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Coming out to my Dad


CamtheMan

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Okay, so I officially came out to my mom about 3 days ago (she already kinda knew), and she readily accepted me with open arms and understood that this is a big deal for me. I’m not really good at sharing my feelings with other people, so this was a huge sign of trust for me. 
 

so next was my dad. I waited until after dinner, until after my mom and dad were having a conversation, and mustered every single bone in my body to tell him this very personal thing that had been eating me up for almost two years. 
 

I had asked him to mute the TV, and told him outright. That I prefer the name Cam, that I prefer to go by he/they instead of she/her, and that this was not anything new for me. 
 

And the reaction I got was… absolutely nothing. I got no reaction. He just said “whatever” and moved on. I was heartbroken, for a reason I still don’t entirely understand. I politely excused myself, and went upstairs to cry in my room. My mom forced me out, and my little sister and I watched Clone Wars for a few episodes until bed. 
 

I don’t know if I am overreacting, but right now I don’t feel comfortable alone around him. It’s just gonna be really awkward. I even got a text this morning from him, and I opened it ready to forgive him with what ever he wrote to me… even if it was a little “love you 😘”…

 

but no. He sent me an article about Alice In Chains  (a great band but -what the heck-?) like nothing ever happened. 
 

I just need some guidance. No one ever tells you what to do if your coming out doesn’t go as planned. 

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Hi Cam! First, I'm so happy for you to find your Mom so accepting. It took me a long time to even accept me for who I am, I'm thankful for you, you didn't wait so long. My parents first exposure to me was when I was ten, they found some of my feminine things. They never said anything, ever. It was a long time ago & society is a lot more aware of gender queer today. I'm telling my Mom when I get there to do it in person. My Dad has passed so that conversation won't be in this realm. Two of my brothers reactions were the same as your Dad's, silence. The other said, "You'll still be the brother I knew, grew up & served with." I think our families need time to process the news, maybe even grieve the perceived loss, especially our parents. I grieved for my brothers, ached, cried my eyes out, even though I'm still here, I'm just the real me. They remember the "big brother", who never dated, took them fishing, swimming, to the races. You might ask your Mom, she is likely your best source as to how your Dad feels.

 

A set of step by step instructions would be nice, huh. I haven't found one yet. 🤷 But I have found sound advice here from the voice of experience from people who care & don't judge.

 

Hugs!

Delcina 

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Hi @CamtheMan . If that happened to me, I'd feel heartbroken too. You bravely made yourself vulnerable to your dad, and his response was utterly invalidating, like your pronouncement didn't even warrant any response. "Whatever" is practically worse than outright rejection; if he reacted with anger, say, at least you'd have a clue where he's coming from and that he cares about what you told him. But, his response seems indicative of his not wanting to acknowledge his child is trans. You didn't mention what your relationship with your dad is like under other circumstances. Did you have any expectation of how he might react before you told him? It's a big deal to come out to your parent. Such a build up of emotion for you and then, anticlimax. So, your feelings of heartbreak are completely understandable. Not knowing really anything about your dad, I suspect he'll either pretend nothing ever happened, or perhaps it'll take him time to process what you told him. I suppose sometimes coming out to certain people is a process. It may be stressful and a strain for you to work through this with him, if he shows any willingness, that is. But, if your relationship with your dad is valuable to you, and I assume it is since you opened up to him, then it'll be worth the effort no matter what the result - it's better to know the truth about a person - you're trying to show him who you are, and that's all you can do. It's up to him whether he's willing to be vulnerable with you. And, I agree with Delcina that your mom is your best ally - she may be able to help you two understand each other. 

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3 hours ago, Delcina B said:

Hugs!

Delcina 


Thank you so much for responding! My mom has always been accepting of me, and my Dad has been too… in his own emotionally distanced way. I know he loves me, and I know that someday he will accept me, but he just needs time to process… he was very proud of being a “girl dad”. 
 

Thanks for sharing your experiences too. They make me feel not as alone, and everyone on this website is just so kind and loving. I wish I had found this community sooner (sorry I’m kinda rambling, but also your name is so pretty :])

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2 hours ago, Vidanjali said:

Did you have any expectation of how he might react before you told him? It's a big deal to come out to your parent. Such a build up of emotion for you and then, anticlimax. 

 

I didn’t expect anything BIG. He is a “science guy”, so he understands (to a point) binary trans people. Not so much non-binary people, so I expected him to ask questions at least. That’s literally all I wanted was a conversation, because… ya know this is a big deal for all parties. My dad and I have had a very close relationship, people always said that we act almost exactly alike. Whenever we talk to each other it’s always riddled with inside jokes and references that only we understand… so the anticlimax really hurt…

 

I love both my parents so much… probably fueled by the fact that not many of my friends have good home lives (Missouri is not a very LGBTQ+ friendly state, especially for trans youth). But, my dad was raised in a family where you don’t really talk about your feelings, and my grandparents raised three emotionally constipated adults. 

