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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » When to tell the family?

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Author Topic: When to tell the family?
onlyhuman
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Hi, may name is Matthew. I feel as though I have gender dysphoria and I have done for a while now. I've only recently had the courage to begin the process via the GP and gender clinic.
I feel like it is a certain thing that I will transition at some point. The only thing I can imagine holding me back is fear over what affect the news will have on my family. I feel that my mum would accept it but that my dad and brother would be against it. How do I decide when I should tell them? My mind is against me for worrying about this that at some points I kinda phase out for ages and I can just be sat there thinking and worrying. I'm just not sure what to do. If someone could help it would be greatly appreciated.

Posts: 9 | From: Knaresborough, UK | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CoatRack
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Coming out is such an individual thing that, as hard as it is to say, there's no set script or one perfect way to do it. Some families are totally open to the idea, other families will pretend that you never said anything, and others will react with the anger of uncertainty. And there's really no way to know, for sure, how any person will react.

I came out as transgender to my parents via letters. I sent them both an individual letter, a booklet from PFLAG called Welcoming Our Trans Family and Friends, and a list of local PFLAG meetings in their area.

I know you are in the UK, so some of that might not apply to you, but you can download the book for free, and it may have some ideas for you.

The biggest considerations when coming out to people you are uncertain about is your personal safety, and that includes mental, physical, and emotional safety.

Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out is an article we have about coming out in a more broad sense.

Do you want to look over the things I linked you to and then come back for more discussion?

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Hey folks, my name is Andrew and I was a mod here for awhile a couple years ago. I'll be here for a couple weeks while Heather is out and the site is even more short-staffed than usual

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onlyhuman
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I'm mainly just so scared that this information is going to tear apart me family if I tell them.
Posts: 9 | From: Knaresborough, UK | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CoatRack
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Can you say more about how/why you think that might happen?

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Hey folks, my name is Andrew and I was a mod here for awhile a couple years ago. I'll be here for a couple weeks while Heather is out and the site is even more short-staffed than usual

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onlyhuman
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It's just generally because my mum is sound but my dad and brother are as a rule quite predjudiced and quick to anger.
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onlyhuman
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The repsonse of anger is what I fear because my dad drinks quite heavily and it can be difficult to speak with him in general let alone with something so monumental and personal. When he is drunk the oddest things can link to something that irritates him and then sparks and arguments ensue. He is difficult to live with sometimes but I can't afford to get my own place.
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Heather
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Putting your physical and emotional safety first is always so important.

So, if you're pretty sure either would be at great risk by disclosing to your family, it's probably safest for you not to do that just yet.

Is waiting to do that going to put you in a spot where you're trying to do something like hide hormone therapy? Are you at that place yet?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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onlyhuman
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No, I'm literally right at the beginning of the process. I still on the waiting list for the gender clinic.
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Heather
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So, my best advice, then, would be not to disclose for now, and to talk about this with the therapist you start seeing at the gender clinic.

Very unfortunately, and as you probably know, lack of family acceptance is incredibly common with gender-variant people. But the good news is that professionals who work with gender issues are very familiar with that and can usually help clients/patients through that very well.

In the meantime, because it can feel so stifling to have to keep all of this to yourself, is there anyone else in your life you can disclose to who you are pretty sure will be accepting and supportive?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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onlyhuman
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No, not really. At least no-one I could realistically guess the reaction of.
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Heather
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I'm so sorry to hear that.

By any chance, have you asked the gender clinic if they have any peer support groups?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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onlyhuman
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I'm just on the waiting list I have'nt actually been to it yet.
Posts: 9 | From: Knaresborough, UK | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
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Hi Matthew [Smile] ,

While waiting for the gender clinic appt, have you looked into any local support organisations? The Beaumont Society offers online support and also lists a number of other organisations:
http://www.beaumontsociety.org.uk/other_help.html

Mermaids (UK) in particular is aimed at children and young people with gender identity issues:
http://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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