Transgender Diary: Out and about on the town and a reconciliation with my brother


Being out continues to bring a steady flow of fresh air into my life.   I say this to encourage all of us who are trans to just let go and to step across the line.  What at first seems so scary can be so deeply uplifting.

I wrote about coming out to my children and their reactions.  They have been and continue to be hugely supportive.  Not that I am asking for their support—just that it is nice to not hide, and to be normal with them.  Funnily enough, it seems to have deepened our familial bond.

Still, not quite sure that they really understood what I mean by being transgender, or by being non-binary, I arranged to meet them.  Just back from a spiritual retreat, I also felt inclined to include my semi-estranged brother, who I have written about here, and his anger at my faith.

We all converged at separate times in a popular pub.  “Wow, you look really wild,” said my youngest as I walked up in a long, slim linen pencil skirt decorated with seashells, maroon flats, and a white blouse…and lot’s of boho jewellery.  He was bemused.  I was instantly glad I had chosen to do this, because in seeing me, he understood more clearly what it meant.

My other son didn’t say much, and was almost frosty, a little bit tired, hungry, cranky, etc.  Then my brother showed up, looking a bit like a paunchy Jack Nicholson, shirt open, hairy chest blazing, dark sunglasses.  We hugged, he laughed and said, “it’s good to see you’re not hiding yourself anymore,” and just like that, I was out.  “I’m trans,” I said.  “Are you,” he said more than asked, and then we all had pints of bitter.

After, we went for a wander around a nice area filled with restaurants and shops and just caught up, joked, talked amongst all of us about life, politics, and so on.  My brother came out to me as bi—something I had never known, nor even suspected—he has always been a true “ladykiller”.  

We walked a few paces ahead for a moment, and he asked how my wife was reacting.

“Not well.  She wants a divorce.”

“That’s been a long time coming?”

“Really?”

“We all noticed you haven’t had the same bedroom for years.”

Key to a long and happy marriage,” I said wryly [and I think of the irony of my previous post on this].

“I’m sorry to hear that.  I know how important it was to you to stay married, to be faithful.”

“Yeah,” I said [thinking about my comments on submission, and how my family has long regarded my marriage as a benchmark], “but I can also leave this marriage without guilt.  I didn’t ask for divorce.  I didn’t do anything to her other than love her and support her.  I provided a great life for her, even after she no longer contributed to our common endeavours.  Walking away without guilt is refreshing.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know.  Take one day at a time.  I’m really excited about dating.  Meeting people.”

Self Defence

I’ve never been a fighter.  You would know that just by my body shape.  I am lithe and becoming more so as I lose more weight.  I also understand that hormones will actually make me smaller.

One topic of conversation that came up that night was being safe.  Both my brother and my children were concerned for my safety.  I don’t do anything dangerous, don’t go out alone at night really, wouldn’t consider walking alone in an iffy area…and so this feeling of theirs is more motivated by other things.

My kids warned me off of dating apps (I have never used them and have never spoken about using them—though I have had some hilarious conversations with girlfriends about their sometimes awful and awkward dates).

All three of them admonished me to take up martial arts.  They are going by the collective understanding that life for trans people can be dangerous, even more dangerous than for women…as there is a well of hate that exists out there for the “other” and for some reason, some people believe it is okay to hate because of our differences.

The evening was beautiful and lingering, and in the old days I would have had too much to drink.  But now, I hardly drink at all…a beautiful ending to a lovely string of days.

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