A personal announcement, emphatic thank-you, and cheers to Fedora.

Mike - Pretty much every time I've ever said I was too old to do X or change Y, I've later realized I was completely wrong.

I know it's not too late to change things, no matter the context, but I still usually wait much longer than I had to.

NSMike wrote:

I know it's not too late to change things, no matter the context, but I still usually wait much longer than I had to.

You're in good company there!

NSMike wrote:

I know it's not too late to change things, no matter the context, but I still usually wait much longer than I had to.

I say this with love:

And...? Your point is...?

To put it more seriously, just because you came out at almost 30 ultimately doesn't mean squat. You'll still be able to grow into the whole person you were meant to be, it's just going to involve a few more wrinkles and/or grey hairs when you get there. What's important is that you came out. And, as you can tell, we're all rooting for you.

There's a whole lot of missing context from my comments here. I'm not talking about coming out anymore. I'm also not really in a good emotional place right now to discuss any of this, so I'm not going to continue to comment.

Understood, and no worries.

NSMike wrote:

I'm also not really in a good emotional place right now to discuss any of this, so I'm not going to continue to comment.

I hope you'll keep reading, as I just wanted to add something small that I would like to give thanks for.

3rd revision... (Getting to the crux of it)

You are a great human being, with the ability to convey your feelings with maturity and eloquence. I'm glad you're in my life, and the people I have shared your experiences with, as posted in this thread, are better for it too.

Hell of a year, hell of a person. Thanks-(for being so)-giving of yourself with us all.

((((hugs))))

You can never have too many hugs.

((((hugs))))

hm, i just found this thread after finding the 'how to be a woman' thread on the 'recent' posts thing.

I applaud you and wanted to thank you being a part of what makes this community so great, and thank you for your kind words about the community. It's also wonderful to hear that your father reacted the way he had.

Now on to things more important to me... I saw your name and immediately thought 'dude, he's of the Thursday nighters in BC2 that went awol for bf3'. Why you haven't been playing BF3 despite having played so much BC2?

Come onn, we need new blood, there's a new content update soon, come on and shoot people with us.

Pikey26 wrote:

hm, i just found this thread after finding the 'how to be a woman' thread on the 'recent' posts thing.

I applaud you and wanted to thank you being a part of what makes this community so great, and thank you for your kind words about the community. It's also wonderful to hear that your father reacted the way he had.

Now on to things more important to me... I saw your name and immediately thought 'dude, he's of the Thursday nighters in BC2 that went awol for bf3'. Why you haven't been playing BF3 despite having played so much BC2?

Come onn, we need new blood, there's a new content update soon, come on and shoot people with us.

You guys are still doing that? o_O

no. it kinda fell apart. podsix guys went awol and many of the guys that kept sh*t held together stopped showin up (you and fedora being two of the names I'd put on that list D:<).

i'd kill for it to happen again though. totally could, BF3 is rounding out to be pretty complete with only one DLC left to go.

Not much of a gamer these days. Sorry Pikey.

I think I BF3ed until my son was born. I'll be back on the Battlefield someday. You can always count on a huge GWJ revival when a new Battlefield game drops, at least.

So, I was hanging out with Cheeto recently, and we were talking about some things... One of the things I realized is that there are a handful of relatives who I don't really see on a very regular basis, but who know me, and would recognize me, whom I've not come out to yet. One of them, my parents have asked me not to come out to. Originally I thought it didn't really matter if I had come out to these people, but while visiting my parents over Christmas, I ran into an aunt and uncle who have always been very sweet, even if we didn't see them more than three or four times a year.

As always seems to happen in this largely Catholic family, the "So, when are you getting married?" question was dropped. I just played it off that I wasn't going to get married, and realized I was doing so to avoid an uncomfortable situation by coming out in a shopping mall to 2 relatives in their 80's in front of my dad, sister, and brother-in-law.

Part of me realizes that maybe it wasn't the best setting to come out, but also my reluctance and discomfort validates their own discomfort.

So I sat down a few nights ago and came up with a list of people I haven't told whom I can remember off the top of my head. Now, like I did with my uncle around Thanksgiving, I'm writing what is basically a coming-out form letter to mail each of them.

This then opens the can of worms that is the Family Reunion, which are extended family of my parents' generation on my mother's side. Typically held at a Catholic church hall. I'm not even sure if we're having one this year, but if we are, I don't even know how to handle that. Do I just grab the PA microphone and just go, "Hey, everyone, just to let you know, you have a gay relative. Me."? Come up with some kind of eloquent speech? Should be interesting to figure out. I am nervous about it, but I get angry when I realize I'm closeting myself for the comfort of others. I am supposed to be leaving that bullsh*t behind.

