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Thread: About to send "The Letter"...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ceera's Avatar
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    About to send "The Letter"...

    The time has come for me to communicate my recent life changes with the friends and family members who don't live in my town. I've been socially female for four years. I am 61, and I am now two months into HRT and my 'year of living full time female', heading distinctly and without reservations for full medical transition from male to female.

    I've had my 22-year-old daughter's support from day one. I've also recently had 'the discussion' about my living full time as a woman with my sister, my only close living relative other than my daughter, who together with my sister's four adult kids already knew and accepted that I was living in 'gender fluid mode', and that I was already almost solely female for my social life. Her kids had fully accepted my gender fluid state, and I am fairly certain they will be equally accepting for my full transition. My sister accepts my transition, though it is hard for her to get used to the idea. She will get there, in time, she assures me. I've given my sister the go-ahead to discuss it with her kids, because she also wants to make sure they know not to tell their father, my brother in law. He is the one relative who instantly rejected me when he heard I was going out socially as a woman. Knowing I am heading for full transition now will just add fuel to his hatred. I don't care how he feels about me, but I'm sad that he gives my sister a hard time about it. My parents, aunts and uncles and my wife are all passed away, so I won't have to deal with coming out to any of them. I'm retired, so no need to discuss it with an employer or coworkers. My local friends in the town I live in all know and accept that I am becoming female full time. My neighbors may not know all the details, but they have frequently seen and amiably chatted with me as a woman for months now, with nary a strange look or odd comment. So no apparent issues with the neighbors. Ditto with the employees at the many stores and restaurants and bars that I frequent. All 100% accepting of me as a woman.

    That leaves my two sisters in law and their families (My late wife's sisters), about 15 cousins (most of whom I am only marginally in contact with, via Facebook, as my male side), and about 15 out of area friends who knew me only as a male, who still need to be told that I am transitioning. Once they have been told, nobody who really matters in my life will have been left out. The two sisters in law will need to get postal letters. They are in their 70's, and too old fashioned to use email or Facebook. Everyone else I can contact via FB Messenger, or via e-mail. I'll try to use email where I can, as that will be better for a longer communication like this.

    I have made a first pass at 'The Letter', but it is WAY too long. 6 pages or so! So now I need to edit that down to something short enough to get them to read all of it, yet long enough for them to understand why I am transitioning, so late in my life.

    I don't expect many bad reactions. Those remaining friends and family members are all pretty liberal and well educated. And even if some of them want to cut off contact, none matter enough to me for me to care that I may lose some of them.

    Ceera

  2. #2
    Member Eemz's Avatar
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    That's really great Ceera. I'm so happy for you. I have some thoughts on the letter itself if you don't mind, based on your description of the people you plan to send it to.

    The most important thing here is not to apologize for who you are: simply state it as a fact. That's a much more effective way to communicate a complex topic to a group of people who (in reality) have a very limited need or interest in details. One of the mantras I live by is "the more you explain, the more you convey the message that what you're doing *requires* an explanation". That's really important, and powerful. You've already seen it in action - you told the neighbors nothing and they're ok. Ditto the stores and restaurants. You're a woman now. OK. That's all they need. And it worked.

    So I would make a list of who *actually* needs to be told by you, rather than hear it through the grapevine (which they will). You're the only one who can judge who those people are.

    All the people you listed seem a bit removed to me... so I would go with something more like this... "Dear X, I know we're not in contact all that regularly but I wanted you to hear this from me rather than indirectly through the grapevine: after much soul searching (or similar vague statement) I have decided <whatever you have decided, but two sentences max - seriously - e.g. "that I am a woman and I need to live the rest of my life as my real self." No apologies, statement of fact>. You have always been important in my life and I really hope that you and I can continue to have a good relationship. It means a lot to me. If you have any questions I'd be happy to talk, give me a call on the usual number"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ceera View Post
    long enough for them to understand why I am transitioning, so late in my life
    They don't need to understand, they just need to accept that you're doing it. And your letter makes clear that they can talk to you if they need more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ceera View Post
    even if some of them want to cut off contact, none matter enough to me for me to care that I may lose some of them.
    OK well hopefully that won't happen but at least you're prepared if necessary. The message I think you should deliver is - I'm going down this path and I really hope you can come with me. If you can't then, well, I respect your right to make that decision. But I still have to go...
    Last edited by Eemz; 11-01-2018 at 07:55 PM. Reason: add quote

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ceera's Avatar
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    Thank you. That seems like good advice.

  4. #4
    Slightly Askew jaye_cd's Avatar
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    Personally, I think there's too much pressure to draft "the letter". If that works for you, then go for it. For me, I struggled with weeks with what to say to people and drafting a letter just didn't work for me. It just seemed to forced and wasn't "me". The people that mattered most to me I had already told in person or over the phone as much as possible. Everyone else just got a status update on Facebook. I ended up with one short paragraph in really minuscule update after taking over a year off of that platform. This was the post I made on Facebook, in it's entirety, edited here only to protect the names of my ex wife and children.


    So, hey, ummm... Hi!!?

    So, uhhh... if you're reading this you survived me pruning my "friends" list down to just the people I consider close friends. Lots has happened since I was last on here over a year ago. My wife and I divorced, that was finalized last month. I'm still trying to adjust to all of that... we were together for such a long time. Her and my son moved out earlier this year and that's been kind of rough. My daughter choose to stay with me, however, so I'm now a single parent of a teenage girl which I'm sure is going to provide endless challenges in the future.

    But also.. Umm.. yeah... so I've struggled with my gender identity for a huge portion of my life, and I've decided to just take charge and be happy with myself. For some of you, this is no big surprise, and for others this may be a bit of a shock. But, hey, I'm still me, just a much happier version of me than I've ever been before.

