In the spring of 2017, I sent photos of myself to my daughter to make her aware of my life. It resulted in a trip to the UK for one week to stay with her and the last time she met me as a man.

It was one of the toughest things I’ve had to do in my life. We both struggled with emotions, me in seeing how my explanation had an effect on my daughter, to watch her struggle internally with her thoughts and emotions and tears. While my main concern was that I didn’t wish to lose her from my life. Her’s was seeing this as a major shift in her life and ‘losing her father’ as if he had died.

She continued to struggle with my change and the path I had realised that I needed to bring about in my life. It was a significant moment for us both. I recall saying that I had always been this person, but lacked the courage to show my true self to anyone else. That all the memories and life that we had shared remained as big a part of my life as ever. They would never die and I would always be her father no matter what I did in my life.

Exceptional Voice

Life back in France

When I returned home to France the events of the past week flooded into my head like a tidal wave, forcing me to review what I had done. There was no way I could go back to my old life even for a day to make her feel less hurt, as that would have been such a negative action for me to indulge in.

I had to persevere with my decision which had taken me a lifetime to arrive at. There was no going back now! My choice had put every aspect of my life on the line and I knew where I was going with that choice. This was the most conscious, unconscious thing I had done in my life at that point in time.

Through creation I found my way

In the fashion of writing to clear my head of thoughts enabling me to reprocess the situation, I began to write the lyrics of a song. I think they were written within one day. Putting them to some music seemed to happen in a very natural way.

I felt that I needed and wanted to share this with my daughter to help her understand how I felt about her and my part in her life, so I played the song over and over during the following days. Each time I found myself with tears rolling down my cheeks and unable to continue singing. Eventually I managed to control my emotions and hold it together long enough to enable me to record the song, which was posted on a YouTube channel that I created for my songs under the name of Cat Belly.

A tongue-in-cheek tip of hat to the great blues artists of the world and to my adorable cat Bertie who was a little plump to put it nicely, but sadly suffered a cancerous tumor in the 2019; RIP Bertie.

Hear the song

If you are interested and curious enough to hear the song you can find it on ReverbNation under the name of Cat Belly, song title Bared My Soul, along with others that I wrote at that highly emotional period in my life.

Follow the link to hear the songs: https://www.reverbnation.com/catbelly

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I began this journey the day I opened my eyes for the very first time. I found this site at a time when I needed support more than any other point in my life. I had chosen to transition after years of internal turmoil, failing to be able understand or accept who and what I was. My life moved on at a pace that I found hard to deal with at times, but I managed. Living alone in the South West of France life was far from simple or easy then. Then, I discovered this oasis online, finding love, understanding and support unequalled to anything I have previously come across. Dare I suggest, my other family! So, why return after leaving about two years back? At the point, my life was changing dramaticaly, everything I had believed, understood and built my life around, up until that point, changed almost overnight. I am very settled in my life now living as a woman, with friends and a social life, all while being the happiest I have been. I am in the medical system here after overcoming many obstacles, now with the hope of surgery very soon to complete my transition. I have returned here in the hope that my experiences and knowledge can be of help to others in this community. When very young, I dreamed of being a girl, going to bed at night hoping I would awake as a girl. After realising that wasn't going to happen, I shut down that wish and lived a repressed existence from that day. It took a lifetime of unintentionally hurting myself and others, regretfully! Perhaps the one true regret of my life!

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9 months ago

You are a tremendously courageous person. Thanks for sharing your journey.

Kristen Smithly
Active Member
9 months ago

Sophie Frenchie, I really do hope you and your daughter have found the peace that can exist in your souls. It took a lot of courage to tell your daughter, it takes strength and courage for her to understand. One of my daughters always quoted me the Dr. Seuss saying to me whenever I struggled with this life and who to tell, and how, “those who mind, don’t matter, and those that don’t mind, matter” I use that saying whenever I tell a non-close family or friend, My daughters (I have 3) all told me, when I sat them down… Read more »

Heather Harrison
9 months ago

Hi Sophie, I read your article and that took a lot of courage. I certainly hope your relationship with your daughter is ok, as it is a heavy load we place on people close to us when we come out to them. I used to be a blues and jazz guitarist, so I just had to listen to the tune. The guitar work was very good, and I could hear the raw emotion in your voice as you sang. Thanks so much for sharing that part of your life with us.

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