Thursday, 2 January 2014

A hint of gender

In a footnote of my previous post I said my mom had noticed a hint of my gender issues. Aimee called me out on leaving such a huge cliffhanger unresolved, so I'm writing this post to fix that! :)

As I said before, I was having a very hard time dealing with my gender during the time I spent at my parents' house over Christmas. On the second-last day there, being quite depressed and hoping it would help, I decided to wear a camisole under my guy clothes. (I had brought one with me to sleep in). I wore a t-shirt and a sweater over top of it, so I honestly thought I would be safe.

I did help me feel a little better.

But, of course, later on one of the straps shifted so that it was visible through my collar. My dad was in the next room. My mom pointed to it and said quietly, "You need to adjust that before your father sees it." I did, and we carried on with our game of Scrabble as if nothing had happened.

The next day, just as I was leaving to go home, and my dad was out walking their dogs, she suddenly blurted out, "Tyler, I want you to see a counsellor." This was followed by a very tense pause. I said nothing. Then she continued, "I don't know what you're going through. But when people are having a crisis of identity like this, whether that's gender or whatever, they sometimes act in the ways that are... destructive... like, self-destructive. And I don't want to lose you. Because I love you."

I was completely taken off guard by this. I just mumbled stupidly, "Uh, okay, maybe," and left before we had a chance to discuss the matter further. Perhaps that was a mistake.

Writing about it now I'm really touched by her concern for me. However I'm ashamed to admit that, at the time, I was in such a foul mood that I was mostly just annoyed. It bothered me that she assumed I was in a state of crisis, which I don't feel I am. I'm not really questioning my identity: I identify as trans. I'm quite certain about that part.

All in all though, I'm very, very blessed to have parents who care so much about me. It's important I don't lose sight of that.


  1. Haha, I cant believe you missed this out! This is huge! :)

    I used to wear clear nail polish on one nail on each hand to help me feel better when I was on a bit of a 'dressing-drought', I just had to run my other fingers over it and it would make me feel better. It was a very shiny though and I would be surprised if no-one noticed, in the end I took it off because it was making me a little paranoid, especially in work under the bright office lights. I havent done it in a while but I might start wearing it again, see if I can find some matte stuff that doesnt stand out so much. I think this just goes to show though that it doesnt matter how safe you feel having these little hidden pieces of femininity about your body, you should be prepared for them to be noticed. In this case though it sounds like its worked in your favour.

    I wouldnt worry about your 'mistake', by the sounds of things she caught you off guard at a time when you were busy getting ready to leave. You should look at the positives, she knows something is going on with your gender identity, and she has shown she is concerned and also expressed reassurance that she still loves you. This will undoubtedly make coming out to your parents a lot easier. Im guessing you will be following up the conversation at some point?

    Aimee x

    1. Yeah, in retrospect I think that when I wrote the first post I was thinking this was big enough to get its own post and that's why I didn't inlcude it. And then I got distracted and forgot to write it, haha.

      It's certainly not the way I would have wanted my mother to find out about this stuff, but you're right: the fact that she knows something is up will make the actual coming out conversation a lot easier.

      And yeah, there will definitely have to be some follow-up regarding the counselling question. I'm certainly not opposed to the idea of counselling, but I don't feel it's something I need at the moment. I hope she'll be able to see that I'm actually fairly stable, gender issues notwithstanding.