One final note, I mentioned being in a pretty crappy mood a while back, but I've gotten over that now. Things are on the upswing, and I'm doing fairly well these days. My worst problems boredom and motivation at work, neither of which are new. Thanks to everyone who asked.

Glad to hear you're doing well!

NSMike wrote:

Do I just grab the PA microphone and just go, "Hey, everyone, just to let you know, you have a gay relative. Me."? Come up with some kind of eloquent speech?

These may not be the droids you're looking for.

Imho the goal for all of us humans is to be confident and comfortable in our own skin. Obviously, that takes a lot of time. I think, and again, totally my opinion, and possibly wrong, but I think it's ultimately best to be the guy who models the fact that there's nothing weird about being gay by being totally normal and, as it so happens, gay.

Next week, on Straight Eye For the Queer Guy!

Can you please make the speech similar to my drunk mothers at my birthday party?

Leave them with something to talk about!

I'm grappling with coming out issues with regard to work, myself. On the one hand, I don't particularly want to hide the fact that I'm trans. And I [em]really[/em] don't want to be in a position where I feel the need to skirt around answering questions or speaking up if somebody says something bad, simply because I'm not out at work. On the other hand, I really don't want to make a big fuss about things. So I feel like I should take care of things with official people (HR, managers), and probably talk about it with my immediate co-workers, and then after that feel free to just be a normal human being. If somebody asks me a question, I'll answer it. If somebody says something that makes me uncomfortable, I'll speak up. (Oh, and I'm already out to the few coworkers I consider close personal friends.)

Family has a whole different aspect to it, of course. But if I were gay and wanted to be out to my family, I'd take more-or-less the same approach. (And this is basically how I figure I'll treat being trans with my extended family when it comes up.) Come out to the people who are closest and most important to me. (Which I've done, mostly: my immediate family except my sister's kids. There may be some stress over the kid thing this next Christmas.) With other relatives... well, now that I'm out to the people I care the most about, it's just a thing, and I'm not going to make a big deal out of it. If somebody else wants to make a big deal of it, I really won't be able to do anything about it, but I just kind of figure that treating it matter-of-factly is the way to go.

It sounds like you have more family that you're close to than I do. I'd probably aim to write a coming-out letter to the remaining people I'm close enough to that I'd like them to know pro-actively, and leave it at that. Gossip will probably get around, and other people will learn about it. But at least you'll be in a position where if somebody says "when are you getting married?" you'll feel that it's perfectly reasonable to say "when I meet the right man" and not have it be a bombshell. "Oh, you didn't know? Well, now you do. No big deal."

Good luck, in any case. I'm being pretty blase about things, but I know it can be much much harder than that. I'm still somewhat petrified about going to my employer to explain my trans-ness to them, and I'm still a bit scared about coming out to the remainder of my close co-workers. So it's more a statement of "this is how I think I [em]ought[/em] to handle things, and I'm going to work on myself until I'm comfortable doing that."

Edit: Oh... and one more stressful thing. In the wonderful future when I go full time, there will come a point where I need to change over social network things. That will probably involve a rather... broad announcement. But I don't see much way around it. I think by that time I should be pretty comfortable with things, though. I hope so, anyway.

One of my friends I'm out to at work is gay, and one thing he said when I came out to him is that he's "always been kind of don't ask don't tell about the whole thing", in that there's no reason for him to bring it up at all... he's just a guy, y'knoiw? And I pointed out "Yeah... can't really do that when everything is so tied up in how you interact with people, and how they interact with you." Maybe some day people will just see me as a woman. But there's definitely going to be an awkward period in there. Stupid awkwardness.

@NSMike: Do you need to come out specifically to random relatives you see a couple of times a year? Writing letters (or making PA announcements) makes it "a thing"; seems like if you don't want it to be a thing, you treat being gay as Hyp suggested, like any other mildly unusual thing about yourself. You're hardcore into reggae, you eat anchovies by the pound, you're gay, you run a Bollywood appreciation group - if it comes up, it comes up and you move on. I think if you make a big deal out of it, it allows everyone else to make a big deal out of it, which is not what it seems like you want.

Cheeto1016 wrote:

Can you please make the speech similar to my drunk mothers at my birthday party?

Leave them with something to talk about!

:)

I seriously doubt I could top Mary F. I wouldn't even try.

Chumpy, I may not do anything at the family reunion. I don't see those people outside of that reunion, really. I may have someone at some point who I would want to bring with me, but that's going to be a while in the future, I would presume, and I could probably get away with addressing it on an individual basis then, rather than making some sort of announcement. But I think from now on, when someone asks me when I'm getting married, I'm going to say that I can't because it's not legal yet.