    Anyhow... I still don't know how long I'm actually going to keep my account open again. Honestly, I really haven't missed this site at all, but we shall see. Cheers!

    This was accompanied by me uploading new profile photos, changing my name, gender, etc. there. Most of the questions I got back were all fielded through this post and I think that pretty much satisfied all of my friends and family that read it and the replies. Anyone that had further questions asked me privately, and honestly there weren't many.


    Maybe this helps you or someone else a bit? Maybe not? But this was how I handled coming out to the masses. Whatever you end up doing I wish you all the best!
    Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ceera's Avatar
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    Yeah, I had seriously considered postal letters to the two sisters in law, and just posting to Facebook for everyone else. But my sister asked me not to do that, because of her husband being so nasty about me to her.

    I figure my brother in law’s health is poor, and he is likely to only live a few more years. Once he is gone, my sister and her kids can Friend my female account, and I can retire the male one.

    For the most part, this round of messages is to cover the two families likely to invite my daughter and I to attend family holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving ( my sisters in law), and to ensure that the others don’t worry about me, when my male account largely ceases posting.

  6. #6
    Call me Pam pamela7's Avatar
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    Hi Ceera,

    Advice goes both ways. My default way of letter writing tends to be too short of words, which then allows other people to misinterpret or not understand, so I'm going to say that I'm learning to use more words to be sure there can be much less misunderstanding of my own communications. If you do precis, be sure not to lose the essence of your message. And, at the same time, it can be fairly short and sweet, and why not wrap it in some recent life story news, so it's not only about the transition?

    In terms of my wider family, a funeral was coming up, so my mother actually pre-warned one aunt, who then pre-warned everyone else, and I rocked up in a dress, and everyone just called me Pam, so no worries, and no letters. For example, if you sister called up the relatives and said "xxx is now Ceera and living as a woman", she'd get their more real reaction, and they could ask her things they might not ask you directly, and also if there were a bad reaction, well then she could warn you?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJFyz73MRcg
    I used to believe this, now I'm in the company of many tiggers. A tigger does not wonder why she is a tigger, she just is a tigger.

    thanks to krististeph: tigger = TG'er .. T-I-GG-er

  7. #7
    What is normal anyway? Rianna Humble's Avatar
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    Hi Ceera, if you are looking for inspiration, there is the sticky thread at the top of this forum with examples of Coming Out Letters

    Whether they help or not, I hope you might be willing to share yours in that sticky thread
    Check out this link if you are wondering about joining Safe Haven.

    This above all: To thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any

    Galileo said "You cannot teach a man anything" and they accuse ME of being sexist

    Never ascribe to malice that which can be easily explained by sheer stupidity

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ceera's Avatar
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    Pamela, my sister did end up telling her husband and all four of her adult kids when she first found out I was cross dressing. I hadn’t told her yet myself, but she found my Ceera Facebook page. It was many months later when one of her daughters contacted my female side’s Facebook account out of the blue, and my niece told me she and her husband “fully accepted me, in any gender role”, and then let me know that “the whole family up here knows. Mom told us.” And she also told me that this was why the prior Family Christmas, which my daughter and I had attended with me in drab, was held at my niece’s home, instead of my sister’s. My three nieces and one nephew and their spouses all accepted my cross dressing immediately and without reservations. My sister had still been ”kind of in shock” over her discovery, but will in time fully support me. My homophobic brother in law banned me from their home... With the new news that I wasn’t remaining gender fluid, but had begun full transition, which I directly told my sister about, my sister said she would deal with passing that news on to her kids, but they would hide it from her husband.

    Rianna, yes, I have read that sticky post, and will add mine, once I trim it down to a much more concise length.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Vanessa Grandy's Avatar
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    I think that you Ceera are being too much considered with the world but if you feel ok is ok for me too.
    So now, enjoy your life to full...
    It's me, Vanessa, in the core just a sensitive woman with a strong male appearance...

    https://www.facebook.com/vanessa.grandy.161

    kisses...

  10. #10
    Member Carolina's Avatar
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    I believe you have pretty good avice already on this thread. Good luck with your letter!

    All I wanted to say is that i’m really surprised (maybe because I’m too naive) that in this day and age there could be someone like your brother in law. Even with his wife (your sis) accepting you for who you are, is her husband “banning you”? Really? I’m shocked.

    Best of luck to you (although you seem to be in great shape and spirits with your life figured out and nice people around you) and to your poor sister who has to deal on a daily basis with her husband...

    Best

  11. #11
    Member KymberlyOct's Avatar
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    Way to go Ceera, I think you have this figured out. Keep moving forward.

    Carolina, I know that you have only good intentions and well wishes for Ceera regarding your post. The one thing I want to say as kindly as I can... Sadly you should not be the least bit shocked that "in this day and age there could be someone like her brother in law"

    The world is full of them. Fortunately there are not too many in my life. While acceptance of transgender people has made dramatic strides in the last 5 to 10 years you are in fact being naive thinking that it's no big deal. There are hundreds of people on this site that can tell you first hand we are rejected by many and hated by some people.

    Make no mistake - Transgender people are a marginalized / discriminated group. Fortunately that is changing but there is still a long, long way to go.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    Yes, a long way to go, but progress in areas like this often comes in fits and starts. Yes, those still fearful and ignorant when it comes to TG issues are being manipulated aggressively by certain quarters, but overall progress continues. As I see it, it's a numbers game. Every one of us who does as Ceera is doing brings light to those still in need of it. Sure, there are still the idiot brothers in law, but look at how many more people now know a TG person as normal.
    Good on you , Veers. So happy for you.

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