A letter to my parents explaining my situation is now en route to my home town. I would repost the text of it here, but (a) it’s private, and (b) I wrote it out by hand, so it’s not on my computer. It seemed like the only appropriate way to do it; an e-mail or a typewritten message would just be too impersonal. Of course the best way to do it would be to tell them face to face, but that’s not an option, owing as much to my own mortal terror as to the geographical distance between us. In some ways, I’m glad that I won’t be there to see the revelation. Not because I expect them to disown me, or disavow me, but because I greatly dislike the feeling that I am “on display.” I have a tendancy to keep my true self– my likes, my intentions, my interests and the like–shielded away, turtle-like, beneath a shell of generalities. That I am (finally) taking any sort of definitive, public stand on this issue (rather than just going with the flow publicly while only truly living in secret) is quite uncharacteristic for me, and, I think, constitutes a badge of great personal development. That is, by the way, how I “framed” my decision in the letter. I also studiously avoided referring to myself as their “daughter,” as I don’t want to have to rub salt into their proverbial wounds.
Canada Post being what it is, I predict that the letter will reach them either this Friday or next Monday. Shortly thereafter, I predict that I will have to have a long and extraordinarily difficult telephone conversation with them. I do not, by any means look forward to it.I suspect I will benefit from the fact that I will not actually see my parents for the next several months, as this will give them time to get used to the idea.
But do you know what? Within one week from today, I will be ‘out’ to everyone who actually matters in my life*. With that out of the way, I will then be entirely free to pursue the rest of my life as a member of the female sex. The full magnitude of this simple, glorious fact is only now occuring to me. I have always been loathe to consider my future, because I have always assumed that it will be a long, slow slog through secrecy and mediocrity, ending ultimately in death. But now I will be able to live as myself, on my own terms, just as I have always wanted; and so my future suddenly becomes a marvellous adventure (also ending ultimately in death, but hey, you win some, you lose some). And I never would have been able to do it if I had not been willing, for once, to take a stand.
*I intend to meet with my supervisor in gender-neutral clothing and just slip my new name onto all of my assignments and so forth and only comment if he takes notice. He’s not actually allowed to fire me for this reason, and he seems like a good man, but he is a practicing Ukrainian Orthodox Christian, so I have no idea how he will react.