Coming Out to Kids?

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Coming Out to Kids?

Postby Andrea R » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:33 pm

How do I come out to my kids?

My two girls 5 and 2 are the most amazing things in my life. I treasure them and each time I leave them I feel guilty and wracked with sadness because my issues and situation--kicking the can on this for 30 years--is now weighing down and affecting them too. My wife and I split up over my continued need to feel female, or I guess I should start saying, or really being female and needing to let it out. But the two big hurdles of coming out: well three: Parents, Children and Clients/Work. Each its own demons.

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Re: Coming Out to Kids?

Postby Toku » Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:49 pm

Well your kids are young and young kids will probably take it better than older teen children. I've heard stories of people coming out to their young kids and the kids being like, "ok so daddy's kinda like my 2nd mum now" and not being bothered by it much at all. Some kids are more accepting than others but young ones seem more open minded in general from the stories I see and hear.

I don't have kids so I can't advise but I think with young kids the prospects are good.
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Re: Coming Out to Kids?

Postby car_wheels » Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:55 pm

The more normal you are about it, the more normal they will be. Plenty of gay/trans people have kids.
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Re: Coming Out to Kids?

Postby MikiSJ » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:45 am

I agree with car_wheels. Your children may simply brush it off or may be very curious. Be yourself. One proviso - if you live in a state where being gay/trans is frowned upon, you may have to fight with your estranged wife over visitation.

Parents - you know them the best. Do a search here for coming out to parents advice and read up.

Work/Clients - I am in the SF Bay Area which tends to be a bit more progressive than other areas. Two of my girlfriends (one fully transitioned, the other one scheduled for surgery soon) both came out to their employers. The one girl who has fully transitioned was quitting at the same time she posted her transition. She was begged by her employer, and co-workers, to stay as she had great knowledge of her job and her leadership skills were superior. The other girlfriend is a salesperson with many customers in Northern California. No one at work, not her employer or co-workers has shown any animosity toward her. She has not lost one customer and in fact is booking more sales now than last year.

YMMV
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Re: Coming Out to Kids?

Postby Dean » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:15 pm

I can see this is an older post, but I'd like to revisit the topic.

First, Andrea, wondering how it's going/how it went. :)

My boys are 9 (yup, twins) and when I cut the long hair a year and a half ago, they helped me pack up the jewellery with the understanding that I didn't want to do that (or dresses) anymore. Last summer I chose a new "nickname" which friends and neighbours started to use around them, too. (This helped.) Over the past year, Spousal Unit and I have ...lightly but consistently peppered the topic and highlighted changes. Not every time was smooth (the kids at my school calling me Mr. and not Mrs. when they caught a glimpse of my name tag on the way out the door to school), and some were easier than others (when they got home later that day and asked me why I waited so long).

They call me Mom and Mr. Dude. They are showing that they're really getting who I am, but when they see trans people on TV who have fully/physically transitioned they understand that FAR MORE. I'm no-op or T right now - who knows what the future will bring. So, I know what I look like and sound like, and that's a bridge that's hard for them to cross with pronouns etc. They really dig having a mom who does all guy things, too. Sigh...

I read online that some kids experience a "loss of a parent" and have to make a big emotional shift. My guys are super sensitive squishes, but also very feminist and liberal kids, too. It's hard to know how much to pepper and how much to leave alone, but I'm going very slowly - for me, and them, and Spousal Unit (SU). It's working so far, but it's not all the way there yet.

And right now, I have Legal Name Change Forms in my lap. One more step, one more peppering, and I don't know how casual to make this step with them. SU is on board already, next kids, and I'll deal with my parents another time, when I have some whiskey ready. Oish. Different story. LOL!

So if there are any more stories you can share, I'd appreciate hearing other experiences, too. :)

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Re: Coming Out to Kids?

Postby MyNicky » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:38 am

I'm terrified about my kids. I have 4 biological kids and one step, three of whom I haven't seen in a long time (a certain ex who has a bad case of GVS) and it haunts me to think what their reactions could be.
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Re: Coming Out to Kids?

