Monday, March 22, 2010

Telling Erin's Family

"Breathe, keep breathing,
Don't lose, your nerve.
Breathe, keep breathing,
I can't do this, alone."
 -- Radiohead, Exit Music (For a Film)


I've been meaning to write for quite a while, as usual. For the same reasons that I really want to write, it's also been hard to find the time.

Between coming out to Erin's dad two weeks ago, planning our wedding, voice classes, planning work transition, and hanging out with old and new friends and family more in the past three months than in the whole previous year, sometimes I'm surprised I find time to breathe. It's good, but it's scary; I'm not used to my life being like this, and I always feel like I'm forgetting something really obvious.

I like to be aware of things. As long as I'm aware of everything, especially my own faults, then I can correct them or decide not to feel stupid about them ahead of time. The current pressure makes me worry that I'm losing awareness of details, like I could have something horrible on my face all day, and not notice. *sigh* C'est la vie.

Where was I? Oh yeah-- Erin's dad and stepmom took the news really well! Erin really loves her dad, so I think keeping this secret has been hard on her. That she loves him is also exactly why we were afraid to tell him. I was so scared that he was going to take it badly, and that I would blame myself.

We went to visit them with the intent to get it over with. When we got there, we skirted around it for a while, trying to find the right situation, which never comes. Suddenly, they started searching around the internets, and saying they wanted to see our FaceySpace profiles.

Me: *sinking feeling, tugging on Erin's arm* "Say something!"
Erin: "So... we came here to tell you something... [my old name] is transgender."
Dad-in-Law: "Ok, so? Why does that matter?"
Me: "It doesn't really matter, but it was still important that we tell you."
Dad-in-Law: "That makes sense... Listen, I may not agree with it, but as long as Erin's ok with it, it's fine."

The "I may not agree with it" caveat is always weird, but that's for another time. With the way they were going after our FB profiles, I'm pretty sure they knew ahead of time. I find that parents are often more clever than their children give them credit for.

They asked a few questions about it, which is always a good sign of acceptance. With the air cleared, we decided to stay and play a few rounds of Rummikub. Erin slipped back into calling me "she," and by mid-game, her dad picked up on it and started using female pronouns as well. At one point, Erin left the table to use the restroom, and he told me "You know, you can call me Dad." =3

I'm surprised I didn't write about it before, but the rest of Erin's family has been similarly accepting. Her brother was one of the first people we told, and he was actually excited for me. We told her sister last summer, and her mom, stepdad, and other brother in December. The last three even took us out to dinner to celebrate our engagement.

I thought people were supposed to hate their in-laws? If this is a dream, please, don't pinch me.


  1. I'm excited for you too! I'm excited for you to discover who you really are and I'm excited that the obstacle of Erin's dad turned out to be much less of an obstacle than expected! Yay! And I hear this is your week to transition at work - congrats and good luck. Very exciting stuff!! :)

  2. Flora - Work transition is actually still a couple of weeks off, but that is sooner than later. Thanks a ton for the encouragement. =D