This weekend, I found out that my family has begun avoiding me. At first I thought it was because they wanted nothing more to do with me anymore, a common enough occurrence amongst the trans community. It turns out that they’re avoiding me because they somehow no longer know how to talk to me, which is also fairly common, so I felt like addressing these two extreme responses today.
Far too often, our families decide that they want nothing more to do with us as trans people. There is often some point where they realize that it’s going to happen, that it’s not just a phase or something they can force us to hide for the rest of our lives. In my case, the moment that it sank in with my family was when I finally got my name legally changed last week. For others it may be something as simple as beginning to dress in the clothing appropriate to the gender they identify as. Whatever the cause may be, they reach a point of realizing that this is not a game.
It’s at this point that how they react to us may change. Some who have been supportive to date may suddenly feel that we need to slow down. Others may feel that they no longer know how to interact with us on a personal level. Some may decide to have nothing more to do with us. And finally, some may become even closer to us, supporting us even stronger than ever before. But however they react, it is typical for these milestones in our transition to cause them to reevaluate their feelings toward us, for good or ill. I hope that I will live to see the day when the negative responses no longer exist, but they will come eventually.
Does anyone else have stories of changes in reactions of their loved ones in regard to their transition?