What is family? Is it simply defined as the people with the closest genetics to you? or is it deeper than that? The people who you’re related to may not be very kind to you or may not be the kind of people you need in your life. Close friends can be family, they can be the people in your life that truly care about you and love you.
A couple weeks ago I allowed my genetic family to visit me at my house. I was concerned because I had no idea how my parents were handling my transition. I haven’t told them about being on HRT since May. My two smallest siblings came with them and they excitedly greeted me because we haven’t seen each other since the end of August. I privately asked my little brother to use my actual name, and he did! He occasionally slipped up, but quickly corrected himself. It was so nice of him it just warmed my heart. That is, until my dad scolded him and told him to never use that name again. I had had enough of my parents’ B.S. at that point and just sat in my room upstairs for a little while. I decided to put on my wonderful EPCOT Dress and I slowly summed up the courage to walk down the stairs. I walked down as everyone else was watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on my living room. I started to clean up from dinner, minding my own business, but that was soon interrupted by my dad. Once he saw my dress he B-Lined it to me and started asking things like “why are you wearing that”, “why would you bring this up?”, and “This isn’t you, why would you do that?”. I calmly explained that this is how God made me. I was born into a body that didn’t match who I am. The conversation quickly turned into my dad yelling at me. Both of my parents said that they loved me and they would pray for me, but I realized that’s not what it sounds like. They love the idea of me, their “perfect picture” of what they expected me to be. I managed to escape the conversation and I just sat in my living room with my siblings. Soon after that, they left. My mom hugged me and told me she loved me, but what sucks about that is I didn’t feel it. I don’t feel her love, but I feel her hate, her disbelief, and her denial. She texts me every night the same thing: “Goodnight. I love you.” and I used to simply reply “Love you.” but now I just don’t feel it. I haven’t replied since that weekend.
I’ve been slowly setting up backup systems in case they decide to cancel my phone or ask for the car back. My car is technically my dad’s so I’m preparing to get another one in case he asks for it back.
This isn’t family. This is unnecessary drama, it’s hate and manipulation. Ever since I started college, I’ve subconsciously created my own safe space. I’ve picked friends who love me and care about me. I’ve separated myself from my old life and created a place where I could come out safely. My friends are the ones who are truly there for me when I need someone, they are the ones who deal with my grief and sadness when I feel down and my overwhelming joy and optimism when I’m happy.
To my wonderful friends: Thank You, I love you.