More outings and a talk with dad

As I’m now starting to come out to more and more people I’ve realized that I have one BIG hurdle left. Every week I go dancing with a local folk-dance group. Folk dances in Sweden are very gendered and the parts you dance are even called “ladies” and “gents”. Up ’til now I’ve mostly danced as a “lady”, but over the last year I’ve started to dance as a “gent” more and more often and I’ve also told our leader that I would prefer to dance the gents parts in the future. This is nothing unusual for our group, we have several women dancing as gents when needed since we are a few men short in the group. But how do I tell this fairly conservative group of (mostly) elderly people that I want to be called Fredrik and that I’m planning on having my legal gender changed? I know I have to tell them soon, especially since I want to change my legal name as soon as possible. It might not be a problem, after all they happily accepted both me and my wife as a couple, but you never know – especially with a few of the men in the group. Luckily these men like me already and I’ve tried to ease them into seeing me as a man by wearing overtly many clothes. With my button downs tucked in, chinos or jeans and leather shoes I look just like them.Today I also told my first colleague about my transition. He already know I don’t identify as female or male, and an golden opportunity presented itself. We were sitting by ourselves in the conference room, chitchatting about life in general and talking about the applicants to our vacancy. Four have been interviewed and they have settled on one of them, a woman. My colleague pointed out that it would be good to have another woman in our department as the IT sector often is dominated by men. I calmly replied that she would become the only woman in our department and continued to tell him about my transition when the news had sunken in. He was really surprised but said he was happy for me. He asked if I would have surgery, how my parents took the news and I told him my chosen name. Then he congratulated me with a grin on his face as I now automatically will get better paid, have better access to managing positions and will feel dying whenever I get a cold… I asked him to not tell my other colleagues, I would prefer to tell them myself. All together we had a really good talk and I’m happy I could tell him in such a relaxed way. I’m also just really happy. It’s like a stone lifted from my shoulders yet again. If this continues I’m afraid I will take of like a balloon when I’ve finally told everyone. 

My dad have also called and had a few questions for me. First he asked how far I’m in my transition, and to be more precise if I’m taking testosterone yet. I explained how it is, that I’m still waiting for my appointment at the gender clinic. I also had to explain that T has to be administrated by medical personnel since the dosage is so individual. He then asked how I found out that I’m trans, I shortened the answer to “I’ve never felt female, my wife never treat me or other people according to their supposed gender and therefore I haven’t felt the need to do anything about my gender earlier. When my wife became pregnant I couldn’t stand the prospect of being called mum for the rest of my life and decided to sort myself up.” I tried to keep all the answers as simple as possible, with him there’s no need to get into details or give too much personal information. I’m afraid that my answers might have been too short and simplified, but I really didn’t feel like going into it more at that time. I have no problems with educating people, my attitude is that when people ask questions with the right intentions I will try to answer no matter how they express themselves. But with my dad it’s a different thing. It’s too personal.

He also asked if our crappy relationship could be related to my gender dysphoria. What kind of question is that, and what do you answer to it?? It might be related, but I would rather put it like one of the reasons it have taken me until now to take action towards becoming the man that I am is my crappy relationship with my father. I desperately do not want to become like him and a very safe way to make that happen is to stay a woman. I’m still terrified to become like him – or rather become him, but I’ve decided that I have so many other male role models around me to take after that it’s time for me to let that fear go and not make it stop me from doing the changes to my life that I need. Since I really don’t want to become like him, I guess that is a big obstacle in our relationship. I have a hard time respecting his way of life. I don’t understand the choices he has made and continue to make, and he makes little effort to understand me and my choices. I constantly have the feeling that my parents either just run me over like a doormat, or are terrified of me. It’s never something in between and it’s never relaxed.

5 thoughts on “More outings and a talk with dad

  1. All sounds like good progress. It is really hard to have a conversation with a clueless parent (or in my case a clueless brother).

    I do think that growing up transgender, and that sense of things being not quite right (even if you don’t experience it as “I am a boy not a girl”) does make it harder to have intimate and close relationships with people – particularly if they don’t accept you as you are.

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  2. I can relate with what you say about your dad. I’ve been picturing talking to my dad recently and it’s awkward to even imagine. It’s so personal, I find it uncomfortable to have to explain trans stuff to him but I’m fine doing it with friends. Ah well.

    As a side-note I wanted to mention that due to my incredible lack of context on Swedish folk dance my mind just automatically imagined you dancing in a barn surrounded by bales of hay and a cow watching in the background… I think I watch too much American cartoons.

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