An Open Letter to My Mom and Dad

Mom, Dad, I love you guys. Look, I have made it past 30! I have accomplished a great feat. As parents, you afforded me tons of opportunities as a child like sending me to Europe as an exchange student and I relished those. All the travels we did together taught me a lot about what it means to be family. I also loved the summer college trip we took my junior year of high school. You instilled a moral system that still works for me today. You taught me to seek knowledge and we all know how that turned out for me. You know, me being the trivia master that I am.

Throughout my life, you have coached and guided me into making sure I grew up to be a decent person. Guess what? It totally worked! I am a decent human being and I love that. We haven’t always seen eye to eye on everything, but what parent does? It is weird being in the spot I am in today, feeling like an adult. It’s what spurred me to write this. The fact that I no longer feel like a child really shook me to the core of my being. Making my own decisions has, in many ways, opened me up to be the best possible person I can be. Which brings us to the core issue of this letter to you: I am a trans* person who has met the love of her life, and in doing so, has overcome chemical dependency and made great strides in treating my depression.

I can’t believe how far I have come since I first moved to Seattle. I have had many ups and downs in those 7 years. Meeting Carolina five years ago was the best thing that ever happened to me. It seems like a long time, but she really has made me me a better person. I was such a destructive person in my 20s. You know with all the drugs and alcohol I was consuming. I have definitely overcome a lot of that destructive behavior. For once in my life, I feel like I am moving forward and not being stagnant. Through all my struggles in these last 5 years, she has been there for me and I am grateful. To be with someone who lets you be you 100% of the time is the greatest love in the world.

I do not know if you noticed, but my struggles and depression seem to have decreased over the last few years. I know you remember how bad it was. I have always struggled to find my identity. Well, I have been finding that person and it has been amazing. To finally feel like I fit in makes all my struggles so much easier to handle. I have been in therapy again since November and it really has helped overcome a lot of my depressive issues and deal with my feelings. Talking to you guys about these things has never been easy. I know you guys love me so much that you have never wanted me to be hurt ever. And I have been hurt before, but I am definitely dealing with those things.

What I really need to tell you, because I know you will be behind me a 100% even if you don’t fully understand that is, is that, yes, I am still transgender. That identity never went away. It was dormant for a while, and I really hoped to integrate it into my being without most people ever really knowing. That was never going to happen. Honestly, Mom and Dad, I have known since I was 5 years old that I was different, that I felt more female than male. I learned early on to blend in and try to be the best boy you guys could be proud of. I always struggled for approval, not just from you, but from society as a whole, and I never really knew how much hurt that it caused me until I really started experiencing being myself.

Carolina knew this going into my relationship and has always treated me as myself even through the hard times of our relationship. Most of my friends know me as me and are amazing with it. Honestly, I blend in so well that most random people do not know that I was born a boy. I have been living two separate lives these last few years, well all my life, but distinctly these last few years. At work and with family, I have been the son you knew. With my friends, with Carolina, and at home, I am my true happy self. I have no cares in the world. I love life so much and I am so damn happy being my true self. I haven’t seen myself smile like I have been lately in a long time. I seriously have not been happier since coming to terms with being transgender.

I want you to know that this has never really been a phase or that something caused me to be this way. It is just a biological difference that is now finally being talked about and that is being documented. I remember as a kid only really knowing about trans* people through trashy talk shows and trans* women being punchlines or serial killers. We aren’t. We are mothers, daughters, teachers, nurses, doctors, professors, musicians, artists, athletes, and more importantly, human beings. For me, to be the best possible, happiest, most loving person I can be, I need to be me. For me, that means me living, breathing, walking, talking, and working as a woman. It means for me to integrate into society as my true self. I realize that is hard to understand and I hope you will learn to embrace your child again. I have always been female on the inside, maybe not physically, but emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. I have interacted with society in what most would consider feminine ways even before I was out to myself or to others.

Here is the hardest part for me to talk about because this makes it real. I have been on hormones since April and they are magical little pills. I have never felt so happy, never felt so whole in my entire life. Up until then, I felt like I was floating above my body, a giant disconnected canyon, a prison in a body I loathed. I am changing as we all do, I am just doing it on a much grander scale. Hormones will make me look more female so I will definitely fit into society as I should have always done. I had to write this because I need your love. I know this letter will hurt and that is a perfectly honest and valid feeling to have. I have had years to deal with my transness, with integrating myself, with examining my life and figuring out how to fix this gaping hole in it. I realize this feels like a death in the family and like losing someone you loved and knew and at the same time you are gaining an amazing happy daughter. I will give you as much time as you need to deal with this.

I think it is important, Mom and Dad, to make peace with my past, present, and future self. I think we all need to do that in life. We all need to examine who we were and how we got to where we are and where we are headed in our lives.

I love you so much and I know you love me. I also know that this is but a bump in the road and we will all learn how to adapt to my new life. We have lots to figure out as I navigate this path.

I am grateful that I am able to tell you these things now because I need family in these times. I have felt like I have broken away too much and that is because I knew that you might not be ready to get to know the real me. I can provide whatever resources you would want about being transgender etc. If you are willing, PFLAG would be a great source of information for you as well. I realize this is a lot to process and I will give you all the time you need. I love you guys so much and I thank you for raising me to be a great human being. I will be the best daughter you could ever want.

Sincerely,
Alyson

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Alyson

Queer Pop Culture Junkie in the Northwest. Addicted to Coffee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fantasy Sports, The Mountain Goats, and Tottenham Hotspur.

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