc
They did in fact meet a week or so later and came away considerably shocked, not convinced. The four of us then went for dinner at Spur later, and I believe I answered their further questions as fully as possible, but no matter how good one is at the conversational arts there are always matters which are overlooked or glossed over.
My daughter said she only wanted me to be happy, and if this meant happiness to me she accepted it and will support me in my new life.
My son was less voluble, merely saying "its fine", which is about par for the course with him. None of my friends of course would have had the advantage, if they had wished it, but a full verbal explanation worked very well.
People are inevitably mystified when suddenly confronted with a set of circumstances which the transsexual has had years to think about and make plans to deal with, so if one is intent on bringing them into the picture as full an explanation as possible will always be appreciated. It is probably always going to be a calculated risk when dealing with family and friends as to how they will react as so much depends upon their characteristics, quite apart from your most careful explanation.
I put my relatives in the picture of my decision. My two brothers and sister what I talked to and their spouses about my decision, it turned out not so good with no support at all. Are there conclusions to be drawn from this? Obviously there are prejudice and outright negativism and must be allowed for all of us, some people for whom any explanation would be a pure waste of effort and time.
Some of my friends and colleagues is still in disbelieve that I am a fully fletch female, because they only know the big self-centered strong baled male, what I us to be. Now I want the female rights to be abided. To be accepted as a female in my workplace and everyday living, but prejudgment, ignorants, discrimination and outright negativism will always be there no matter what you say or do. Be patient things will come around, your friends will accept you for who you are in time. So be prepared for this attitude towards you as a transsexual.
Any guidelines one can devise will probably reflect one's own personality and characteristics. Being a positive, resolute and a purposeful person, I am in any event very help full to others. I am not suggesting that I can hand anyone else a basic blue print, with the suggestion that now that one is armed with that, one can go out and build the answers like creating a sandcastle on the beach, but if the guidelines I have adopted for myself are of any help to anyone else, here they are for better or worse: ¬
1) Get right to the point. Define your orientation quickly and follow up with a definition of what you are not. This clears the air of the conclusions (immediately and usually wrongly drawn) as to what they think you are. Remember that transsexuals, gays and transvestites are all components of the same bag of potatoes in the minds of the ignorant.
2) Let honesty prevail. Be patient, you are introducing them to a difficult and complex subject. Do not obscure the situation by 'beating around the bush' and do not be afraid to be personal about yourself.
3) Use qualified professional back up if available to enhance credibility, educate your family and friends in transexualism. You are the one who has had to come to terms with yourself, and you are the one who has to carry the ball in dealing with outside relationships.
4) Offer well chosen written material or broachers, but if you have the ability, it is probably better to prepare a written summary of needed information. It probably more clearly demonstrates that you understand your problem thoroughly, and understanding helps breed confidence in others, whom you want to help understand you also.
5) Hold your head up high with pride. By changing your sex you are not committing an act of indecency. There can be no disgrace in being a man or a woman, so why should there be any shame in choosing to rectify nature's mistakes?
6) Be Positive. The people whom I have chosen to bring into my secret are special to me and are being accorded a privilege so far as I am concerned.
7) I am seeking no one's permission or agreement, but I do value their supportive interest. The people concerned are all adults, particularly my wife and children, and I in turn do not expect them to seek my agreement when they are taking a certain course of action, even though explanations are always appreciated.
8) Do not let the people who do not want to accept your decision of coming out of the closet walk over you, stand up for your rights, if so, go the legal route, because the law is there for you to utilize, to protect you from unfair discrimination.
Adult children are sometimes adept at dictating to their parents. My approach has always been positive in dealing with them and in turn they are always positive in dealing with me, and I regard that as an admirable trait.
In all the circumstances I believe my efforts to bring family, relatives and friends into my personal picture have so far succeeded beyond my expectations. I only hope that this account of personal experiences and conclusions will be helpful to others.
There is only one thing to say more, "Now that you have come out of the closet, be true to yourself and live your life to the fullest, be happy with your new life and explore your new life as it should have been"
I have to say, Thank you, for giving me the opportunity to bring my transition to you.