 

So unless he acknowledges his misstep, then I’ll just have to be the bigger person… 

 

(Like with the other response, idk if I stayed entirely on topic, but thanks for your insight! It reading these made me feel a lot better, and less guilty about being upset with my dad. It seems like I’m the only one in my house who is)

 

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33 minutes ago, CamtheMan said:

 

I didn’t expect anything BIG. He is a “science guy”, so he understands (to a point) binary trans people. Not so much non-binary people, so I expected him to ask questions at least. That’s literally all I wanted was a conversation, because… ya know this is a big deal for all parties. My dad and I have had a very close relationship, people always said that we act almost exactly alike. Whenever we talk to each other it’s always riddled with inside jokes and references that only we understand… so the anticlimax really hurt…

 

I love both my parents so much… probably fueled by the fact that not many of my friends have good home lives (Missouri is not a very LGBTQ+ friendly state, especially for trans youth). But, my dad was raised in a family where you don’t really talk about your feelings, and my grandparents raised three emotionally constipated adults. 

 

So unless he acknowledges his misstep, then I’ll just have to be the bigger person… 

 

(Like with the other response, idk if I stayed entirely on topic, but thanks for your insight! It reading these made me feel a lot better, and less guilty about being upset with my dad. It seems like I’m the only one in my house who is)

 

Hmm… sorry this is happening. I hear some parents react with whatever because they think their child will like it. Their line of thinking is “I want them to feel like nothing changed and I love them the exact same before they came out.” While that intention is good, and it’s good for nothing to change in that way, the parents should always remember to let their child know they accept that part of them. 
I don’t know if your dad is one of those parents, but he might be. From what you said about him, he seems like a good guy, but you might need to make the first move (or second, technically) and try talking to him about it when there’s time. 
 

Side note: It’s cool that you’re in Missouri, my family is moving there in a month. I’m not looking forward to the anti-lgbtq+ stuff, that’s for sure. My parents won’t let me transition until I’m moved out so when I’m 18  (I’m 17 right now), I’ll get in a bus and move in with my aunt (hopefully). So moving to Missouri shouldn’t slow me down too much. My parents are the real ones that are slowing me down. Anyway, maybe I’d see you around! That’d be cool!! 

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Hi, Cam!  First off, hopefully your location is more friendly than you think.  You're pretty close to the St. Louis metro area, so you aren't too far from some social options when you want to dive in.  My husband spent some of his growing up years pretty close to there.

 

Anyways, it stinks that your father couldn't give a reaction.  At some level, I think that would almost feel worse than a negative reaction.  I really feel for you.  Congrats on your courage to tell him, though!  I never had that, as I was outed to my parents by others and by life situation.  Your mom is an ally, so the chances are good that you and your father will experience a "meeting of the minds" somewhere down the road.  "Whatever" could mean your father is buying time.  Time to figure out his own feelings and how he actually wants to react.  He might come up with more feelings later, or he might not.  Or he may not care....it may be his way of saying "Six of one, half a dozen of the other."  So if you're feeling comfortable later on, you might bluntly ask him for clarification. 

 

My experience went badly.  My parents have no idea about my gender issues, but when they found out about my sexuality I was already an adult, but still living at home.  I have an ally in my slightly-younger sister, who is lesbian.  My parents shouted at both of us, and I got called all sorts of nasty things.  My older brothers talk to us on rare occasions, and never without negative "humor."  I hope that your journey isn't that rough....by your description, I think it will turn out alright after this initial stress. 

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2 hours ago, WillowA113 said:

Side note: It’s cool that you’re in Missouri, my family is moving there in a month. I’m not looking forward to the anti-lgbtq+ stuff, that’s for sure. My parents won’t let me transition until I’m moved out so when I’m 18  (I’m 17 right now), I’ll get in a bus and move in with my aunt (hopefully). So moving to Missouri shouldn’t slow me down too much. My parents are the real ones that are slowing me down. Anyway, maybe I’d see you around! That’d be cool!! 

Oh nice!! There are definitely some downsides to living in Missouri, but there are some good things too. The food places are always great, you HAVE to go to a Fritz’s if you are moving to the St. Louis area, their frozen custard is the bomb (if you aren’t lactose intolerant). St. Louis has a bunch of cool places to go. I live in the St. Charles area (it’s like, 30 min away from St. Louis). Rock on! it’s cool that you have a plan for when you move out (and it seems like you aren’t gonna let your parents slow you down!). Your aunt must be cool :] 

 

(and as for the rest of your comment, yeah. My dad is at heart a good guy. He’s just a little confused. But I reserve the right to be a petty for a little while longer lol)

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1 hour ago, CamtheMan said:

Oh nice!! There are definitely some downsides to living in Missouri, but there are some good things too. The food places are always great, you HAVE to go to a Fritz’s if you are moving to the St. Louis area, their frozen custard is the bomb (if you aren’t lactose intolerant). St. Louis has a bunch of cool places to go. I live in the St. Charles area (it’s like, 30 min away from St. Louis). Rock on! it’s cool that you have a plan for when you move out (and it seems like you aren’t gonna let your parents slow you down!). Your aunt must be cool :] 

 

(and as for the rest of your comment, yeah. My dad is at heart a good guy. He’s just a little confused. But I reserve the right to be a petty for a little while longer lol)

That’s cool! Yeah I’ll be near Kansas City which is on the opposite side. I’m excited to try the food!! My grandpa says there’s not a lot of Mexican places there, which would be unfortunate because that’s some of my favorite foods. Is that true? Some of the best pros for me are the weather (Arizona is scorching), a new dog (my parents promised), and new beginnings. I’ll make new friends and maybe not be seen as a weirdo. My parents said I could get new clothes, but they can’t be too feminine, but could maybe be on the verge of it. I’ll take what I can get I guess. (Btw I’m not lactose intolerant.) 