Postby Dean » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:22 pm

MyNicky wrote:I'm terrified about my kids. I have 4 biological kids and one step, three of whom I haven't seen in a long time (a certain ex who has a bad case of GVS) and it haunts me to think what their reactions could be.


Sorry, GVS? That one's new to me.

Not seeing them regularly is a disadvantage. If it were me (and I'm aware it's not!) I'd show up looking the way they know you best from the last time they saw you, before making any big visual surprises. As for how to explain it? Every kid is different. What seems to have worked for me in terms of simplicity is explaining that I'm "kind of both a girl and boy mix, and I've decided to start choosing the other half." Sort of - this simplifies the head and heart vs the born-biology into a half and half that they can conceptualise in a simpler way. But their ages makes a difference in how you approach it, too. The students at my school are K-6 and that's a VAST difference there, too.
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Re: Coming Out to Kids?

Postby MyNicky » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:18 pm

GVS - it's a harsh slang thing. "Golden Vagina Syndrome" kinda means in general narcissistic mothers who think their word is law.
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Re: Coming Out to Kids?

Postby MikiSJ » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:08 pm

MyNicky wrote:I'm terrified about my kids. I have 4 biological kids and one step, three of whom I haven't seen in a long time (a certain ex who has a bad case of GVS) and it haunts me to think what their reactions could be.

Nicky, I am guessing your kids are at least in their teens. They are old enough to either accept you are hate you for being the person you need to be.

I have two adult children (I adopted, 1 natural). My son (my wife's) grew up with redneck friends and I was terrified about he would do when I told him - he hugged me and said, "Dad, I have matured". We get along fine, in fact better.

My daughter, liberal uni educated, stage actor of some repute in San Francisco, grew up with friends of all stripes - revolted. It is a lucky day for me when she says hello to me.

You won't find out how they will treat you until you tell them - as tough as it will be to do so.
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Re: Coming Out to Kids?

Postby MyNicky » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:11 am

Well the ages are quite mixed, from very young teenager to baby.

MikiSJ wrote:You won't find out how they will treat you until you tell them - as tough as it will be to do so.


This is so very true, and a huge part of me wants to wait until they're all old enough to have their own life experiences - a part of me feels guilty for the idea of weighing them down with this and yet another part feels like I should just out with it, because come what may, good or bad, everything that happens is "life experience".
It's like what Dory says to Marlin in 'Finding Nemo':

Dory wrote: Well, you can’t never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him.”
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Never negotiate away who you are.
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Re: Coming Out to Kids?

Postby Dean » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:46 pm

MyNicky wrote:GVS - it's a harsh slang thing. "Golden Vagina Syndrome" kinda means in general narcissistic mothers who think their word is law.


Thanks for the info - and sorry for disappearing for a while. Wondering how things are going with you now?

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Re: Coming Out to Kids?

Postby jennifer9 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:42 am

I have spent the last 8 1/2 years trying to be the best Dad to my two little boys and its killing me making this decision to transition-for how it will effect them. I have to do this, but need to figure out how to make it easier on them. The ex wife was never accepting, but maybe she has changed. I have 50/50 custody and will always be there for them. Always. Even as Jennifer the second mom.
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Re: Coming Out to Kids?

Postby Lesley Niyori » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:33 am

I wish the adult world actually would mirror the reaction of kids, to be honest.

I say, forget worrying about kids entirely. You will be fine. They will ask awkward questions that only a kid could ask. I say answer them as accurately as possible. Remember, they are not biased people until you teach them the bias.

I am a parent, and I am now 5 years old (complicated explanation required). My 22-year-old son has gone through accepting me unconditionally, to being ok calling me 'mum' to accepting that the real problem is I'm only 5 years old and does he mind just being my friend.

He's an amazing man, a great person and really if you could have sat in on a conversation last summer :) He's actually more MY dad now than anything else :)
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