And then, with its great clattering of tacky songs, comes Christmas. Suddenly I am hurled back into the suffocating darkness of the closet. The door is shut and latched, and I am forced to contend once more with the absurd fact of hiding my identity from people I love.
This is because, of course, all the progress I made stopped short of coming out to my parents.
In my previous post I wrote of walking to the grocery store and buying lunch as a girl. That day also happened to be the first time I spent an entire day as a girl, which was lovely. I hoped that with all that girl-time my gender might stop bothering me for a while and I decided to be a boy the next day. But it was just as difficult as ever, and this more or less confirmed for me that I will probably have to socially transition.
A couple days later I was a girl again. This time I put gas in my car, got a bunch of groceries, talked to the cashier with my first attempt at a female voice, and went Christmas shopping at an antique store. What I've learned from all this is that either I pass, or people in general don't give a shit about crossdressers— and to be honest, the latter sounds more likely— because no one gave any signs that anything was out of the ordinary.
Christmas is a huge deal in my family, and in general I actually enjoy it. We had our celebration early, on the 22nd, because my brother and his wife, (henceforth known as Carson and Jamey), were planning on spending the 25th with her family. My family always spends the day before Christmas together as well, which meant two days of pretending to be a boy. And not the effeminate boy I usually look like when I'm presenting male either, but a "typical" boy.
And so Christmas was fun, but it was also hard. It helped a lot having Carson and Jamey there, as they at least know about me. After we finished unwrapping the presents Jamey nudged me to follow her down the hall and gave me a small container of makeup from MAC: a clandestine Christmas gift. It wasn't much, but what it meant— an affirmation of my gender at a time when that's exactly what I needed— was huge. I ended up having to lock myself in the bathroom until I stopped crying, silly me! Sometimes the tears are just one more thing you have to hide...
I went home that evening thinking I had made it through a Christmas in the closet. But as I mentioned, we did Christmas early. And since I was still in town over the 24th and 25th, my parents suggested I spend those days at their house too. I didn't have a good reason not to, and resigned myself to continue the charade.
On the 23rd my brother and his wife were making the ten hour drive to visit her family in British Columbia. Someone turning left onto the highway didn't see them coming and pulled out just in time to cause an accident. My brother texted me from the ambulance. No one involved seemed to be seriously hurt, but they were going to the hospital just to be sure. Their car, however, was totalled. In the end Jamey had some minor whiplash, but that was the only injury. They actually made it to their destination that same night, somewhat later than intended. Carson asked me not to tell mom and dad about this incident, and I understood why: we all know my father is a chronic worrier. Still, this meant one more secret to keep.
|Their car. Yikes...|
They've been pretty worried about me since then.
The ironic thing is that, with the exception of the last few days, I've actually been doing very well lately. I am, in general, happier than I've been in a long time— taking the first small steps toward living in the right gender has a way of doing that, I suppose. But of course that's not the part of me they saw. How could they have?
I suppose I ought to come out to them, and soon. Not just for my sake anymore, but for theirs too. It's unkind of me to let them worry so much when there's really nothing wrong. I'm kind of annoyed to have had my hand forced in this way, but I guess that's life. And in any event, I've been thinking about telling them for a long time.
I hope all goes well when I do.
* My mom did pick up on a hint that it was gender-related, but I won't go into that now because this post is already really long.