Well, I left the last post on something of a cliffhanger, didn’t I? I’d sent my parents the letter announcing that I’m transgender but, at the time of of writing that post, I was getting anxious as I’d had no reply. I needn’t have worried. All was fine – all is fine. Here’s how things unfolded.
Friday, 5.12pm. I’m sitting by my pond in the garden, soaking up some late spring sunshine. Phone pings. Look at phone. WhatsApp message. Open message. From… “Mum”.
I looked away from the phone in blind panic. This was the moment I’d been dreading for not only a few hours since posting the letter the previous day – but for several decades. I knew I had to read it, but I was shit-scared that they wouldn’t approve.
My mum can be a right madam when she wants to be and I said in my last post that I could imagine her coming out with a fair few negatives instead of seeing the positives.
Here’s what she wrote (the blanked-out bit relates to my career, which I don’t want to go into here):
And just reading that again now is bringing tears to my eyes, just like when I first read it on Friday. It’s pretty much the perfect response – total acceptance but some really brilliant advice as well. I have a massive lump in my throat again now.
So I responded with “Aaaaaaargh! Hello!” And then thanked her said, yep, it was hard to write – took about two weeks. I also pointed out that I work in an industry full of LGBT people and that I don’t anticipate too many issues there.
I then wrote: “So you’re both OK about all this then? You’re not going to disown me or anything? xxx”
She replied: “It’ll take some getting used to but disown you? No!”
And then I got all emotional and told her I loved her and said I was eternally grateful that they were being so cool about it all.
She replied by calling me a “soft sod” and said she loved me, too. I felt closer to her at that moment than I have for decades, probably as a little “boy” sitting on her knee while she read Beatrix Potter to me.
We’ve had our ups and downs over the years, but I’ll never forget this, and I hope it can bring us even closer.
So that was it. Notes of caution – but acceptance. No “Are you sure you’ve thought this through?” No complaints about me dropping my birth names. Nothing but love.
I was just so, so happy. So I did what all thoroughly modern Millies do in 2017 and went on Facebook! Edited version here:
And then there was an outpouring of love from my friends, most of them who know about my “ting”. Here are a few from my bessies, and my little sister:
- Sounds to me like you have a family as lovely as you are my fab friend. Really happy that you’re so happy and sending a special cyber hug to your Mum (cos I’m a soft sod too) xxx
- We have the most amazing mum and dad. Wine on me tonight mummy😘
- So so so happy you’re happy xx
- Ah how fabulous. You clearly have a family as beautiful as you. Lots of love to you all. Xx
- Love love love this xxxx
- Best post ever xx
I love my friends so much! They were amazing when I “was a man” but they’re just mindblowingly awesome now I’m heading towards womanhood.
There were a few more replies from people who didn’t know, too. So, I told some of them, including cousins, and all were fantastic, as I knew they would be. One or two others I told to wait and see – all of them blokes, I think!
My sister saw my mum and dad that night, and said everything went well. My Dad’s a bit concerned about the reaction at the football, she said, but then so am I. We’ll just have to deal with it when the time comes.
I’m not as concerned as I was about that because if some beer-swilling twat on the terraces laughs and calls me a “ladyboy”, I know that I’ve got a whole army of friends – most of them women – who love me. And I respect their opinions far more than some bloke who has nothing in his life but football, beer and takeaways.
That used to be me not so long ago. I drank far too much beer, ate far too many takeaway pizzas and was a bit too obsessed with the beautiful game. At Slimming World last Thursday, I got my 4st award at last.
I passed round a couple of photos of me at my fattest and nobody could quite believe it was the same person. The real person was there back then, but she was locked away by distractions like alcohol. The gender dysphoria doesn’t hurt so much after two bottles of cheap wine.
Most of my Slimming World group now know, too. I told another member last week and, again, she thought it was brilliant. I showed her a photo of me, all smiles, which I took on the day of my gender clinic appointment, and she said I looked so happy. That’s because I was so happy.
So the next step is to come out publicly. No more hiding from who I am. I’m not some paedophile with a nasty secret – it’s a beautiful secret, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. So I’m going to make an announcement on Facebook and finally change my name from Andy to Andie there. New photo, too. I just want my mum and dad to get used to the idea a bit more first. I’m going to invite them over for a meal soon so we can chat.
If there’s any problem with coming out to EVERYONE, it will be with men. Every single woman I’ve told (well, apart from one!) has been accepting and utterly brilliant. Because of that, it’s now become so easy to tell people now. I told my friend Vickie tonight – it was as easy as asking if she fancied a nice cup of tea. Again, a great response.
Actually, I’ll quote it because she’s got a way with words, our Vic.
So am I supposed to be shocked, horrified and want to burn you at the stake? I dont give a shit, me darling, I love you for who you are.. And does this mean you will be wanting dress tips off me as you’ve had that one, I ain’t got a bloody clue lol xxx
And that’s how everyone’s been, apart from dissing ma threads! As I say, women are generally better at this than men. That’s because women are, generally speaking, far more awesome than men. I truly believe that.
Look at that Facebook post above. Six “loves” – all women – and 21 likes – 19 women and two men.
So, when I do come out “properly”, it will be the big, hairy-arsed blokes I expect to have issues. I may even lose a couple of Facebook friends, but I don’t really care because the friends I truly care about are all legends – and they’re mostly women.
I finished my Friday night by having a few beers (and glasses of wine and Jim Beam) with Annie, who has become my absolute rock over the past few weeks. She’s incredible and I’ll love her forever. She, her stepdad-to-be and I were up verrrry late.
Maybe that’s why my body clock is f*cked and I’m writing this at gone 4.30am! Another great thing to come out of that was I was invited to be Annie’s “plus one” at her mum’s wedding in August – and I’ve even been invited on the hen weekend a fortnight earlier.
And that’s been an ambition of mine for as long as I can remember. I am welling up again now (must stop this!) because I feel so utterly, utterly happy – and it’s all coincided with a sassy young lady called Annie entering my life at a time of amazing change. Thank you, bab! I will be forever in your debt, and I can’t tell you what you mean to me. Friends forever and ever and ever.
Goodnight world! Mwah!