People know me as Marissa. I’m known as Micah personally.
I’m 16 years old, and having trouble coming out to my family.
I have 4 brothers. I told my twin Carlos about me being transgender because he came to me when he told me he is bisexual. He’s perfectly fine with me being ftm.
The problem is coming out to my mother and father. Since I’ m the only “Girl” Out of 4 boys. I’m also known as “Daddy’s little girl” and also known as “Attractive”
I’ve been trying to ignore the fact that I’m transgender and trying to live as a “female”. But I’m not happy what so ever.
I even tried throwing hints; I started to wear guy clothes, and started binding. But I’m not allowed to dress like that in public or in school. I feel so wrong. I feel like I can’t even be myself. Without anyone saying its wrong doing this or its wrong doing that.
When I cut my hair with my friends, I came home and my mom flipped. She couldn’t believe I’ve done that to my “Beautiful” hair. And that I was to pretty to have my hair that short. I respect my parents so I didn’t bother arguing with my mom, or my dad. So they made me grow it back. And start dressing like a female.
When homecoming came up I went shopping for what I wanted to wear. I came back with new black converse, black skinny jeans, a white dress up shirt, and a tie. My dad made me take it back and go buy a dress, like his “little girl” would love.
I’m so upset. I want to be myself. And express myself. I can’t though. I feel like if I tried to explain, they would say it’s a phase, or “she’ll grow out of it.”
So what can I do to get it through their thick skulls?
Letter submitted by:
Thank you for writing in to the TrevorProject. It takes courage and self awareness to be able to admit to yourself that you’re going through something that most people cannot relate to; it takes even more courage to be able to love yourself when you feel like people around you are asking you in different ways to change who you are in order to find acceptance. At 16 you’re already ahead of most your peers in terms of understanding the importance of self acceptance and being true to who you are. Those are qualities that make you an amazing person, not matter how you might identify yourself. There is NOTHING wrong with questioning your sexual or gender identity. You are not the problem at all. What you are going through is normal and natural so don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. At the end of the day, you are your parents’ child, and you are still the same great friend or hard worker that everyone knows you to be.
From your letter I understand that you’ve been feeling like a male for a long time. Your first instinct to let your brothers and your parents know is a good one because you don’t want anyone to intentionally or unintentionally make you feel like you’re keeping a dirty secret. You shouldn’t have to feel like you family’s love is conditioned on whether you are one thing or another. There is no magic way to guarantee that someone’s family will accept them if they come out as gay or transgendered. As you think about how you want to come out you might want to consider a few questions: does the thought of keeping this a secret outweigh any other concerns you might have? To be more specific, does the thought of keeping your identity a secret make you feel so upset that you can’t imagine living like this in your house for much longer? Do you feel that you would be safe physically and emotionally if you came out to your parents? In the worst case scenario, if your parents kicked you out and cut you off financially, do you have other places where you could stay or other sources of income? The TrevorProject believes in safety first so there is no pressure to come out if any of these questions might be an issue. A lot of people wait until they are financially independent from their parents to come out, which is perfectly fine. I’m glad that your twin brother is supportive of you because he can offer you’re a second opinion as well as support through this process.
As you think about these questions I encourage you to check out some positive online and in person resources for help not only with your thought process, but also, as a source of information for your family if they chose to seek outside information. At http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/comingoutquestions you’ll find an article called “Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About”, which may be of help to you. I encourage you to check out PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays); it’s a great organization that offers information online in terms of support groups, chat forums, and information for people to access if they want insight from other who are going through the same thing. It’s made up of mostly parents who want to help other parents figure out how to accept their children who come out to them as gay/transgendered. On their website click on “Get Support” then click on “For Family & Friends” where you’ll find the pamphlets like, “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People,” and “Frequently Asked Questions about GLBT People,” which you can share with your family members or friends to help them become more understanding. PFLAG also has local chapters so I encourage you to search for one that might be in your area because your family might benefit from being able to talk to other parents in person about their issues or concerns. If there is a chapter near you, you can reach out to the one closest to you for advice and suggestions.
I’m so sorry that you feel like you don’t have your parents’ support at a time when you really want them to step up and be parents. I encourage you to use this as an opportunity to help your parents in a way that you have never been able to do before. In this situation you are essentially the parent, and your parents are the children. They will probably need time to digest what you want to tell them before they can try to move to acceptance and tolerance. What you need to do is let them know very clearly that you love them and that you are still their child; you understand that what you’re saying is difficult to accept, but you refuse to live in shame or fear. You will try to help them as best you can, but you will not settle for a life of half acceptance. Hopefully your parents will realize that they’d rather have you in their life than to not have you at all. If you have anymore questions The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR, TrevorChat, and TrevorSpace are always available. We are always here for you.