Yeah, technically they’ve slowed me down for two years, but in 8 months I turn 18 so it shouldn’t me much more of a wait. She is very cool. She’s sick a lot so if I move in with her I’d like to help her! Maybe take on a second job just to help! 
You definitely deserve to be petty, and I hope you and your dad can come to an understanding :)

Ps. Sorry for talking about myself so much in your topic. We can move this elsewhere if you want. It’s not often i find people my age on here (I’m assuming your age from context clues correct me if I’m wrong). 

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30 minutes ago, WillowA113 said:

That’s cool! Yeah I’ll be near Kansas City which is on the opposite side. I’m excited to try the food!! My grandpa says there’s not a lot of Mexican places there, which would be unfortunate because that’s some of my favorite foods. Is that true? Some of the best pros for me are the weather (Arizona is scorching), a new dog (my parents promised), and new beginnings. I’ll make new friends and maybe not be seen as a weirdo. My parents said I could get new clothes, but they can’t be too feminine, but could maybe be on the verge of it. I’ll take what I can get I guess. (Btw I’m not lactose intolerant.) 

Yeah, technically they’ve slowed me down for two years, but in 8 months I turn 18 so it shouldn’t me much more of a wait. She is very cool. She’s sick a lot so if I move in with her I’d like to help her! Maybe take on a second job just to help! 
You definitely deserve to be petty, and I hope you and your dad can come to an understanding :)

Ps. Sorry for talking about myself so much in your topic. We can move this elsewhere if you want. It’s not often i find people my age on here (I’m assuming your age from context clues correct me if I’m wrong). 


Yeah we are about the same age (I’m 16)! Don’t apologize for talking about yourself, I love hearing about other people’s lives. I haven’t really been to Kansas City that often, but every time I go to visit my family in Texas and in Iowa, I drive by the huge baseball stadium, so that’s cool. Also, I’ve been to Arizona once, and it really was scorching… and deserty… yuck. Missouri weather might be cooler in the fall and winter months, but we have EXTREME weather. Tornadoes, flash floods, severe thunderstorms… but you get used to it (and when it rains at night, just enough for you to hear it on your windows? *cheffs kiss*, lulls you to sleep like nobody’s business)
 

From my 5 minute google search, I could find only a few Mexican restaurants, but they all have pretty good reviews. 
 

I totally wish I could give you some of my feminine clothing… not that I mind wearing it, but you need it much more than I do sis. Once you move out, you will never have to wear an oversized ugly polo shirt ever again (idk what you were forced to wear, I’m just taking a -crap- in the dark lol). 
 

and about the dog… I have a dog too! Her name is Bell, and she is a demon but I love her :]
 

Talking to you is making me feel much better btw! 

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24 minutes ago, CamtheMan said:


Yeah we are about the same age (I’m 16)! Don’t apologize for talking about yourself, I love hearing about other people’s lives. I haven’t really been to Kansas City that often, but every time I go to visit my family in Texas and in Iowa, I drive by the huge baseball stadium, so that’s cool. Also, I’ve been to Arizona once, and it really was scorching… and deserty… yuck. Missouri weather might be cooler in the fall and winter months, but we have EXTREME weather. Tornadoes, flash floods, severe thunderstorms… but you get used to it (and when it rains at night, just enough for you to hear it on your windows? *cheffs kiss*, lulls you to sleep like nobody’s business)
 

From my 5 minute google search, I could find only a few Mexican restaurants, but they all have pretty good reviews. 
 

I totally wish I could give you some of my feminine clothing… not that I mind wearing it, but you need it much more than I do sis. Once you move out, you will never have to wear an oversized ugly polo shirt ever again (idk what you were forced to wear, I’m just taking a -crap- in the dark lol). 
 

and about the dog… I have a dog too! Her name is Bell, and she is a demon but I love her :]
 

Talking to you is making me feel much better btw! 

That’s so cool!! My family will be visiting Arizona once a year. Of course it will just be once for me because I’ll be back here permanently soon! Yep it sucks here and the extreme weather seems bad, but I’m sure I can get used to it. I’m exited about snow. I rarely get to see it so it will be a nice change! 
Well, at least there’s some. Shouldn’t be too bad, anyway. Burritos (you do know what those are, right??) are very quick and easy to make at home (and I’m someone who can’t really cook). 
I wish we could trade clothes too. More trans people should do that. It’s cheaper! 
Your dog seems nice. I have a cat that’s pure evil so I understand lol 

I’m glad you’re feeling better, man! I’m free 99% of the time so don’t be afraid to reach out! I can dm you my number if you’d rather have more immediate responses! 

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