I came out to my 25 year-old niece last night and happily it was a non-event. The kids and I had plans to meet her at my mom’s for dinner and since I hadn’t seen her in years, I figured that I should let her know before seeing her so my appearance wouldn’t be a surprise.
I sent her a message on Facebook and received a brief acknowledgment that she was cool with it and was looking forward to seeing me and the kids.
She was already at my mom’s when we arrived and she gave me a hug, and didn’t act or say anything differently than I otherwise would have expected.
What was notable was that she didn’t ask me any questions or remark on my appearance, a first for me. That generated some feelings for me.
Feeling one was relief that I didn’t have to trawl through my history yet again. Feeling two was happiness that it was unremarkable on her account and that she just accepted me as I was. Feeling three was feeling slighted.
As my kids would say, “Hubba-wha?” Why would arguably the easiest coming out I’ve had make me feel slighted?
After reflecting on it, I think it boils down to insecurity. There were two things at play that drove this: I was expecting validation that never came and I wasn’t the center of attention.
The lack of validation ties back to how hard this journey is. I think we all want acknowledgement for doing difficult things, and transition has been very difficult for me. This was a good reminder that I’m doing this for me and not the approval or acknowledgement of others.
Not being the center of attention is hard after hiding myself for so long and being trans does get you attention, positive and negative. This was my reminder that being trans, while huge and impactful, does not entitle me to be the sun after cloaking myself in clouds for so long.
After confronting the insecurity, happiness remains, and I’ll take all the non-event coming outs I can gather!