So, I told my parents today that I’m going by Ryan now, at least to the new people I meet. It didn’t go as well as I’d hoped it would. Don’t get me wrong — I love my parents, and they love me. I am very lucky, especially compared to a lot of queer and trans people, and I completely recognize that.
That said, I still ended up crying when it was over. They didn’t understand, and my dad told me that I’d always be my given name in his heart, and he couldn’t call me Ryan. It almost feels as though they think me being trans is a phase. Or rather, they don’t understand how deep it runs, how important it is to me, that this is not going away. It just feels like a big set-back, one I feel especially strongly because I feel like I’ve really been flourishing in Chicago, and it’s been brilliant spending time with so many other trans/genderqueer/gender non-conforming people. And then this.
I poured out all of my upset and angst in an email to a friend, and their response was just beyond wonderful. I am so, so lucky to have someone to whom I can go with my insecurities, my triumphs, my troubles, my confusion. They make me realize that I’m not alone; they recognize me as I wish to be seen; they make me understand that who I am is legitimate, no matter what others might tell me, no matter how I might doubt myself. Their email just completely wiped away my worries about so many things.
Overall, I am really, really lucky. I have parents who love me and someone who understands me, and I’m discovering a community of people who allow me to explore who I am.