FTM Transitioning + Mom's Reaction(s) + Acceptence.

Since coming out nearly everything and nothing has changed.
Confused? Yeah, me too.

In a perfect world I would have said "Hey mom, I'm transgender, can I have testosterone?", and she would say "Sure son!", and we would pile into the car to get my first injection while I'm ordering a binder with my phone in the other hand.
But it's not that kind of world, and that is probably for the best because as much as I want to wake up looking like Michael Fassbender (more like Jesse Tyler Ferguson) I realise I need time to come to terms with life, both before and after coming out; and my family needs time, too.

My immediate family is large, I have four brothers and one sister, three of my brothers are in relationships, one has two kids, and then there is my mom, and her boyfriend.
I don't have extended family, so... woot?
I'm out to my mom, her boyfriend, and one brother, and all are accepting and supportive.
Honestly? I'm in awe of my mom, not just for being supportive, but accepting me for who I am, and even more than that, for recognizing the "real me" in all of her memories.
She says that everything makes sense now, that I have always been this person, and that kind of acknowledgement means the world to me.
She understands and supports my desire for testosterone, and even supports my desire for top surgery.
I am in awe of her, honestly.
My brother took it really well, I think he likes the idea of having another brother.
My mom told her boyfriend, and she says he's completely behind me on this. He hasn't brought it up to me, but he does things to show that he doesn't care about gender barriers, which I think are to put me at ease or reassure me.

I haven't told my sister, or remaining three brothers.
I don't know how I am going to do this, I figure that if I tell them either directly before or after my first testosterone injection I will be in the clear.
That way it is simultaneously before the big shifts, and still a definitive thing with no room for debate.
I don't think they will be as accepting, I suspect a couple of them will have serious issues with my decision, and I'm not sure how to deal with that other than by just pushing forward.

So far not much has changed.
My approach is to go androgynous/neutral before anything else.
This works on two levels; one, it puts distance between what people assumed of me in the past, and two, it offers a kind of stable ground for people around me to let go of gender stereotypes.
Similarly, when my mom asked if I wanted to be refered to by male pronouns, I told her to just try and be neutral for now.
She slips up sometimes, but catches herself, and she makes a genuine effort which feels really good.

Another thing is that since it's as much a transition for my family as it is for me, I told my mom that "there is no such thing as a stupid question" and for her to ask me anything.
This I think deals with the discomfort and hesitancy as it comes, it's all out on the table, nothing is taboo or dangerous.
I think that helps a great deal.
Somtimes it's really awkward... but that just becomes absurdly funny after a while, and everyone laughs. So, win?

One funny moment happened last night.
We all always used to pile into the bedroom to watch TV, there are two twin beds, and my mom and I take one whilst my brother takes the other.
So we're watching Modern Family, and everyone thinks I am Mitchell, even before coming out, everyone has always been freaked out by how much I apparently look/act like him.
So now the whole "Harper, if you were a guy you would look just like Mitchell!" is kind of coming back to haunt them.
So we're all watching Modern Family, my mom is quietly freaking out about me looking like Mitchell, and then she turns to me and says "Harper, do I have to treat you differently? I mean you don't realize it but we treat people differently based on their genders, and you don't see me in his bed *points at brother*, should I stop doing this??"
And I basically had to tell her, "Mom, I'm kind of a mama's boy"
"Oh! Oh that's fine then!"
And she went back to quietly freaking out about me taking testosterone and looking like Mitchell.
"Are you going to get that little potbelly thing?"

It's not all funny though.
She cries sometimes, she doesn't want me to be descriminated against, or harmed, and she fears that I will be lonely and isolated, and she wishes that my life could be easier.
She has to mourn the loss of a daughter, come to terms with having a fifth son.
That's why I'm glad it's not as simple as I sometimes want it to be, because the lengthy process gives everyone time to go through their own transition.
Sometimes I think about what it would be like now if I had come out a few years ago, how far along I would be now rather than just starting.
I wouldn't have been as patient though, and I wouldn't have been as considerate of others, and I wouldn't have accepted what I am, which is trans.
I would have wanted to forget my past, forget that I ever was anything but a man, and I would have lost myself rather than finally fully realized myself.
Now though, I accept the whole package, and it's not easy to reconcile twenty years of mistaken identity with a future as full of hope and uncertainty as mine, I don't even know where to start, but the acceptance is there, and that I think is the important part.

So, that's my update and thoughts.
I'm going to try and get an appointment to see a therapist in the next week or so.
I'll update then.

Please leave a comment or ask a question, I'm happy to answer any questions anyone might have.

July 31st, 2014 at 08:57pm