Author Topic: written a coming out letter for each of my direct family members, BUT...  (Read 513 times)

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Offline jaybutterfly

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Ok, so I've posted on here before about my set backs, family problems and the history of abuse in my family home at the hands of my father and sibling (financial, educational, physical and psychological abuse, including gaslighting and sticking up for each other as it being normal and I'm crazy). I've got my sperm storage dates coming during this lockdown in the UK, and my work industry (gym instructor) may be the last thing to reopen. I've got some space now that my studies are over and I'm living alone to write my coming out letters.

My brother lives in the town nearby, but the rules prevent him from seeing me. My Father went to spain before the lockdown and is now stuck there indefinitely as flights cannot be provided for him to get out just yet. Before this happened, we had a fight and he tried to send me to a counsellor to 'fix how I think.' I went and gave the counsellor my side of events and the years that have gone on. I was relieved to know I'm not the one at fault as what I went through was abusive without question, and I have had talking therapy and a lot of reading material provided which has helped me see things for what they are and learn to stand up for myself.

The family dynamics have changed with the death of my mother 10 months ago, and my Dad has flipped back and forth between spiteful and coming off as wanting to make up for what he's done. I'm not out to him or my brother, and I didn't think I was ever going to be.

I've written a letter to them both, the two versions differ in content slightly. I've written it so there's two halves for each.

The first half, discusses the last year, the shift in family dynamics, and the behaviour that lead to me being pushed for counselling. I bring up that I was informed what they have been doing is abusive and what the definition of abuse is. I then give examples of what they have done, how it has affected me, and that if they are sincere about things like us running a family business together and having a better relationship, then they are going to have to cut this out, and they will only get one warning.

The second half is explaining the appointments I have been going to both on the NHS and privately for my gender dysphoria diagnosis, telling them Im trans and intend to transition in the near future. I explain that while I don't expect them to be on board immediatly, I do expect a concerted effort to be supportive in their own way in time if having a good family unit is what they really want. If they don't want to support my transition and they are unhappy with this, then they are entitled to feel this way, but i will go forth anyway.

Does this seem like a reasonable way to do things? I've laid out my terms, avoided using judging language or namecalling, stuck to facts about what has gone on and then given a rather concise history of my attempts to get my diagnosis and my future plans.

I do expect them to blow up over this, which is why I think this lockdown period where i am on my own and they can't come to me with attitude makes a decent time for them to digest the information and reflect on it.


Offline Ellie_Arroway

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Hi @jaybutterfly; I'm so sorry to hear of your situation.

If you are still under the care of your counsellor, I would discuss this with them.

There simply isn't enough information here for me to answer your question.

By saying there are "two halves," do you mean that they are separate letters to be delivered at different times? If you do intend to post them, I think leaving it a period of time between them would be a good idea.

The other thing that comes to mind is that it's possible your brother and your father have mental health issues of their own that need dealing with. An abusive personality is unlikely to change overnight. The "one warning" thing really limits your options.

Those are my thoughts, anyway, and I hope it helps. - E
Started seriously questioning: 24 Aug 2019
Referred to GIC: 23 Sep 2019
Full-time female presentation since: 21 Oct 2019, unbroken since 12 Dec 2019
Official name change by deed poll: 11 Nov 2019
HRT: "kind of" started 15 Jul 2020
Most of my story is in the Just another mtf tale thread!
Twitch streamer MusicEllie

Offline jaybutterfly

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Hi @jaybutterfly; I'm so sorry to hear of your situation.

If you are still under the care of your counsellor, I would discuss this with them.

There simply isn't enough information here for me to answer your question.

By saying there are "two halves," do you mean that they are separate letters to be delivered at different times? If you do intend to post them, I think leaving it a period of time between them would be a good idea.

The other thing that comes to mind is that it's possible your brother and your father have mental health issues of their own that need dealing with. An abusive personality is unlikely to change overnight. The "one warning" thing really limits your options.

Those are my thoughts, anyway, and I hope it helps. - E

If you need more, I can give you it.

