Those who follow me on Twitter know that I made the decision to come out to my extended family yesterday via email. I cannot express enough appreciation for those who supported me on Twitter with pet pictures and words of support, just as I cannot express enough appreciation for my family in taking this news with love and grace. I’ve attached the (anonymized) letter I sent out yesterday below, and plan to share this blog post on Facebook to allow my family and friends there have the opportunity to read it.
“Coming out” is inherently a perpetually incomplete process, but I hope by sharing this more people in my life will be able to understand (or at least begin to understand) both more of my life narrative and me as a person.
Disclaimer: If you want to use any/all of this letter to come out to your own family please go right ahead! You don’t even have to link back. I request that this blog post be linked to in any other situation, though. Thanks!
To my loving family,
I’m writing this to explain something super important, because I love and appreciate our relationships and the love and support you’ve given to me throughout my life. I’m transgender, specifically non-binary. I hope you’ll take the time to research some of what this means to others, but for me it means that I’m neither a man nor a woman and instead exist “outside the binary.”
What being non-binary means in practice, for me, includes my pronouns being they/them (“Did B go to school today?” “Yes /they/ did.” etc), and due to my experiences with gender dysphoria taking gender-affirming hormone therapy (testosterone) as of May in addition to having a hysterectomy performed in the near future. What does this mean? Well the testosterone does a number of things including lowering my voice, and increasing hair growth (I’m lazy and kind of growing a beard). I hope you will also take the time to research what else testosterone is giving to me should you be curious, as those are only two by-products in a list of many. As well, I’m mostly comfortable being termed with feminine kinship terms because I know they come from a place of love. This means words like “niece” (“my niece”) and “Auntie” (“the kids’ Auntie”) are comfortable for me to hear. That said [my immediate family] have begun using words like “child” (“[x] and [x]’s child”) and “sibling” (“[x]’s sibling”) which are also great to hear.
I cannot stress enough that this is something I’ve known about myself since childhood, but only found the language for as a teenager and only found medical and social support for in the last couple of years. I don’t believe anyone is the same person they were one day to the next, because luckily we’re all learning more about ourselves and the people around us everyday. That said I am still the tiny human you held as a baby, gave Christmas presents to, and have loved and supported for the past 25-odd (or “25 odd” let’s be honest) years.
Because this is new information for you I understand that you may not use my pronouns or related terms correctly right away. That said it will and does mean a lot to me if and when you do because it demonstrates your respect for me and who I am.
Like I’ve mentioned previously I hope you take a little while to do some research of your own into any parts of this letter you may find confusing. That said, I am and will be available to answer any questions you may have. I hope that rather than being a cause for your concern this instead adds strength to our relationships. This has been a… surprisingly easy letter for me to write, in no small part due to the fact that I’m honestly filled with happiness to be able to live as my authentic self. While I understand it may not have been as easy to read, I hope you feel equally as happy to receive it.