Author Topic: How long do I wait to come out to less trusted family?  (Read 310 times)

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Offline Daylight

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How long do I wait to come out to less trusted family?
« on: June 10, 2020, 09:55:45 am »
What do I do about talking to my dad and brother? I'm trying to decide the right time to tell each of them.

I finally opened up about my gender issues just about 3 weeks ago at 39 years old. In the past week+ I've come out to some close friends and family, including my mother and sister. I'm so lucky and grateful that the reaction has been completely positive. Of course, I have chosen to talk to people that I knew would be supportive. My brother and dad I don't trust quite so much to have a positive response.

Growing up, I remember my brother making comments that he was disgusted by crossdressers and transgender people. He has grown into a very loving and open-minded person. Despite my memories of childhood, I think he would be accepting and supporting in his way. I've seen him treat transgender people very respectfully as an adult. But he also has a tendency to try to diagnose and fix everything. I worry that he will spend months telling me what supplements I need to take to feel like a man again or sharing articles trying to change my mind. I'm not worried that he is going to actually make me question my decision, but that isn't the kind of relationship I would enjoy with him. If I waited until I was further along, he may be less inclined to try to change my mind.

My dad is a fairly conservative and, frankly, a bit bigoted. He's not the worst, and I know his girlfriend exposes him to members of the LGBTQ+ community through her circle of friends, so he is able to not be a total ass. Incidentally, his girlfriend is awesome and I would love to be able to share this with her. My dad does love and does care for me. But I think it will be hard for him and I expect some insensitive comments for the rest of his life. I can imagine getting zero support and even reproval. I'm okay with that. Even if he reacted much worse than I think and our relationship completely ended, I would be okay. But if possible I want to have a good relationship with my dad.

When is the best time to talk to each of them to give our relationships the best chance of surviving? And remaining strong or even growing stronger? How do I balance giving them enough time to adjust to the changes I will be going through with the concerns above? Or with their desire to feel included in my life and trusted?

Currently, my transition plan is to wait until near the end of the calendar year to begin hormones and work part- to full-time the first part of 2021. So basically the end of the year would be when I come out publicly and the latest I would tell my brother and father. The schedule could change, but there are a number of reasons that it makes sense to me and I have a therapist and doctor to help with the decision if it does need to be changed.

What are your thoughts? When would you tell each of them?
39 years old and learning to be Megan :)

Offline RandyL

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Re: How long do I wait to come out to less trusted family?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2020, 10:16:51 am »
Hi Daylight. Those are tough questions and only you know the people well enough to really decide.

How close are your mother and sister to your dad and brother? Will the news leak out from them or from others? If so, you should tell them sooner than later and tell them both in a similar timeframe. It hurts to be left out, and that will complicate your relationships. Your Dad's girlfriend may be able to help bring him along. Good luck and hugs, Randy

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Offline Daylight

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Re: How long do I wait to come out to less trusted family?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2020, 11:14:48 am »
Thanks, Randy. I know it is my decision and in the end, whatever happens, it will be alright. I guess I am curious about other people's experiences to see if they may provide some insight, though.

Great question about how close they are with my mother and sister and thoughts on it leaking and them feeling left out. My mom and dad are divorced and rarely speak but have been respectful of each other and willing to be around each other for some family holidays. My sister and my dad do speak occasionally, but he isn't her favorite person and she keeps it to a minimum while allowing him to have some role in his grandkids' lives. I don't worry they (or my other friends) will leak it to my dad. My brother is closer to my mom and sister, though they aren't in contact daily or anything. I don't think anyone will leak it to him, but it is possible it could slip out. If it does then it does, it's not a big deal.

