Your Loved One Transitions, and as He/She Rejoices, You Grieve.
Gender variance encompasses many facets along the gender identity spectrum, often very individual–there are many “shades of gray”. What seems not in question, is that the person who experiences it, though sure internally of who they are, are often confused and fearful when it comes to expressing their authentic self, and showing their need for self-identity. “Coming out” brings its own confusion and fear. Fear of rejection, fear for safety, adjustment anxiety, and situation depression, and no doubt other concerns that someone such as myself can only guess at. I am not the person faced with this internal need to change. I am the observer, the onlooker, the co-worker, the best friend, the partner, the wife, the son or daughter, the cousin, aunt or uncle…perhaps you are “the last to know.”
Your loved one has taken a leap of faith by coming out to you. You may wish they had shared the information with you sooner. Or, you may wish they had never told you. But now, knowing, you may be confused, fearful for what it means for them, fearful for what it means to your relationship with them, fearful of society’s view, and it goes on and on. In fact, you are faced with a personal perceptual adjustment, a mind over matter, sky is green, grass is blue kind of mental adjustment. you are finding that some things are not as they have seemed…it can shake us to our foundation.
Whether M2F, F2M, or any of the gender non-conforming variances that occur, I believe individuals deserve support for what it means to be their authentic self. Understanding and acceptance comes with education and/or experience. What I have discovered on my own journey and in speaking to others, is that those of us that are confronted by our loved ones coming out, are experiencing feelings that are similar, and sharing those thoughts and feelings helps. You can contact me by e-mail if you are struggling with feelings you don’t know how to handle or are afraid to share. I am here to support you if I can.