Basically my brother was physically abusive and threatened me repeated through my teenage years, with repeated assaults, some he acted on, some he didnt. My father used to gaslight me, claiming these never happened (even when I had marks to show) and used my mother as leverage to manipulate me into staying quiet. 'We can't talk about this or it'll hurt Mum, you need to stay quiet, it doesn't matter.' When confronted it was always 'it's brotherly shoving not assault' or 'people get worse injuries than what you've had in real domestic violence elsewhere so it's not an issue'

My brother also used to call and threaten to kill himself if I didn't talk him out of it, and used threats like this to get out of punishments for acting up, being verbally abusive at home to his parents, etc. He also had a hand in bullying me out of school in a smear campaign in my teenage years, which led to serious depression, which coupled with gender dysphoria made things very difficult for me.

I actually had my home situation used as something i need to 'fix' by an NHS counsellor before they were willing to refer me to the gender clinics on the NHS, and even the clinics voiced they weren't willing to diagnose me in case it was 'escaping my troubles' and I would need to 'fix things with my family.' Private care did not have the same view, so in other words this even led to my transition being delayed, and now I fear I won't ever pass (Which really bothers me a lot as my male frame contributes significantly to my dysphoria and operations to fix that like clavicle shortening and hip augmentation are massive financial barriers).

My father has also threatened me in the past to cut me out of the inheritance when I've been critical over what's going on and voicing how his behaviour isn't fair. He has told me I'm 'not allowed' to be sad about my mother's passing but when it's my brother, he calls me and asks me to make a fuss of him. It's like Im a second class citizen in my own home. Not to sound like I am motivated purely by money, but my family are actually very wealthy, and my mother planned for a 'below tax amount' of money to be fed to my account on a monthly basis to help me before she died. This is now under my father's control due to the nature of their shared accounts and banking. If he did this, I could be significantly worse off.

He tried to gaslight me again saying if I feel that the behaviour is wrong or a problem I clearly need my head 'fixing' and began the push for a counsellor. I went and they came back saying what I went through was sustained abuse in multiple forms.

My father has been behaving better, which is odd, in the last three or so months (I suppose me not living nearby and being in India for the first Christmas since Mum's passing may have hit him hard and forced a realisation), saying he recognizes maybe he did '1 or 2' things wrong (understatement of the year) and he wants to do better and know what the counsellor said.

I was going to structure the letter like this:

first half covers the counsellors feedback and confirms I'm not crazy and what he has done, intentionally or otherwise is abusive and may have contributed to my mental health problems (which he would often tell me to just 'snap out of'). The point of the letter is not about judgement, just so he understands, and I have a proposal for how he can make things better, so long as he understands that none of this happens again. If I am attacked, I will consider my legal rights, if I am threatened, I will decide if I speak to the involved parties again or not.

second half is detailing my gender troubles, dysphoria, the rocky road to diagnosis and how the family dynamics have interfered with me living life on my own terms, and then explain I am in a place to finally transition once this lockdown eases. Ending with I'm willing to have a better relationship and try real hard to give him a clean slate if he is willing to support me through my transition.

I don't want to feel manipulative, but I think given what I've been put through, me having terms for moving forward isn't unreasonable, especially when they are as simple as: No more violence, no more threats, we're not going to lie to each other and we're not going to backpedal on what we say we're going to do.'

Offline Ellie_Arroway

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It is absolutely the case that you have every right to look after yourself, stand up for yourself and your rights and stand your ground.

If you are being financially controlled, is that through the mechanism of a joint current account? If so, it should be possible for you to open an account in your name only and transfer your money into that.

If you feel threatened at any time, remember that you can call the police. I have had occasion to do that in the past, and that was when I still presented as male and was being abused by a woman. They did listen to me.

One of my problems was not having a safe space to go to for a long time; that is no longer a problem for me. It sounds like you do not have that issue (i.e. you are not living with your abuser), so that's good.

