A long-delayed family visit

Last weekend, I took a 4-day trip to visit my parents and some extended family. This was the first time that I have seen any of my family in almost a year and a half and the first time since coming out to them last month. They took my coming out well and have been decent about using my new name and pronouns, but I was quite concerned that it would be awkward in person. This was also my first time traveling since starting to present full-time and I wasn’t sure how that was going to go.

The actual traveling went alright. I drove about 7 hours each way and didn’t experience any serious traffic. I had to make a couple of stops on the way there and they were all in pretty rural areas. When I made my first stop, I decided to boy-mode, which ended up being the right decision. I got harassed by some men outside the rest stop because they thought I was in town for a football game and supported the visiting team. They got real aggressive and yelled at me, but quickly got distracted by someone actually in town for the game. I felt super uncomfortable and unsafe. After that, I presented as a man at every stop I made until I met up with my family.

The couple of days with my parents went decently. It was not as weird or awkward as I was worried it would be. In fact, things were as normal as they had been prior to my coming out. They slipped up with my name and pronouns quite a bit, however, they seemed to be trying. They caught it themselves and corrected it most of the time, which I definitely appreciated. They also introduced me to people as their daughter, which was an amazing feeling. I did not know how much it would mean to me personally to have them call me their daughter. It really did make the trip.

Towards the end of my visit, I met with some of my family beyond just my parents. This generally went well, I had come out to all of them at around the same time as my parents and they were all supportive. My grandmother referred to me as her granddaughter during this visit, which again, felt great. However, it was during my time with my extended family that things got a tad uncomfortable (because doesn’t it always). One of my relatives started complaining about how much LGBT representation was in media nowadays and how it makes them nauseous to see it. Being both trans and a lesbian, this didn’t make me feel great, however, I didn’t speak up. This was probably the right call because other family members began sharing what aspects of LGBT representation they personally didn’t like or made them uncomfortable. Many of these same people had been incredibly supportive of my transition and coming out, so it was jarring to hear them be so openly homophobic. This was a relatively brief interaction, but it definitely soured my visit a bit.

Overall, I enjoyed my trip. It was good to see my family after such a long break and to see them for the first time as myself. My family had been supportive of my transition when I came out and continued to be supportive in person. My concerns about them being weird were fortunately incorrect. Everyone that I encountered was pretty good about using my new name and pronouns and actively corrected themselves when mistakes were made. I do worry about the general homophobia that I experienced. It concerns me that they seem to be accepting and supportive of my own transition, but have no problem expressing homophobic beliefs in front of me. It does not help my recurring fear that people are only pretending to be supportive in the hopes my transness will go away. Despite this, I ended the trip feeling good about how it had gone and about my relationship with my family now that I am out.

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