Maybe I could call you Heather?

Ever since I told my kids I was trans, they’ve both been resistant to the idea of my transition. Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to gently remind them every now and then that it’s coming. I’m usually met with cries of, ‘I don’t want you to change!’ or ‘I’m going to run away if you do!’ or ‘You’ll still be a boy.’

My eldest has been the most resistant, telling me he’s scared of my transition. At nine, he can’t (or won’t) articulate what he’s scared of. I remind him that I’ll be the same person on the inside, but that I may look a little different on the outside, but it’s mostly been to no avail.

I’ve spent time with them out as myself and interestingly, they haven’t really noticed! I’m just dad and dad has always looked this way, so what’s the difference again? 🙂 As there have been more opportunities recently for me to be me when I’m with them, I gently point out that I look more female than male to make them more conscious of it. Usually, they brush it off.

No matter where we go or what I look like I’m ‘Dad.’ This has garnered a few looks here and there and made me uncomfortable at times as they’ve either outed me or made it challenging to explain who I am to the people we’re meeting.

I’ve been working on my eldest for a few months now about what he and his brother can call me when I’m out as a girl, and he’s always drawn a blank until the other night. It was bedtime, and I pointed out that when I looked more like a girl, calling me dad could be confusing for other people. I emphasized that he could call me whatever he wanted, including dad, because I want him to be invested in this decision, and I asked if there was another name maybe he would be willing or like to use?

His answer was, ‘Maybe I could call you Heather, because that’s your girl name, right?’ I told him that it was, and that calling me Heather would be great, and then dropped the conversation.

It hasn’t happened yet and the youngest still isn’t on board, but eight months later it feels like a breakthrough!


About cistotrans

A Seattle-area trans woman seeking a happy spot to stay at along the path of transition.
This entry was posted in coming out, family, personal history, transition and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Maybe I could call you Heather?

  1. Ariadne says:

    I think this is a sweet interaction, and shows that he has really been thinking about it! I think it must be hard for kids to understand a parent’s transition, when they may not see that modeled in any other families they know… but at the same time kids are resilient and adaptable, and eventually they will settle into the “new normal.” We’ll be having to address this issue of names with my partner eventually, and I’m not sure what the kids will end up calling her… I think your approach of allowing them to take the lead with something they feel comfortable with (but doesn’t out you) is the right choice.

    Liked by 1 person

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