Thursday, January 10, 2008

My discovery - an addendum

Last year on my web site Coming Out Trans I wrote an article about how my wife first discovered that I was transgendered back in the early 1990's. To make a long story short, I left a bag in a car that had my clothes, and my wife found it. Hilarity ensued.

Recently I came out to my children. I have a teenage son and a daughter in her early twenties, both in college. I came out to my daughter in the car when I was picking her up for the winter break. It was the best discussion I ever had with her - her first questions were "What pronouns should I use?" and "Do I still call you daddy?". I was very happy about this - I was concerned that she would have issues accepting me.

One thing that came out was that when my wife had discovered the bag in the car my daughter was with her. She was very young, maybe kindergarten age at the time. She said that she saw my mother was upset about the bag of women's clothes and asked her how it got into the car. My wife said that she thought someone had put it there by accident. This had unnerved my daughter because we were always good at keeping the car door locked. How could someone break into our car and leave a bag of women's clothes, she thought. She said that she asked several people how that could happen. Nobody had given her an adequate answer. To this day she had been bothered by this.

My coming out answered the question for her - it didn't happen that way. Her sense was one of relief, not of fear or anger. We both couldn't help it - we laughed about this. In essence my wife and I had unwittingly caused some small anxiety in her that could only be resolved by my coming out to her.