Wednesday, 2 November 2016

some outreach helps a friend

Yesterday I had lunch with a colleague and I could tell something was wrong. He started to tell me that he had a bad day at work the day before and a bad evening at home to boot. He started to choke up a little bit and was hard pressed to talk about it.

I didn’t push further but said he could tell me anything as I have known him for 20 years.

Finally he told me it was regarding his daughter who had come out as a lesbian some time back but now was suddenly identifying as transgender. He had only found this out last night when he and his wife accidentally stumbled upon a webpage she had been viewing when closing her tablet (at least this is what I was told). She had finally divulged to them that she was thinking about binding and possibly looking into hormones.

His daughter and mine are only weeks apart and I have known this man since before both were born. He was on the verge of tears so I came out to him and told him my own story.

I told him she needed support above all and to be listened to and that they should seek out a licensed program or hospital gender clinic (I suggested the Montreal General) that deals with gender dysphoria. Most importantly I told him not to panic and to let this digest a bit. They should both listen to her and not be judgmental and because she is so young to not assume there is a definite path ahead. Things could change but then if they don’t after the therapy then they may need to prepare themselves for a process that will allow their daughter to be who she (or he) is.

This fellow is a fine person and wants to do right by his daughter but what will always stay with me is how thankful and relieved he was after I shared my story with him. Just a little bit of outreach can sometimes do so much and I was so glad to be able to help him in my own small way.

Today I am 54 years old and I have never known myself better. It is what allows me to come out to people and say: this is who I am take it or leave and not really care about their opinion.

I can really breathe.

7 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday indeed! A little belated but...

    I think your friend and his child are just so amazingly fortunate to have you in their lives. He must have had an intuition that you would be helpful and caring to talk to about this important issue with his daughter. And then he lucked out that a) you are transgender, so you understand, b) you're confident in yourself and would come out to him, c) you are so articulate and understanding.

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  2. thanks Emma for your wishes. Funny in that during the lunch he told me this was meant to happen that day. I was very touched by his words...

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  3. It was good that he chose you to talk to and that you were able to both comfort him and give him usable advice. Did you direct him to your blog or to any of the other online sources of information.

    Pat

    PS: Happy Birthday

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  4. Actually Pat I directed him to the same McGill University gender identity clinic that helped me. Thanks for the Bday wishes!

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  5. Ah! Your age! (I'm five years older than you.)

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