I'm really sorry, but I don't feel comfortable saying much more than that. I am not a counsellor, and I would hate to give you advice that is not in your best interest. - E
Started seriously questioning: 24 Aug 2019
Referred to GIC: 23 Sep 2019
Full-time female presentation since: 21 Oct 2019, unbroken since 12 Dec 2019
Official name change by deed poll: 11 Nov 2019
HRT: "kind of" started 15 Jul 2020
Most of my story is in the Just another mtf tale thread!
Twitch streamer MusicEllie

Offline Rakel

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No more violence, no more threats, we're not going to lie to each other and we're not going to backpedal on what we say we're going to do.


Dear jaybutterfly,

Your last sentence is a really good starting point for how your family relationships need to be conducted in the future. Your expectations are not unreasonable and everybody should expect the same treatment.

I just want to add that not everyone accepts us. I can live with that as long as they let me  live as I wish. Violence and threats against us because of our gender issues are totally not acceptable. If your family cannot accept you, then separation may be the  only reasonable solution. Be prepared to do  what is necessary for your own interest and safety.




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Retired Pharmacist with over 40 years experience in Hospital and Retail Pharmacies.
I still keep my professional licence active and in good standing.


Offline jaybutterfly

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Dear jaybutterfly,

Your last sentence is a really good starting point for how your family relationships need to be conducted in the future. Your expectations are not unreasonable and everybody should expect the same treatment.

I just want to add that not everyone accepts us. I can live with that as long as they let me  live as I wish. Violence and threats against us because of our gender issues are totally not acceptable. If your family cannot accept you, then separation may be the  only reasonable solution. Be prepared to do  what is necessary for your own interest and safety.

They dont even know I'm trans, my Mum did, and to my knowledge neither of them know. They have behaved like this regardless.

Offline Rakel

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Even though you did not officially come out, somehow other men know.

The aggressive behavior towards yourself was just testing on how you would react. I was treated the same way.

My father thought it would be a good idea to yell at me and slap me around for trivial offenses. In his mind, he was trying to toughen me  up. Well it did not work. I was always meek and non aggressive. I never participated in team sports, preferring individual sports if at any at all and definitely non-aggressive sports.

My brother was worse. He was always combative and he hit me at his desire.

Keep in mind that your male relatives are under the influence of Testosterone. Your father, as he got older, is having less of an issue with Testosterone than your brother. It might be a good opportunity to approach your father first, separate from your brother.

However it works out for you, there are many of us here who have both good and bad experiences with going public. Take care and remember, we are here for you.  :-*




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Retired Pharmacist with over 40 years experience in Hospital and Retail Pharmacies.
I still keep my professional licence active and in good standing.


Offline jaybutterfly

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Even though you did not officially come out, somehow other men know.

The aggressive behavior towards yourself was just testing on how you would react. I was treated the same way.

My father thought it would be a good idea to yell at me and slap me around for trivial offenses. In his mind, he was trying to toughen me  up. Well it did not work. I was always meek and non aggressive. I never participated in team sports, preferring individual sports if at any at all and definitely non-aggressive sports.

My brother was worse. He was always combative and he hit me at his desire.

Keep in mind that your male relatives are under the influence of Testosterone. Your father, as he got older, is having less of an issue with Testosterone than your brother. It might be a good opportunity to approach your father first, separate from your brother.

However it works out for you, there are many of us here who have both good and bad experiences with going public. Take care and remember, we are here for you.  :-*

No offense, but I'm not going to pretend either of these two are psychic or simply innately know, that doesn't seem a productive viewpoint to take, and almost like a projection of your experiences onto me.

You and I have very different experiences as I was soft kid at heart and an artist, but I also have an extensive history of contact sport, combat sports, martial arts etc. And I'm a little curious as to why your post reads as if you have a negative outlook on testosterone, as if it's why they behave this way and it's not a just a toxic attitude??

I could have read your post wrong but that's just how it looks to me.

Regardless, my Dad is one of the rather conservative types, he's uncomfortable around gay men and the one lesbian he's met, so I do think this could be messy.

Offline Ellie_Arroway

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Regardless, my Dad is one of the rather conservative types, he's uncomfortable around gay men and the one lesbian he's met, so I do think this could be messy.

That's why I felt I couldn't advise you any further.

I suspect my own father would not have accepted me transitioning, though I don't know, and it could never be tested because he died almost two decades ago. My mother is also gone, though I think she would have accepted me. So I never went through a situation like yours.

