Preparing to visit my parents

I am supposed to see my parents in person in a couple of weeks and I am quite nervous. It has been almost 8 months since I saw them last and I am concerned that they will notice the changes. I don’t want to come out to them yet, I would prefer to be further along in my transition before having that discussion. I don’t see that conversation going well.

I have never been particularly close to my family even before knowing I was transgender. I didn’t have much in common with the rest of my family growing up, so we never developed a very close relationship. I moved away from my family after college. One reason for doing so was being able to transition without their knowledge or interference, but I probably wouldn’t have stayed even if I wasn’t transitioning. Since then, I have always done the bare minimum of familial duty, an annual holiday visit, to avoid rocking the boat, but that was about the extent of our relationship. The pandemic gave me an excuse to avoid this trip last year, so it has been a while since I have last seen them.

I don’t see me coming out to either of my parents going very well. My parents are pretty transphobic, mostly rooted in conservative religious beliefs. My father has some strong opinions about trans women in sports, a hilarious fact considering he has never watched any sports in his life (why is that always the case?). I actually came out to my mother years ago when I was questioning, but it wasn’t received well and I avoided discussing it again. She now believes that it was a “phase” that therapy cured me of, a belief that I tolerated and perhaps encouraged to avoid dealing with transphobia. I don’t foresee a scenario where either one of my parents accepts me coming out as transgender.

The other issue stems from me being the oldest “son” in the family. There are unfortunate societal and cultural expectations that come with that role that my transition complicates. For one thing, their oldest “son” will now be their daughter (and frankly always was). This alone is going to upset them. There is no longer the assumption that I will pass down the family name, although I never intended to keep my last name if I am being honest. While this will cause some issues, the biggest complication will be that HRT makes you infertile. I have never wanted to have children, so this was a positive effect for me. However, my family, and especially my parents have never been accepting of my decision not to have kids. They have always insisted I would change my mind and give them grandkids, so it will be a harsh realization when they discover that is never going to happen.

My hope is that I can get through this upcoming visit with my parents without getting outed. I am ok with the distant relationship that I currently have with them, even if it is based on a fiction. It is significantly easier to continue as is rather than make waves by coming out. I intend to come out to my parents and the rest of my family eventually but now doesn’t seem like the right time.

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