Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reading Revelations

And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. (KJV Revelations 6:1)

Some things seems pre-ordained.

We ALL know that, as mortals, someday we will die.  We all know that we will be taxed by a government.  We know that Republicans will hate a black president.  We know that trans-people will be senselessly murdered.

I also knew that my parents would reject me as a Woman.

I mean after all, I've mentioned how they treated me growing up.  Dad being ultra-macho Army and all.  I never give them a chance.

After all, I'm always right.  Right?


Don't answer then.  Fine.  Be that way. 

*cue Lucy* "I know when I've been insulted!  I know when I've been insulted!"

Casual for a night

In any case, telling them was my next big step.  I decided that I'd write a letter so I could have my points exactly as I wanted them.  After all, as an Educator, I'm used to public speaking.  I'm no Donna Rose, but I'm actually fairly good.

So.  I wrote a letter.  Trashed it.  Tried again.  Trashed it.  Tried 14 times.  Full trash can (as I write first drafts on paper.)  Finally, I had a piece I liked.  So I sent it to friends, my Vanity Club sisters, therapy group, etc to evaluate.  I incorporated many changes. 

Recently, Dr. Cerise Richards challenged me to post this letter to help others,  so it follows.  I give permission for girls wanting to use it or piece of it to do so, just not for publication, where I reserve all rights.

So.  Here it is.


Dear Mom and Dad,

Wife and I are here today to tell you exactly why we are no longer living under the same roof.  As I have maintained many times, the fault is not hers in any way.  The issue is complex, which is why I’m reading this to you instead of just speaking.  I wanted to get it right.  Wife knows all of what I am about to tell you, and has known for nearly two years. 

There is something I have to tell you about myself.  While this is serious, I am NOT dying, nor am I intending to do so.  I have been hiding from and or dealing with this problem since I was four, and I really did not understand it.  I am sure you have realized that I have had problems and even though I have tried to maintain a steady face on the surface, something has never been quite right with me.  As you know, I’ve been in therapy for 13 years.  You also know about my hospitalization back in 1990.  For the past five years, I’ve been seeing a specialist to get a handle on my issue and of get a better understanding of myself.  You may have noticed some changes in me this year. I feel better, both in general and about myself, than I have at any time in my life. 

 The medical term for this condition is called Gender Dysphoria and it is basically the condition of being transgender.  What this really means is that, though biologically I was born male, my brain and my own sense of being is that of a female. This is not the same as being a cross-dresser, drag queen, female impersonator or being a gay male. Inside I have always felt as though I was female and I never knew what to do about it.  For years, I sought therapy and psychological counseling in order to get a better understanding of myself and find a way to sort out my problems.  I wanted to feel normal and achieve some happiness and success in my life.  Being transgender has been extremely difficult to accept, and over the years I have ignored it, denied it, and fought with God over it, and only now has fully accepted that I am transgender.

This is a physical condition, not a mental one: one I share with nearly 700,000 people in the US.  There are many theories as to how it happens, but it’s clear it occurred in-utero, and there’s nothing ANYONE could do to prevent it.  This has nothing to do with how I was raised, my diet… anything.  I was BORN this way.  41%  of people with this attempt suicide as it’s a very painful way to live. 

Through my therapy I began working with a team of medical professionals to help me through my situation.  There is no cure for this, and the only treatment for being transgender is to make a gender transition.  This is not a choice; it is something that I have to do in order to survive.  I have been treated by a therapist for five years and also, saw a second therapist for a second opinion.  I am also under the treatment of an experienced physician.  I have been on hormone therapy since December 2012, and that has brought about an amazing change to my mental state.  It has allowed me to feel “right” inside for the first time ever, and given me hope that one day I can live a peaceful and happy life.  The medication has brought about some physical changes and that will continue. 

This may seem sudden and impulsive, but in actuality, it is not. I have been doing many activities as a woman over the last five years including attending the local King of Prussia transgender support group once a month, shopping and eating out regularly, and helping others who are on this path.  I have spent the last five years building an emotional support network, and have many close friends in the transgender community.  I also write a monthly column for a website and have a blog with thousands of readers.

Wife’s mom suspected something was “odd” and found out about this on her own.  She never discussed any of this with me, but acted on her own fears and prejudices.  Her solution was to throw me out her house.  That is why Wife and I live apart.  Wife has been more supportive then I could ever dream, but in the end, she doesn’t wish to be married to a woman.  That is why she didn’t move out with me. 

Daughter doesn’t know yet, but will in the near future.  Wife and I are committed to us both being actively in her life, and being the best parents we can as a team.  Daughter deserves a parent who is at peace with themselves. She deserves my best, and I intend to give that to her, always.

I will always be the same person inside. I hope you will agree with me that at heart I am a good person.  All I want is to feel at peace and to have a chance to reach my full potential in life.  I will always be your child and I love both of you very much.  The reality is, mentally I have always been your daughter, not your son, and I hope you will be able to accept me.  All I am doing is making physical changes to help me become on the outside the person I am on the inside and be accepted. I will always be here for both of you to help take care of you.  

