Being His Son
I remember writing on this blog how I told my father that I was transgender, how scared I was to tell him, in fact, he was the hardest person to tell. Looking back, I see that I gave him a sort of power, over me. I let him distort the ‘label’ that I was trying hard to battle, but also at the same time, that I was trying to accept.
When I told my dad that I was transitioning to become a man, I told the world at the same time, I came out through Facebook. I don’t agree with putting your whole life on Facebook, I rarely write statuses or update, but because of school, I thought this was the best way for everyone to know so I could continue my life as Nathan. I well and truly left my dad till last. By my 18th birthday, I had been living as a male for nearly a year, I was wearing all male clothes, I was binding my chest, packing occasionally and going by Nathan at home. I remember he came to pick me up to give me my birthday present, he was only going to see me for an hour or two, but that was usual for my dad. I remember when he gave me my present, a pandora bracelet, he thought he had hit the nail on the head with that present, was proud of himself. Along with that, I had a neon pink ’18’ mug, which I actually only threw out yesterday, I’m not sure what I was holding onto, it just makes it obvious the guilt I felt, for taking his daughter away from his. I remember focusing all of my energy to not have a mental breakdown right there in the car, how when I got in I ran upstairs to my room and cried more than I’d cried in a long time. It wasn’t just that I couldn’t handle being addressed as a female, it was also that my dad had reached a point where he didn’t even know me anymore, my likes or interests because he never sees me. My mum spoke to him and explained. But still for months, I was his daughter, he completely ignored everything that my mum had told him.
When he did finally find out through Facebook, the next time I saw him he wanted to speak to me. He kept asking me if I was just a ‘butch lesbian’ because he could be okay with that. I remember once he told me that he understood lesbians because they were sexy and men like that, but gay men made him feel sick because he was a man and he couldn’t imagine it. I think I learned how hypocritical he was then.
This was all months ago, he told me that I shouldn’t think about how this affects him, and I should focus on myself, but those were just empty words. These last few months I’ve had lots of doctors appointments, getting my bloods done ready for hormones, I’ve been messed around by transfers because of University. I tried telling him the dates of my appointments, but he never once asked me how they went. I told my dad that I would be getting hormones in the next 3 or 4 weeks around 4 months ago, because he never asked, he doesn’t know that I was postponed massively because of trying to get treatment in Southampton, where I go to University. As far as he knew I was already on them, but he never asked.
Not to mention when he met my flatmates he said “I’m her father,” I can’t imagine how that would have gone down if I hadn’t of explained that I was transgender to them a few months before and how my dad was slower accepting it.
He’s visited me a few times in Southampton because he had to go to Eastleigh college for a gas course he was doing for work. A few weeks ago he was explaining to me that he can only visit me once a week because of the insurance on the car because it was a work vehicle, he said he’d ask head office if he could use it to visit his daughter
“As far as they’re concerned I’m down here visiting my daughter, they don’t need to know about all this crap.” I’ve been out as transgender for nearly 2 years, and this is what he says to me, and I freeze. I go back to the scared kid who was too afraid to tell his father how he really felt. I should have said something then, but I’m saying something now, and when I did tell him he said he thinks “it’s none of their business”. As much as that’s his choice, he didn’t have to tell me that’s what he said to them, he could have cared enough about me to replace daughter with son, even if that’s not how it really happened, just for my sake. I didn’t fight hard to become who I am, to change all my legal documents with my new name, which cost money, sweat and tears, so that my own father could say these things to me.
I’ve tried so hard proving that I am his son, but after everything, I don’t think I have the energy to prove anything to him anymore.
There’s one person I’m proving myself to, and that’s me.