Oops! I missed a couple days! Well, here you go.
Day 4: How did your family take it when you came out/ if you are not out why aren’t you?
Basically, my family’s awesome. When I came out to my mom as gay, she said, “Yeah, I kinda figured.” Though, I did have her picking up my gay-themed library book requests. Cause I was too afraid to do it myself. I was still really nervous about coming out though.
I came out as trans when I was in college, so I wasn’t seeing my parents every day. I carefully wrote up an email to my parents. It was more like a letter that got there quicker. I explained what was going on, how my name was Ben and I’d like to be called ‘he’ now. I explained why I chose Bentley, cause I figured my dad would like that it came from an Isaac Asimov book. I explained that I was still me, just more me. And I especially emphasized how happy this made me. I also included a few links to resources.
I visited my parents about a month or so later, for summer break. They’d even printed out the letter and everything. My mom talked to me about it when we were on a several hours long car trip, which was a terrible idea. She tried to do the sex talk that way too. Not cool. Good sentiment, but no. At least I wasn’t driving. She had positive things to say, she just didn’t want me doing anything rash without thinking, like medical transition.
My dad did a very dad thing, and we went on a walk after dinner like usual. And he talked in paragraphs. It seemed like something he’d thought about a lot, and didn’t want to go too far off his mental script. (I do that too, actually.) He was happy that I was happy, though he was afraid that I was following gender stereotypes. Like, he wanted me to know that there was nothing wrong with being a masculine girl, and I didn’t need to change everything just because of how I dress and behave. But, that’s a lesson that I’d gotten all growing up. That I can do whatever I want to do and my gender shouldn’t affect that.
A lot that summer (I was just there for a few weeks, since I was elsewhere for most of the summer) they were trying not to call me she and by my old name. I was ‘the kid’ a lot. During the next school year, I was talking to my mom on the phone and she proudly told me that she and dad had been practicing calling me Ben and he. By the end of winter break, they’d got it down pat. :)
Now my mom’s being really supportive of my testosterone stuff, which is helpful because she’s a medical professional. I don’t know too much what my dad thinks, but he’s easier to talk to in person. We’re similar that way. But he’s always been supportive of my gender transgressions or whatever all growing up. Pretty sure he taught me how to shave, even though we thought I never would. Oh my god, maybe he can re-teach me how to shave for winter break! Though, I think it’s pretty simple.
Day Five: Are you active in the trans community or LGBT community?
Yep. I guess I’m more active in the trans community on the internet, since almost everyone who’s trans here graduated. But I did just come back from the Family meeting, our school’s queer straight alliance thing. We talked about labels.
I used to be way more active, since it was the first time I even had any sort of queer community that wasn’t us being frustrated about society or parents. I ran the gay straight alliance in high school, and it was a battle the entire time. It was exhausting.
But now transness and queerness aren’t a huge part of my identity. There’s whole lot more to me. Like math! Camping used to be really big for me. I’ve got a tattoo of a tree. Trees are like fractals. Also math is a huge part of my identity. Recently disability has been an identity for me too.
So, I show up. I’ll talk about it. I’ll be supportive. But it’s not something that I will put a lot of myself into anymore.
Day Six: Who was the first person you told about being trans?
Well, everyone here at school was pretty much aware of my self-discovery process. I was ID-ing as ‘not a woman’ for a while. I identified as all kinds of things, trying to figure myself out. I even experimented with dresses, now that dresses does not equal female.
For a very long time I was saying that my PGP was “he or she,” but everyone just thought that meant “she.” So, when I was fed up with it, at one meeting I introduced myself as Ben and he, and everyone was really cool about it. They even tried using my new name and pronoun some.
So, I guess, all those random people at the meeting were the first people I came out as trans to. I think the group was called “GendeRevolution,” so it was definitely a safe space.
There was one of my friends in middle school that I was chatting with on the phone once. I think it was in eighth grade. I told her that I thought I might actually be a boy. I don’t think she understood what I meant, and she was like ‘Uh, no you’re a girl. I’m pretty damn sure.’ That’s sort of the first person I told about being trans. But I didn’t even know what trans meant then.