In my own personal experience, I find it terribly ironic that those in my public and professional life have been almost universally supportive, and those I felt closest too before have been the least supportive. The very few in my public or professional life who may have some reservations about my transition, keep these to themselves, and still treat me very professionally. I have quite literally NEVER been treated rudely or with disrespect in public.
I should add that I transitioned later in life, when it is considerably more difficult to "pass" (whether one finds that important or not), and I still work in the same industry where hundreds of people knew me before, so it's not simply that others don't know.
Those who have been the least supportive include my children, my ex-spouse, and my former church family. I suppose that makes sense in some ways; those whom you care about the most, are those who are most able to hurt you, or to be hurt by you.
In what has been a terrible emotional blow just yesterday, I discovered after the fact that my youngest son who I love beyond words to express, age 22, recently married the same girlfriend who told me after she learned of my transition that she "never wanted my son to ever have anything to do with me ever again." I think it hurts most of all to realize how much pain he must feel toward me and my transition, that it felt necessary to completely exclude me from any knowledge of his wedding, and indeed from his life.
Perhaps one day this will change, but I have to let go of that hope for now, and move on with my life.
I am reminded of the story in the Bible of the prodigal son, and I completely understand the father who welcomed his returned son with even greater love and open arms than before he left.
Those of you who have been blessed to retain the love and acceptance of your families and loved ones, and I know some of you have, are blessed probably far more than you will ever realize. I encourage you to spend the rest of your life letting them know just how much you do appreciate them.
I'm one week late posting this, my one year transition anniversary was October 4th, 2014, but recent weeks have been so full on so many fronts, that it's hard to keep up. Actually I was "full-time" everywhere but work since late April 2013, but I didn't come out at work till October 4th. Now, a year later, it's actually difficult to realize that anything has changed, I suppose because I haven't really changed at all, I've just quit hiding and have let the rest of the world begin to know the real me.
What can I say about this past year? It has been a rebirth, a whole new life, the most exciting time of my life, an amazing experience. I won't rehash all the experiences that attended getting here, I've covered that pretty thoroughly already, but it is appropriate to say that this year has been more wonderful than anything I could have imagined. I smile nearly all the time now. There is a lightness to my spirit that long-time friends find remarkable. In some ways I am the same person I ever was, and in other ways I am completely new. All the memories, knowledge, experience, and core values are still there; more vivid in many cases, but I am also an utterly new person; happier, much more confident, more optimistic, more hopeful, more giving, more relaxed, completely comfortable in my own skin for the first time. I'm a much better person in so many ways than I have ever been. I know now that I was always female. I grew up as a little girl trying very hard to pretend to be a boy, without great success, terrified that someone might catch a glimpse of her. The kids that called me names, and worse, were often quite cruel, but in reality they knew me better than I knew myself. This year has been both a wondrous new life for me, and a rediscovery of that little girl that had hidden even from herself. I can now finally embrace that little girl. I love her so, and I love the woman she has finally grown into, with all my heart!
As I count down the days till my surgery next year, everything seems surreal. That miracle that I cried myself to sleep wishing for when I was little, is coming true! Except that it isn't happening as an overnight magical experience as I once imagined it might. I'm not quite waking up to discover that my old life was just some awful nightmare, and yet I have, except the nightmare was like years of sleepwalking, and now the magic is happening in slow motion, so you can see all the magician's secrets unfold. There are just as many tears as before, perhaps even more, but they're all tears of joy now, indescribable, overwhelming, incredulous at the wonder of it all. I praise my God every day for the gift of this life, and all the amazing friends who happily celebrate it with me. I could easily feel heartbroken at all the years I've lost, but I'm much too busy living the years I've regained. My fondest wish today is that I can somehow help others wake up from their secret nightmare, hopefully years sooner than I did. Life is much too wonderful to spend it hiding. -- Theresa
My name is Theresa.