I realize finding this out is very painful for you right now, and believe me I have always tried to avoid facing this about myself mainly for this very reason.  The last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt you, but in order to have any chance at a happy and fulfilling life, I have to make this change.  I know that this is going to take some time and I ask that you be patient with me, and I will be patient with you.  The person whom you named Lance resides within me. Lance’s hopes, fears, memories, loves, aspirations all remain a part of me. I have chosen the path of my happiness.  I do not apologize to anyone for making my life a better one. I know that some people will never understand how such a thing could happen and will react in utter disbelief. Some people take steps to live in denial. I, however, choose not to do so. I am the author of my life. No one else has the right to attempt to form my life in the image they would have it be. And my life is not based on lies. My life is based on love and care, for my family, for my friends, for those that deserve my love.

I ask for your understanding, acceptance, and love.  I am passing through a very difficult time, and have already lost so much.  It will get harder, both for me and for you, but in time it will get better.  No matter what, I will continue forward.  I finally have a chance at happiness and peace in my life.  I’d love rather have you see me reach my full potential and that peace. 

You have many questions, and will continue to have them.  I will do my best to answer them for you.
A heartbeat.   Two.
My mum leaned forward in her chair and said  "You are our child. We love you. This changes nothing."
My dad stood and said "Yes, we love you"

That was the first time in my 47 years that my dad said that he loved me.
Let THAT sink in.  I still am.
I got hugs from mum AND dad.  I was and still am stunned.  Then the questions began.  They actually had more questions for Wife than for me.  Then my mum decided to lecture me to get along better with my brother, forgiveness, etc.  Even my dad was "Doesn't he have enough on his plate?"
Maybe thirty minutes later, Wife and I were on the road.  My next stop was to meet my older brother.  I will call him the non-random designation OB
(Does anyone actually follow these links?)
I met him at TGI Fridays at the Coventry Mall in Pottstown.  He'd grown a beard with gray streaks, and wore a cap to cover his receded hairline.
We discussed other matters, then I told him straight out.  He laughed at me and said he couldn't wait to tell his friends.  I reminded him that I swore him to secrecy.  I showed him pictures.  He laughed some more.  Eventually I tired of the laughter, paid the bill for us both and left.
Do I amuse you?
My mum called me later and said he'd called her and said that he told me he "had my back" and "supported me 100%."  He never said any such thing, and I told her.  Some patterns never end.  He lies to them to make himself look good and me look bad. 
So.  it's been two days.  I received an email from my parents saying they "want their say."  I replied that I will give them that... but my decision was made for me long ago.
Next step...
Coming out at Work.
PS:  Tonight is New Years Eve 2013.  I will be at the Raven with Sandy Empanada, Linda Lewis and many many others.  Goodbye 2013.  I won't miss you.
Happy New Year to all!


  1. must have take tremendous guts to say that to your parents. Congrats!!

  2. Sophie,

    Your letter was beautiful. It showed lots of thought, deliberation and insight and it touched on many of the issues that have impacted you and your family. Parents, even those who are stern, harsh and at times difficult to understand will recognize that you are their child and that they gave you life. Some do not express their love in a way that is understood. I am glad that their love was there for you at this point in time and I hope that the letter and your time with your folks may mark a new beginning in your relationship with them.

    Your relationship with your older brother may not be as bad as you portray it. He met with you had heard what you had to say. Guys are guys and he has used the defensive guy locker room approach that so many of us have witnessed and perhaps participated in over the years in dealing with your relevation . Guys can resort to being tough and crude and when confused may harken to the familiar behavior that marks much of your relationship with him.

    After giving your revelation to him a bit of time to sink in he phoned your folks. Is it possible that he realized that they would be having issues with your revelation? Is it possible that he recognized that your mother's overwhelming desire was for a healing of family rifts? Is it possible that what he told your mother was how her really felt and that he understood that it was important to your folks that they understood that he 'had your back' as you went through these tough times?

    I wish you success as you go forward and I hope that the relationships with your family improve.

    Fortes in Unitate,

    PS: While I wish you success in finding tolerance from your family and with others as you proceed forward I would be remiss if I did not at least suggest that sometimes tolerance begets tolerance and that if you showed a bit more tolerance and less bigotry and hatred towards others that more warm feelings would flow in your direction. It is hurtful to call or imply that Republicans hate the President because he is black. I do not hate the man. In fact I find him to have a pleasant demeanor. I do not like his practices or his policies. I think his economic theories are not good for the country and that his foreign policies have not served our country well. His repeated practice of not being truthful to the American people does none of us any good. I would be very happy with a number of Black or Latino men or women serving as our Commander in Chief...just not this one.


  3. Sophie....I am so happy for you!! What strength and courage! I am in the process of not living under the same roof as my wife for the very same reasons but I would say I am about 2 years behind you. I desperately want to come out to work and friends. My sister (only sibling) knows fully of my heart's desires for Julie but she is the only family member. All in due time. Again, I'm so happy for you and will keep you in my thoughts as you await coming out at work. I wish I was there to hold your hand through it!
    On another note, I will say that I am "kinda" on the same page as Pax above. I don't dislike Obama because he is black. I equate that statement to Kanye West's same statement about George Bush hating black people. How absurd. But, I digress. I just wanted to say that I agree, tolerance begets tolerance.....at least it should.

    All the best with your femme journey Sophie. May 2014 be all that you dream it can be!