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Trisha

Coming out to kids

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Trisha

Interested to know of people's experience with coming out to their kids and how they did it? How did it go? I have 2 daughters 11 and 13, my plan is to come out to them when I have been on HRT for 6 months. (August) I figure that will still be before any noticeable physical changes.

To complicate the family dynamic one daughter is mine and the other daughters is my partner's. Did you talk first with the other parents (provided you are on good terms with them. I am) before coming out to them?

 

Thank you for your responses.

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Susan R
14 hours ago, Trisha said:

Interested to know of people's experience with coming out to their kids and how they did it? How did it go?

Howdy Neighbor! I can share my experience coming out to my children but keep in mind, my results and others here will have absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the acceptance level your children will offer you.  I will admit, my life has been wonderful since my transition. The one area of hurt is only that in my relationships with my now adult children.

 

I have 3 step-daughters, ages 31, 36, & 38.  They have known me as Dad for 22 years as their bio-father played never made contact after he left my current wife 24 years ago.  We had a relatively normal life together. I felt I was a good father to my girls. I was hoping they would accept a transgender female parent.  I had no way of knowing how they would take the news.  Two daughters growing up had LGB relationships so I thought they would accept me. The middle daughter has in-law relatives with same sex couples so I thought there might be some understanding there too.

 

Eventually, my wife and I came to a place where we needed to come out to our daughters.  We prepared how it was going to be done.  I debated whether to come out as Dad or Susan.  My wife and I chose Dad after careful consideration and talking to others.  I had to tell them all within a week because news of this sort could not be kept secret long in our family. We decided to sit down with each parent and discuss this openly and then let them decide when the grandchildren should find out.  Only my youngest daughter opted to have the grandchildren present.  I adjusted my language accordingly to help them understand me and my situation best.
 

I told my middle daughter first because we spend more time with them.  They were extremely welcoming and open armed about it.  They wanted to tell their children themselves the next week. So it’s been almost a year now since they found out.  They accept me as Susan but we no longer do things in public with them and they do not invite us to family functions any longer. They do come to drop by to visit at our place every few months but it has been quite different.

 

I told my oldest daughter next because she had a long term girlfriend in her 20’s. She was accepting in the beginning to a degree but became less accepting with time.  She told my middle daughter, “It’s ok I guess but it’s just..weird!” After 6 months, they finally told their children (my grandchildren) but do not let us see them unless they are with them. Like my middle daughter, she does not do anything with us in public now. After 9 months we were finally allowed to come over to their home because they needed my pressure washer.  The relationship is nearly nonexistent.  My daughter texts my wife on occasion but it’s always for a favor she needed.

 

The youngest daughter lived with us the longest.  She took it hard but seemed tentative but accepting initially.  She was very quiet but the next day wanted me to present female and take the grandkids to the beach.  We had fun.  However, something happened after we left.  The very next day, her fiancé of 5 years decided to immediately dump on her that he is MtF transgender too.  My daughter panicked or something changed.  She blamed me for this new change in her life and loss of a fiancé.  She disowned me and we’ve never spoke since. She refuses to speak to me and has only spoke to her mom (my wife) on rare occasions.  I’m dead to her.

 

So that’s my story.  There are so many variables that are unique to my situation that it doesn’t really provide much of a guide or in any way solace for you in your future coming out to your children.  Your experience WILL be different than mine and you can bet that it will be much better than mine because I feel children of the ages you have are much more resilient.

 

In conclusion, all of my 7 grandkids (ages 9-16) accept me as Susan without any judgement or ridicule.  They are loving and kind toward the new me whenever I see or talk to them on the phone or text.

 

One thing that may occur that I need to add...there may be a change in the acceptance level of any of them you come out to after a short period of time for ‘taking it in’ and internalizing it a bit.  It can go either way but in many if not most, it did change.

 

Best of luck in your upcoming endeavor,

Susan R🌷

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Jani

@Susan R I don't believe I had read about your children before.  I'm sorry that it did not work out, despite all the indicators that it should have.  Hugs.

 

@Trisha at 11 and 13 they may be understanding but a bit freaked out about what their friends would think.  Be aware and be prepared to discuss your public persona.  

 

Jani 

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Patti Anne

Susan R: Ouch, I'm so sorry. That's gotta hurt. A lot. I guess the one thing that helps with the heartbreak is the fact that your wife stands with you. It's impossible to gauge how someone will actually react when that hear that revelation. I can't help thinking that their response has more to do with them than with you. If there's one thing I took away from thousands of hours of therapy is that usually, if someone has a strong reaction after getting certain news, it usually has something more to do an issue that they're fighting within themselves. My mind goes back a decade or so to a news article regarding an evangelical preacher who always railed against every letter in the LGBTQ's. As I remember, (that was before we were referred to as LGBTQ). At some point after building his reputation and made his supposed attitudes known, he was arrested sometime later in a police sting Involving gay prostitution, in a public bathroom somewhere. I don't remember his name, but it was one of the big televangelists of the 80's and 90's.

 

Anyway, I can't help believing that given time, your loved ones will come around. One (relatively small) issue can't erase a lifetime of parenting and love. 

 

But your story makes me dread my coming out. My kids may not handle it well. I know that my middle ex-wife will go as far as she can to make it painful for me. In the courts, in the valley, etc. But I've been on hormones for 3 months, and even now, after 3 months, I look way more androgynous than I ever have. And I can tell you, I won't be wearing any T-shirts this summer. 

 

Maybe I'll just let them figure it out on their own.   

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Susan R
3 hours ago, Patti Anne said:

But your story makes me dread my coming out. My kids may not handle it well. I know that my middle ex-wife will go as far as she can to make it painful for me.

Please don’t let my story in any way slow your willingness to move forward with your eventual coming out.  Mine was a particularly bad result but I’ve read dozens of other similarly structured families and situations where just the opposite occurred.  Writing this all out is somewhat therapeutic for me and helps me come to terms with my life as it really is.  I have been blessed with many more friends and allies online and locally in real life so it’s not all bad.  Family is important but it’s not everything.  If my wife wasn’t around to support me through this that would be a completely different story.  Thank you both @Jani and @Patti Anne for your kind comments.  It does help also to have good people like you all in my life.

 

Susan R🌷

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Trisha

Thank you for sharing your stories. I am now 1 month on  HRT but am thinking if waiting till I am at least 6 months before bringing the subject up with my kids. 

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Erikka

I came out to oldest daughter, I have three, 33, 38, 43, about twenty years ago and she has always been very supportive. My youngest  and middle I came to them just before I started living full time.  My youngest is so into having a trans dad and in public calls me Erikka and dad privately. The oldest still says dad. My middle daughter, although she says she loves me and is not going to go away is a bit reserved, she is the only one with kids and I have not se3n the little ones in two years and I have no idea what DD2 has said to them if anything.she is so hard to read. They are coming for a visit in July. I am nervous. I don’t know what the grands know or don’t know, what my daughter expects of me...

  All situations are different. There is no way of predicting how someone will react. Best of luck.

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