First of all, I didn't come out by choice. I was on a date in a town where the odds of me running into someone I know are 1 in 50,000. It must have been my 50,001st visit there because one of my brothers happened to be there with his family, unbeknownst to me at the time. He saw us from his car walking to our cars, arms around each other, and snapped a picture.
Didn't know he had it, but Sunday after Easter dinner when he was showing off the projector he made to hook his cell phone up to for movie nights he decided to demonstrate using the pictures stored on his phone. Right there on the very door that my brother and I marked each others' heights on I was outed as trans, polyamorous (my date was actually a couple), and bisexual (the couple was husband and wife) all in one projected image.
In hindsight I should have seen it coming. When I got back from my date there was a message from my youngest niece saying "you would make a great aunt." I should have realized that at least she knew, if not my brother and the rest of his family, but at the time I just figured it was because she only knew me as a man, she's really only comfortable around women (past traumas that I won't get into), and liked me but felt we'd be closer if I were her aunt.
Also, had I not been utterly horrified I would have put two and two together and saw that as a message of support from my niece, but I was too distracted by all of the Hell that had broken loose to figure anything out. Two of my four brothers were there with their wives and kids, my two youngest nieces and my youngest nephew.
My dad made it clear that I would receive no inheritance. My mom, recognizing that I made 2/3 of the payments on my trailer, said I had until the end of the year to pay her back the 1/3 she paid on it and get it off her land, also stating that she'd burn it down on the spot if she caught me "corrupting" any more marriages.
My nephew doesn't seem to be bothered by me. He'll be 15 on Friday and I know how rural teenage boys can be regarding the LGBT, but before dinner, even though he was there when the picture was taken, he was still my chess buddy, we talked like we always do, and there wasn't anything in his speech or body language to indicate that he thought any differently of me. But he can only handle conflict if it's in a video game. As soon as my parents said their piece everyone started yelling and as soon as it started he was out the door to look at my mom's flowers.
My youngest niece was unusually affectionate. She hugged me just as soon as I came through the door, and she had never hugged me before. She was also chattier than usual. When the yelling started she was almost in tears and I saw a look of fear on her face that I hope to never see again.
Everyone was going at me at once so I don't know most of what was said, but I did pick out my other niece saying "I always figured you were a faggot," one of my brothers said "this is a family dinner. Why are you here?" I think my other brother kept repeating "keep your cock stretched ass away from my house." One of my sister-in-laws kept glaring at me from her chair and the other one just looked out the window.
I had a tough time getting out because they wanted to keep me in there so they could tear into me. One of my brothers blocked off the kitchen, cutting me off from the back door and the basement door, and my niece, the one that disowned me, blocked the front door. When I went for the front door my brother grabbed me and tried to throw me back to the middle of the living room. He couldn't move me so we ended up in a standoff that I eventually broke with a knee to his back. I stared my niece down, hoping she'd back away, but she didn't. I gently put my hand on her throat, no intent of actually doing anything, to get my point across. She yelled "don't touch me" before unleashing a flurry of punches and when she hurt her hand on my forehead I was able to get past her and into the yard.
Now normally I wouldn't have run. I would have stood my ground until my parents kicked me out, running my claws into their insecurities and pulling skeletons out of the closet (had I followed through I likely could have left them as a depressed pack clawing at each others throats), and I was actually planning on doing that but I started piecing things together. The Facebook message, the hug when I got there, talking to me nearly the entire time instead of just the brief chats we usually have, my niece wasn't upset at the yelling in general like my nephew was. She was actually supportive of me.
So I left in the hopes that she'd calm down once I was out of their reach and there was no one to yell at. She filled me in on the aftermath on Facebook. My parents were debating on whether or not to let me stay in the trailer while I look for another place, a debate that's still ongoing (just today there was a message on my machine from my dad telling me that I'd better not be in the trailer and five minutes after that my mom left a message saying that I have 8 months to clear out before she starts looking for renters). My niece was considering assault charges because of her hand, even though I didn't fight back and she hurt it hitting my head. As soon as I read that I sent her a message that said "I see your assault and raise you a false imprisonment." Haven't heard back but the sheriff hasn't been here so I doubt anything will come of that, especially since I have two charges to file to her one.
Monday my mother, who works with me two days a week, outed me to our department and eventually the entire building. It resulted in a visit to human resources that I'll have questions about in another thread, but no one has said a thing to my face. It's business as usual. I'm use to them talking about me behind my back, this is just something else for them to talk about, and as long as they don't try sabotaging my work it will just be par for the course. When I got home Monday I was flooded with Facebook messages. More insults, but word had gotten back to my two eldest brothers. My eldest niece left me a message saying "I don't want you around my boys, but I'm still up for hanging out the next time I'm in _______." My second eldest, and formerly favorite, niece passed on a riddle from my eldest brother. "30 years ago dad had five sons and no daughters. Today he has four sons and no daughters, and no one died. How is that?" I sent back a sarcastic "that's a head scratcher," and by the next time I logged in she had unfriended me.
