Coming out to my family…


This feels like I’m coming home. I told my mum and dad over dinner the night I told Rubi. I explained it to them as I explained it to her, as I explain it here, as I explain it to everyone who cares to listen.

Mum wasn’t shocked in the slightest. Her only thought is that I’m happy being Me. We talk about all the ripples it might cause, the questions, the feelings, the hopes. I said ‘it’s not like you’re losing a daughter…it’s like your also gaining another son’. My mum is a diamond. I love her to bits and she’s been there for me through all sorts of shit in the last few years. We have one of those mum-child relationships where I was fiercely independent as a child and consequently mum was not consciously aware of much of what was going on up til until I got to about 30ish. Then things started to change and we started to talk.

I started my therapeutic counselling training, went into personal therapy, and lo and behold began speaking to my mum about what was important. It worked! we get on so well these days and have an honest and open communication that’s also sensitive to each other’s needs. Thank you Eve! Thank you my tutors! Thank you my friends!

My dad has also been great. I’ve finally been able to talk to him one-to-one tonight over a smoke in the garage and he’s cool. He has suggested speaking to one of his friends at golf…and I’m looking forward to meeting them… god I realise I’m also coming out that I secretly like to play golf ūüėÄ

No, dad is cool even though he finds it difficult to talk about deep feelings I can sense he’s genuinely comfortable with me. I feel acceptance and understanding from him, and a strong love, so we can work through this together…I don’t quite think he understands how he has to be quite literally on hand to ‘father’ me through the learning to shave, whole puberty thing…but hey ho, we’ll learn.

My brother came over the weekend before last. We were sooooo close when we were little…up until he hit puberty then we grew apart. But we have connected deeply on a number of important occasions since we were teenagers and have been able to talk about stuff which we’ve both found hard to deal with in our own ways. My brother was a brother and is a brother and I am a brother to him. He is loyal to a tee and will help me any way he can. I told him about how, when my body¬†starts changing, I had been looking at ‘Pack and Pee’ cocks to buy on the internet and the whole risky peril of gendered public loos. I know how emotive they are, having been challenged, sometimes aggressively, when I’ve been taken for a bloke in the women’s loo’s.

So my bro says to me that he’ll ‘hold my hand’ so to speak and we can pop to the loo in unison while out for a bro’s night out drinking somewhere. I said jokingly¬†‘well, as long as that’s not all your holding!’ My bro turns to me and says ‘Rule #1 in men’s toilets: do not hold the cock of the man next to you’. Nuff said. Luckily he also told me that a significant number of men don’t ever use urinals but only pee in the cubicles. So I wouldn’t stand out like a sore thumb if I pop in those instead. Cool…

My sister is harder to speak to only because she lives further away with her husband and two children. I want to talk to her on the phone but it’s coming up to half-term and mum is going over to see her. In the end mum talks to my little sister. She’s cool too as is husband. It’s all a question of helping prepare the ground for the kids now so we’re going to drop the ‘Auntie’ which is easy and I have a gender-neutral name which I will be keeping anyway. I can talk to the kids in my own time further down the road and as those of us who understand children know, they’ll accept, and question, and accept again. I got no problem with curiosity and open minds and hearts. They need to know what they need to know and you love and respect them always and they reflect that back to you, many times over.

I am so lucky!!


About Sam Feeney

I am a counsellor, trainer and LGBTQI community activist. I write about my journey through life as a someone who lives and breathes gender and sexual difference and who cares passionately about creating powerful and sustainable radical social and political change.
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