Here’s my third take on a coming out letter.
- Try to only stick to facts
- Include only a single link (to a surprisingly good WebMD article on gender dysphoria) to provide a jumping off point for people to learn more
- Keep it simple
- Keep it brief for readability
- Be unapologetic
- Be upbeat, but also temper it with reality
At a little over 250 words(!), I’m feeling pretty good about this version.
I’m going back and forth about adding a paragraph about my wife and our divorce. Leaving her out makes her invisible but I don’t want to mention it make it seem like I’m calling her out for leaving me. I’ve realized that I need to talk to her about it and let her make the call.
If anything in here resonates for you, please do feel free to borrow for your own letter.
Dear friends and colleagues,
I have some news to share — I am a transgender woman. In January 2016, I will legally change my name to Heather, will be referred to by that name and the female pronouns of she, her, and hers, and socially transition to living full-time as a woman.
My family, friends, and accomplishments have and continue to generate great happiness for me. At the same time, I’ve struggled with persistent feelings of discontent surrounding my gender that have injected discordant notes into the symphony of my life since childhood, and this is my way of quieting that cacophony.
This transition has been something I’ve been considering since the 1990s. In the intervening years I’ve sought and tried many other ways to relieve my distress, all to no avail.
Transition is still the only recognized palliative therapy for gender dysphoria, so here I am. For the past several months I have been living as Heather part-time and it has brought me tremendous relief from anxiety and depression, allowing me mental breathing room I didn’t even know I had. I am hopeful that this relief will increase and be lasting as I shift to full-time.
If you’re interested in learning more about this whole transgender thing or would just like to catch up because it’s been a while since we last connected, drop me a line or I’d love to have coffee, lunch, or chat on the phone if we haven’t spoken in a while.