I have a cousin who's known about me for nearly two years and she was initially supportive, but back in November she joined that Jehovah's Witness cult and said she doesn't associate with the unrepentant. She kept my secret, though, and her breaking off ties isn't tied to Sunday. It's just to say that, oddly enough, the only member of my family who's standing beside me has no blood and only very tenuous legal ties to me. My blood and legal relatives have turned their backs on me.
Doesn't bother me, though. My family was becoming a headache. I spent family gatherings in my parents' basement playing chess with my nephew because I already wasn't welcome among the "adults." Any contribution I tried to make to a conversation was either disregarded as a barking dog or one of my sister-in-laws would flat out talk over me while I was trying to join in, at a volume to let me know that it was intentional and everyone else know that she was saving them from my "primitive" ramblings. I was too far to the right for my Libertarian brother and too far to the left for my conservative brother so I fought with them constantly over politics, though for some reason they don't fight each other like you'd expect. I had already checked out years ago.
In fact, it's the best thing that's happened to me. Other than an 8 hour stretch each weekday I'm nearly full time. I'm going places and talking to people as myself that I figured would always require me to keep up my "boy act." But it's been really hard on my niece.
Every day her boyfriend of 6 years says something that gets her venting to me. Sunday night it was "so your uncle's a shemale?" Monday they were on the road and according to her out of the blue he asked her if I was going to have it "chopped off." Last night he asked her if I was available to help play a prank on one of his friends. She was mad at the first one because of the terminology. She was mad at the second one because she didn't think it was any of his business, though had he asked me directly I would have explained to him about pre-op vs. non-op. Last night got us both mad at him. Her for obvious reasons, me because it took me back to the days where my peers' idea of a prank was to convince me to ask a girl on a date (as a prank on the girl, I might add).
She's getting fed up to the point that she canceled her date with him tonight and she's been talking about breaking things off. That thought sends her into a panic and she reconsiders, but then she remembers why she's mad at him and starts talking about dumping him again, I took her out to dinner at 6:00 tonight and didn't get home until nearly midnight because I was trying to help her keep it together while she played ping pong with herself, and it's bugging me that I'm the catalyst for this.
She's also been fighting with my brother a lot lately. Her mother has remained oddly quiet, as though I don't exist and her household is fighting over a figment of her imagination. She's an adult so they can't ground her, but he spends every bit of his time at home trying to turn her away from me. "He thinks he's a woman. That's a delusion, and delusional people usually snap and end up killing someone." "I won't kick you out if you continue talking to him, but I won't talk to you about anything other than how dumb you're being." "He was 'dating' a couple. He might try stealing your boyfriend from you."
She's actually talking about us becoming housemates. Go in together on a rent to own deal for a vacant plot of land, move my trailer there, live together until we're both married (we made a pact that if she gets married while we're living there I can live with her and her husband, if I get married first she'll live with me and my wife (or husband), and once we're both married we'll build a couple of houses on the property if it looks like we'll be able to stick out the rent to own deal). I don't know if a friend of my brother overheard her talking and it got back to him or he's been going through her phone, but he knows about it and is constantly berating her about it.
"You think you'll be living with your aunt. You won't be. You won't even be living with your uncle. It will just be a delusional middle-aged degenerate shacking up with my 22 year old daughter." Now yes, she is my step-niece. She was 15 the first time I saw her, she has no blood ties to me, and since she was 18 when my brother and her mother got married he didn't adopt her to give us a legal bond, but even before the wedding she had the same standing as the rest of my nieces, a higher standing now that the rest of my nieces have turned against me (except for one who dropped off the radar years ago and probably doesn't even remember me), and the things he implies with the phrase "shacking up" are absolutely disgusting and I should probably be in his yard now smearing his face in goat dung for implying that I would enter an incestuous relationship.
But overall my former family isn't bothering me. The people at work don't bother me. I was already on the fringe of my family so it's about like a poorly balanced loose board falling off the roof of a building. I've been an outsider at work since I started there and I'll always be an outsider. Their knowledge changes nothing.
What bothers me is the impact that it's having on my niece. Had she turned against me I would just shrug her off along with the rest, but she's standing beside me and it's making her life miserable. She defends me, she visits me, dinner together was a first tonight but it may become a regular thing, and in return she has a strained relationship with her boyfriend, her parents, my other niece flat out told her that she won't have anything to do with her as long as I'm still in her life, basically everyone's turning against her because she refuses to turn against me. I know that things would be normal for her if everyone was still in the dark about me, so this is largely my fault. Part of me wants to turn her against me so she can get back to a normal life. The other part wants to pull her close, be the aunt she always wished I'd be, become her mother and father if necessary, and never let her go.
Really not sure what to do here. If I drive her away she'll think everything she's endured so far will be for nothing. Even worse, events in her life prior to our meeting already have her beaten down to the point that she doesn't trust anyone around her and she feels she's not good enough for anyone. If I drive her away it's going to make those issues worse. If I hold onto her it will further strain her relationships.
This is probably one of the only cases where the person coming out, or in my case being outed, came out relatively unscathed and it's the supporter who takes all of the heat.
"My birth control is not my boss' business. By the way, boss, you're going to be getting a bill for my ortho tri cyclen."