Avoiding that left out feeling is definitely something I'd like to do at least with my brother. It's a factor with my dad but not as big of one.
39 years old and learning to be Megan :)

Offline RandyL

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Re: How long do I wait to come out to less trusted family?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2020, 12:20:43 pm »
Personally, after I told my wife and we processed it for awhile, she needed support from her family and friends. Once she started telling them I went ahead and "ripped the band-aid off," telling my entire extended family (about 50 people) and many friends in one go in our Christmas holiday letter. I did tell all my immediate family -- mother and siblings -- in person. All reactions have been good (a few have been silent, but distant relatives don't always communicate anyway).

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Offline AllieSF

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Re: How long do I wait to come out to less trusted family?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2020, 03:00:11 pm »
Daylight,

I decided to come out when I truly felt that the time was right to acknowledge what I then knew about myself.  I didn't want to say anything earlier because I really did not know.  When I came out I decided to tell those closest to me first, just like you are doing.  I came out about a year and a half before I went full time.  That was not intentional, but looking back it gave those that knew a long time to talk to me about it, which no one really did, and to think about it, which I believe most of them did do. 

As for your situation with your Dad and brother, I would tell them much sooner, way before coming out full time.  To tell them and then soon after go full time may be a bit too much in a short period of time.  I would also ask your Mom and sister what they think and then take everyone's advice and see what may work for you.  I think that just asking here for opinions is a good thing.  In the end, whatever you decide is your decision, and that is the way it should be.

I wish you the best of luck,

Allie

PS:  I totally agree that with your Dad and brother it needs to be one on one and face to face if at all possible.  It is so much better, giving both a chance to react, think, react again and talk about if they even want to do that.  You will also have the chance to see and interpret their reactions, listen to their words and see their facial reactions to then come up with a good response.  I do recommend keeping your coming out dialog as short and simple as possible.  Mine was, "I need to tell you something important about me. I am trans and I like to present as a woman, and I want you to know that."  We all have our history and details.  Those quoted words alone will be enough to cause a reaction and thinking process for them.  No need for the long winded overly detailed explanation.  If they want more info at that time, they will ask.  Many won't and will need some gentle follow up on your part.,  Some never come around.
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Offline Confused1

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Re: How long do I wait to come out to less trusted family?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2020, 03:13:32 pm »
I have read what many have written here and sometimes it is not what you expect. With my wife, it was initially what I did expect. With time and discussion it has totally turned around. However, I just shared my path to a daughter who I thought might disown me and the reaction was not what I expected. It exceeded any expectation I could have had!

I do believe it will be better coming directly from you and not someone else.

Offline Daylight

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Re: How long do I wait to come out to less trusted family?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2020, 09:06:31 am »
Thank you Confused1, Allie, and Randy for sharing your experiences here. I am coming to a conclusion on what to do, but would still enjoy hearing anyone else's experiences.

I am planning to talk to my brother soon. Maybe this weekend. I'd like to run that by my mom & sister first, but I think the only fear with talking to my brother could be handled by me just being forthright with him. If he tries to fix me I'll just have to tell him that it isn't what I am looking for and please stop.

For my dad, I still plan to wait until closer to I come out publicly. The exact time is to be determined, but probably this fall or winter.
39 years old and learning to be Megan :)

Offline Daylight

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Re: How long do I wait to come out to less trusted family?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2020, 10:31:19 pm »
The follow-up is that I did talk to my brother this morning and he was incredibly supportive. He didn't go into any of the modes I feared he might. Instead, he was just supportive, curious, and optimistic. I know that it will take some time for people around me to adjust, but I am blessed to have such great friends and family that are open-minded and want me to be happy.

I'm still going to wait for my dad. Everyone I talk to that knows him seems to agree with that decision, so I feel pretty confident about it.

Thanks again everyone that shared experiences and advice here!
39 years old and learning to be Megan :)

Offline RandyL

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Re: How long do I wait to come out to less trusted family?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2020, 11:12:28 pm »
That's great news! I'm so glad your brother stepped up just as you needed him to.

 Thanks for posting this followup. It will help others in the future who may find this thread.

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