Sunday, June 20, 2010

Coming Out To The Family

I have been out to my mother’s side of the family for several years now, but I never came out to my father’s side of the family, until now. I just finished addressing the envelopes for my “Coming Out” letter to my cousins and they will go in the mail tonight. So wish me luck.

Here is the letter…

There is something important I’d like to share with everyone.

In September of 2006, they announced at work that they were closing down the factory in stages, beginning the end of the first quarter of 2007. We saw the shutdown coming when they were not sending us any new orders, but instead were farming the work to other locations. In June of 2007, I was laid off. For me it worked out great, I was planning to retire in 2008, so with the severance package, I was able to collect pay until just before I was eligible for early retirement. In addition, I received tuition reimbursement and I went back to college for my Masters

However, that was not the only changes that were taking place in my life. I was always the quite one, at parties or family gatherings. Well there was a reason for that. You see all through my life I was deeply troubled. I knew I was different and it wasn’t until I had my heart problems in 1999 that I felt I had to act, that life was too short. Therefore, I sought counseling, with counselors and support groups, and I have finally achieved self-acceptance. I now have a life. I have been going out; to movies, plays, lectures, and restaurants; getting involved in politics, went back to college; started traveling and I made new friendships.

You see that I come to accept myself for who I am a transsexual. Some of my earliest memories were of feeling that I should have been born a girl. I remember when I was little and saying my prayers at night, ending with prayer that I would wake up as a girl and I used to cry myself to sleep. I have fought this for over fifty years and I realized that I could not hide it anymore, that hiding was causing physical stress. Now I have been on hormones since 2004 and when I was laid-off in June of 2007, I started living full time as “Diana”. Once I went full time, I had my name legally changed to Diana, changed all my paperwork and got a new driver’s license with a “F” for the gender marker.

What ever is the cause of GID (Gender Identity Disorder is the medical term for transsexualism) I can tell you one thing and that is it is not a choice, I have been fighting this all my life and it is not something I would ever want. Life is hard and this doesn’t make it any easier, but I am happier and I am getting out enjoying life. No one really knows what causes GID, but the majority of medical information indicates that it is caused by something pre-natal. Whether it is a hormone imbalance during pregnancy or it is genetic is not known. What is known, is that gender is part of your very being and we are all are born with a sense of our gender identity.

Since coming out I have been very active; I have given lectures at colleges (including Yale, UConn School of Law, UConn School of Social Work and the UConn School of Medicine), and given workshops at conferences. I have worked on the Ned Lamont’s campaign for U.S. senate, I have lobbied Congress in Washington, and helped out at various non-profit organizations in the area. I am currently on the steering committee of a coalition that is trying to change the Anti-Discrimination laws in Connecticut and I have testified before the Judiciary Committee. As a part of that effort, I have been interviewed by the Hartford Courant, the Connecticut Post and I have been on the radio and television. In addition, I am graduate student at the UConn School of Social Work Master’s program since September 2008 and my concentration is in Community Organizing. I’m planning to graduate next spring. As you can see I am no longer just sitting around the house, now it is a rare evening that I am home.

I know that this is hard for you to understand and it is also hard for me to understand as well. If you need to talk you can call me at (860) XXX-XXXX or email me at diana@XXXXXX.XXX


CeCe Savage said...

I am impressed with this letter. It's informative and matter-of-fact. Yet it feels like you're speaking from the heart. I really hope you get positive and supportive responses for your honesty.

Kwizgiver said...

Great letter, Diana! I wish you only the best results.