I was bullied a lot in school by people who used to call me queer and gay. They thought I was gay. They had no idea I was trans. Neither did I, and I identified as a man for 46 years. I was successful as a man, if atypical. I think I see Rakel's point, but it is just an anecdote, as indeed is this from me.

I did martial arts in my 30s. My father actually didn't like that.

I'm sure you recognise that there is a danger of a rift in your family here, and I get the impression that you do not want that to happen for various reasons. - E
Started seriously questioning: 24 Aug 2019
Referred to GIC: 23 Sep 2019
Full-time female presentation since: 21 Oct 2019, unbroken since 12 Dec 2019
Official name change by deed poll: 11 Nov 2019
HRT: "kind of" started 15 Jul 2020
Most of my story is in the Just another mtf tale thread!
Twitch streamer MusicEllie

Offline jaybutterfly

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That's why I felt I couldn't advise you any further.

I suspect my own father would not have accepted me transitioning, though I don't know, and it could never be tested because he died almost two decades ago. My mother is also gone, though I think she would have accepted me. So I never went through a situation like yours.

I was bullied a lot in school by people who used to call me queer and gay. They thought I was gay. They had no idea I was trans. Neither did I, and I identified as a man for 46 years. I was successful as a man, if atypical. I think I see Rakel's point, but it is just an anecdote, as indeed is this from me.

I did martial arts in my 30s. My father actually didn't like that.

I'm sure you recognise that there is a danger of a rift in your family here, and I get the impression that you do not want that to happen for various reasons. - E

Oh god they kids at school all thought I was gay till I asked out a girl in the year above me and they freaked out. I always thought I was off, not gay but something. By highschool I saw myself as a 'male lesbian' and somehow it didnt even dawn on me properly that I wanted to transition until a lot later.

Offline Oldandcreaky

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...kids at school all thought I was gay....

Yet, you discount Rakel's perspective.


Offline jaybutterfly

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Yet, you discount Rakel's perspective.

Disingenuous much?

If you read my comment you'd know what parts I disagree with, so lets not twist here

Offline Oldandcreaky

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Rakel: Even though you did not officially come out, somehow other men know.

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You: No offense, but I'm not going to pretend either of these two are psychic or simply innately know, that doesn't seem a productive viewpoint to take, and almost like a projection of your experiences onto me.

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You:...kids at school all thought I was gay....

So, the kids at school are "are psychic or simply innately know," but your father and brother, who lived with you, had zero insight that something was amiss, gender-role-wise?

Speaking of wise, Rakel is wise. Reject her perspective and you lose insight.


Offline amandam

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If I were you, I'd deal with the family problems and leave the transition part out, at least for now. If you can build a good family relationship, then they'll be more apt to accept transition. If they don't accept it, and cut you off, well, at least you'll be much further along. I see adding the transition information into your current situation as being potentially explosive.

Offline jaybutterfly

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So, the kids at school are "are psychic or simply innately know," but your father and brother, who lived with you, had zero insight that something was amiss, gender-role-wise?

Speaking of wise, Rakel is wise. Reject her perspective and you lose insight.

Now that's just funny.

I was never really around my father that much due to his work until a lot later, when he was stamping out my emotions and ability to express myself. The argument also hinges on me outwardly displaying a feminine gender role or expression at home.

Meanwhile at school I could at least socialise, I was never into what a lot of the other guys enjoyed and was more gentle, hence the tarring as being gay.

And I don't fully reject her perspective, just some aspects, go and read it again, critically.

Offline jaybutterfly

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If I were you, I'd deal with the family problems and leave the transition part out, at least for now. If you can build a good family relationship, then they'll be more apt to accept transition. If they don't accept it, and cut you off, well, at least you'll be much further along. I see adding the transition information into your current situation as being potentially explosive.

See, there is that. I've built a support network from my closest friends, and I do have an apartment I was in the process of moving my stuff into before the UK lockdown happened (car needs fixing now but that shouldn't be too long, then I can finish that). I'm preparing for things to go as badly as possible.

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