How did my transgender coming out go?

Over the last two weeks I shared a few intimate details about my coming out experience as a transgender woman. I started by my approach, and the email I sent to family and friends when coming out as transgendered. In that email I reference a document that provided some answers to the most frequently asked questions I’d received about gender transition. Then a few days ago I shared my experience coming out as transgendered at work.

So you may be asking… how did it go?

Truthfully, I’ve been overwhelmed by the acceptance I’ve received. My family has rallied around me in a way I could only dream about. My mom, my dad, my brothers, my cousins and uncles, even my dad’s girlfriend and her family have shown me love and support. if that was all I think I could be content, but it didn’t stop there.

Friends I had lost touch with took the time to write long and heartfelt notes. Back in college I was best man a good friend’s wedding. She said that people always questioned her about why she had a best man and not  bridesmaids, and now she had an answer for them – she did have a bridesmaid, they just didn’t know it 🙂

Another of my friends I’d known for years as an acquaintance has gone out of his way to meet with me, and shown care and concern for my well being throughout the transition process. Another friend I knew because her husband and I worked together. She made me feel loved, special and welcome in their home, and we’ve since become close friends, and spend at least every other weekend out shopping, chatting or just spending time together.

I told 350 of my former colleagues over email, and I’m humbled and blessed to have received almost 100 personal responses of support and well wishes. A former direct report got back in touch and we had lunch together. A former manager, who is a devout Christian, also got in touch to do lunch. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about his love and acceptance, even though he didn’t understand, and what I was doing went against what he believed – he saw beyond that to the person inside he’d grown to know.

Everything was not perfect, I lost a friend, and most heartbreakingly of all I am in the final steps of getting a divorce from my wife of seven years. But overall I don’t think I could have wished for a better transition so far.

The reactions from family, friends and coworkers has been near universally positive. I’ve been blessed beyond measure. Beyond what I could have hoped for. Beyond what I deserve.

So it is with humility and joy in my heart that I answer your question – ‘so, how did it go?’. As well as I could have wished, better than I dared dream and far beyond what I expected.

How did your coming out experience go? Please take a moment to share your trials and joys.

With love and blessings,

  1. Curt 8 years ago

    I share the joy of your celebrations and the grief of your of your losses as well.
    Congratulations my friend.

  2. Curt Naeve 8 years ago

    I share the joy of your celebrations and the grief of your of your losses as well.
    Congratulations my friend.

  3. Danielle 8 years ago

    Hi Vanessa

    I was born intersexed and had already lived a life of gender confusion, always feeling a half frame out of step with the rest of the world. From an early age, without much of a language to explain even to myself, I’ve sifted and sorted and struggled to find a place where I belong. Not until I chose to live for myself did I find the peace I now live with. That couldn’t happen during the years I was willingly giving in to what I believed was expected of me by family and other cultural influences.

    I reached that point in 1996. So much happened in that year, not the least of which was a new medical regime that was to increase my potential longevity despite an otherwise life-threatening chronic condition. I was already 36 years old. When doctors told me I might possibly lead a reasonably healthy life for another 20 or 30 years I decided it was time for me to really be happy.

    As transgender issues go, I count my blessings as one of the fortunate who have had to lose very little; surprisingly so for a woman who fully expected to lose family and friends. That is, after all, what we are groomed to expect if we follow our “insane, selfish desires”.

    I began carefully! I swallowed my first hormone replacement pills on May 18 of that year (that date still feels like an anniversary to me, among others). During the slow soft changes in those first months I quietly told my family, wanting them to hear from me first and in my own words, before they could hear it third or second-party sometime down the road. I don’t want to say I didn’t care what their reaction is, but the truth was that an adverse reaction wouldn’t have swayed my conviction at all. I wasn’t asking (or expecting!) their blessing. I was simply there to tell them what I was doing and to let them know I love them but would quietly part company with them if they didn’t want to continue forward with me. You can’t force love.

    I met very little resistance from my family. One or two friends drifted away … but a flood of new ones came back in the tide of a happier me. I didn’t lose my employment or housing the way I know so many of us have. Life isn’t always perfect. Whose is? Yet none of my complaints are at all triggered by my gender expression or my choice to live a fully realized life. At 50 years of age I am finally able to offer a complete and authentic self to everyone I meet instead of the half hidden soul that was afraid to be seen and known by even the people I love most.

    bliss and blessings ..

    • Vanessa Law 8 years ago

      What a wonderful story Danielle – slow, soft changes – a beautiful way to describe your blooming!

  4. Stepheniemace 8 years ago

    Seriously, only one person in my building still talks to me now. I never really had a family so that is not an issue. Over the last 2 years [2 years in May] I have lost all my friends as well.

    However I do want to say that I am very happy for you and anyone else that has managed to keep your friendships going 🙂

    Stephenie 🙂

    • Vanessa Law 8 years ago

      Hi Stephanie, so sorry to hear love. I do know that there are many other wonderful friends out there waiting to be discovered, but it can be hard depending on where you live.

      Best wishes that others will see your true beauty and love you for it!

      • Stepheniemace 8 years ago

        Thank you Vanessa. It has been two years but yeah. One day 🙂

  5. Ragina 8 years ago

    Dear Vanessa, I’m so glad to hear that your transition has been going so well. The only sadness is that you cannot stay with the person that you love. I hope that you can remain close in some way.

  6. Ragina 8 years ago

    Dear Vanessa, I’m so glad to hear that your transition has been going so well. The only sadness is that you cannot stay with the person that you love. I hope that you can remain close in some way.

  7. Hi everyone, Danielle what a lovely way for things to turn out. I would love to come out, dress as Leslie all the time. I have a friend and he has made it clear he’ll not put up with anyone bad mouthing anyone gay or trans , i would and have though about coming out to him , but i’am still a little scared to do so. I don’t think he is gay because he has been married,and has told me he [after his divorce] dates. I envy anyone who has and has been accepted.I’am in my late 60’s and would love to spend the rest of my time as the real fem me ,i would love to have this wonderful hansom man as the love of my life but i’am not brave enough to step out. Sometimes i get so depressed that i cannot live as i would like , i tell myself its no one else business but mine if i did ,but the world is so cruel and uninformed. I can see how someone can let depression cause them to hurt themselves. I’am so glad i have everyone here to listen to and talk with, i consider this place a blessing and all of you very special and beautiful ladies my friends . Love Leslie

  8. Haley Evans 2 years ago

    Honestly.. It sucked. My mom couldn’t really understand what I was trying to tell her. She wasn’t mean about it but she wasn’t very understanding about it either. She purged my room in order to create “spiritual safeguards”. I came out, but I still feel like I’m in hiding.

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