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Coming Out

I wrote this on May 19th, 2019. It was close to 2 weeks before I would socially transition fulltime. I had been on hormones for just over a year at that point in time and subtle changes were taking place. I wasn’t quite out to everyone at this point but it’s safe to say that most people knew already. My family is important to me, and I had to tell my siblings before I could go fulltime. I had been turning this over and over in my head for a while on what I would say to my brother. I’ve always looked up to him ever since I was little, and I have the upmost admiration for him. This was hidden away in my emails for quite a while, and I thought maybe it would be a good idea to post this. So, with his permission, here is my coming out letter and his response is attached at the end. Thank you, brother, for accepting me and for always being a good role model.

Jon and Melinda,

By the time that I finish writing this letter, I imagine that I will have been working on it, on-and-off, for several days. I intend to take great care with it, because what I want from the outset is for this letter to preemptively explain away the things you may wish to know, and to answer the questions you will want to ask. Regardless of my wishes and best intentions, there will remain things that you do not know, and there will remain questions that need asking. It’s just the nature of things, I guess, so I suppose all that I’m wanting to say with this disclaimer is that I’m going to be trying as hard as I can.

And the reason I’m taking so much care, putting so much effort into making sure that what I say is what I really and truly want to say, how I want it said, is because I am writing you to tell you that I am a transgendered human being.

This is… not as jarring of a proclamation to me as it probably is to you. If you saw this coming, that’s great! I didn’t really try to hide it. If not, please stick with me for at least a few pages so that I can try and explain some things.

In short, my brain does not; has not; nor ever will; identify with my anatomical sex assigned at birth. The diagnosis is “Gender Dysphoria.” Unlike most medical conditions, you can’t see what I have. Ultrasounds cannot measure it, MRI’s cannot scan it, and blood work cannot identify it. Confirmation of diagnosis is through relief of symptoms found through medical intervention. Just like most diseases or birth defects, there is no clear cause.

They say the hardest step in fixing a problem is admitting you have one. I had one, but I couldn’t face it. Time and time again, throughout my life I tried to run from it, but it wasn’t going away. Since early childhood, I tried to mirror my behavior like that of my father and brother and other male role models, thinking my actions would ultimately program my thinking. It was a false assumption, but for a child I knew no better.

This carried over into adult life as well, thinking if I just overcome the next hurdle; sooner or later, my brain would be normal. I prayed it away, suppressed it, married, divorced, had children, thinking this would all fix me. My brain could not relate to men, yet I kept going through the motions, playing a role so that I could be accepted, I grew beards, shaved my head, did any manly thing I could think of, to include manual labor jobs. This is probably why I was never able to figure out what I wanted to do with my life after school. Because I didn’t even know who I was. I became really good at acting like I was supposed to. It became autonomous. I fooled everyone close to me and I was able to fool myself for a time as well. Over time, it has taken a toll on me to the point I was beginning to check out on life.