Coming Out · Personal Experience

Part One: Going Back Home for the First Time

(Read Part Two Here)

In just over a week’s time I’ll be attending my sister’s wedding, it’s an event I have looked forward to for almost a year since hearing about her engagement. In addition to the wedding, it will be the first time I will see my family since I came out and started to transition.

Needless to say, I have had some feelings related to this over the last few months.

I came out more than a year ago – my whole extended family knows I’m trans at this point, which means everyone has been given ample opportunity to confront their potential prejudices and allow family bonds and love to overcome that. I know that will take many forms for many people. Some will be quietly supportive, others more vocally. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned that some may still harbour transphobic views and in those cases, I hope folks choose to keep their opinions to themselves.

While there is anxiety because of what some might think that’s overpowered by the intense excitement I’m also feeling. Since coming out I have been lighter and happier than I have been in my entire life. I hug more, I smile more, and I laugh more. No one in my family has ever seen me this happy and frankly, after years of depression and brooding, I’m excited to show them who I am when I’m not weighed down by depression and stuck in the closet.

I’ve also been excited because this is the first time I’m going to a family event where I get to wear a pretty dress and I am so incredibly excited about that. In fact when my sister first told me about the engagement one of the first thoughts through my brain was, “Oh my god I get to buy a pretty dress for this.” Throughout the winter I’ve been shopping on and off. In addition to the dress, I had to think about shoes, booking a hair appointment, figuring out how I’ll manage makeup or how to mitigate thigh chaffing in southern Ontario’s horrible, horrible humidity. It’s the first time ever for me and that in its own right has been exciting.

PIctured: Part of the pattern on the dress I bought – needs to be ironed, this is what happens when you have to order through the mail because you live in northern Alberta.

My family has traditionally been an accepting group and there are many who have contacted me in one way or another since I came out to reiterate their love and support. Living 4,000 km away those acts have meant the world to me. However, I think sometimes the politics around LGBTQ rights or the politics around gender conflate trans people into some kind of unwieldy political object. We’re not political objects and my existence isn’t a political statement. I’m a granddaughter, niece, girl cousin, daughter, or sister, it’s she or her to reference me and my name is Autumn. When you break it down there’s no reason to feel uncomfortable or uncertain, I’m the same person I have always been, I’m just finally able to be honest about who I am.

I have a good feeling about this trip. Despite my anxiety, I’m very excited to see family and I’m beyond excited to be there to celebrate my little sister’s wedding.

(Read Part Two Here)

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