As far as the letters... The list is very short. An uncle in Georgia, some cousins in Florida, another uncle in my hometown (who is also my godfather, incidentally), a great aunt, and a great aunt and uncle. And I remembered wrong, my parents told me not to tell two of them, not one, and it isn't their choice. Maybe it makes it a thing. But I came out to a bunch of family that I didn't really need to already. Part of what I want to accomplish is establish that I'm not ashamed, and if my parents still are, they need to be reminded that they can't keep claiming to love me no matter what and be proud of me while at the same time telling me to keep quiet about being gay.

dejanzie wrote:

You're both brave people. I would commend you on your huge cojones, but there might be better compliments for Hypathian

FTFY

NSMike wrote:
Cheeto1016 wrote:

Can you please make the speech similar to my drunk mothers at my birthday party?

Leave them with something to talk about!

:)

I seriously doubt I could top Mary F. I wouldn't even try.

You mean Cheeto's not even the most unique individual in his own family?

Well, at least now we know where he gets it from.

Hypatian wrote:

On the one hand, I don't particularly want to hide the fact that I'm trans. And I really don't want to be in a position where I feel the need to skirt around answering questions

I don't even know if that was intentional or not, but am I a bad person for laughing anyway?

Hypatian, if you haven't already, I suggest you check out the following link: http://www.hrc.org/issues/pages/lgbt... and more specifically http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/r...

I say this with caution, because I am pretty sure there are no workplace discrimination laws in PA that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity that exist outside of any state job that is under the governor's jurisdiction.

Source: http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-c... page 69 for PA.

NSMike wrote:

As far as the letters... The list is very short. An uncle in Georgia, some cousins in Florida, another uncle in my hometown (who is also my godfather, incidentally), a great aunt, and a great aunt and uncle. And I remembered wrong, my parents told me not to tell two of them, not one, and it isn't their choice. Maybe it makes it a thing. But I came out to a bunch of family that I didn't really need to already. Part of what I want to accomplish is establish that I'm not ashamed, and if my parents still are, they need to be reminded that they can't keep claiming to love me no matter what and be proud of me while at the same time telling me to keep quiet about being gay.

This is mostly just a rehash of what I had to say on IRC.

Your approach is right. At best, your parents are trying to shield you from negative reactions from those family members. At worst, they're trying to minimize their own discomfort by keeping you shoved halfway in the closet. Neither is all that good. If it's the former, then coming out and being able to be yourself around all of your family is worth dealing with whatever crap they pull. If it's the latter, well... f*ck that.

And as hilariously awesome as it would be to pick up a mic at the family reunion and announce that you're gay, that's a little much. Chances are a handful will have heard through the grapevine from those you've already come out to and the rest can find out through casual conversation when they ask questions like, "So when are you getting married?" By the way, the correct answer is, "When I find the right guy."

I was also thinking, as RG pointed out, that it would be very odd if none of your relatives were sharing this news - I mean, this qualifies as pretty juicy gossip to a lot of folks.

SuperDave wrote:

I say this with caution, because I am pretty sure there are no workplace discrimination laws in PA that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity that exist outside of any state job that is under the governor's jurisdiction.

No state laws, but Allegheny County and Pittsburgh both have laws on the books, and my employer also has an explicit policy. Doesn't stop it from being scary, but I'm not super worried. (Bigger worry would be that health insurance could suddenly decide that they don't have to pay for anything for me because I have GID as a "pre-existing condition". But even in that extremity, they can't pull that crap any more after that provision of the PPACA takes effect at the start of 2014.)

--

Anyway, wanted to make one more suggestion for the family reunion scenario: A pride bracelet or pin or something might be a pretty low-impact way of letting people know. It's a fairly obvious signifier (unless people are utterly clueless), provides an opportunity for people to ask about it if they want to, but doesn't particularly get in anyone's face. (At least in my opinion.)

Hypatian wrote:

Anyway, wanted to make one more suggestion for the family reunion scenario: A pride bracelet or pin or something might be a pretty low-impact way of letting people know. It's a fairly obvious signifier (unless people are utterly clueless), provides an opportunity for people to ask about it if they want to, but doesn't particularly get in anyone's face. (At least in my opinion.)

Alternately, a giant rainbow flag stitched to the back of your shirt. Or as a cape! Yeah, go with the cape thing!!

Hypatian wrote:
SuperDave wrote:

I say this with caution, because I am pretty sure there are no workplace discrimination laws in PA that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity that exist outside of any state job that is under the governor's jurisdiction.

No state laws, but Allegheny County and Pittsburgh both have laws on the books, and my employer also has an explicit policy. Doesn't stop it from being scary, but I'm not super worried. (Bigger worry would be that health insurance could suddenly decide that they don't have to pay for anything for me because I have GID as a "pre-existing condition". But even in that extremity, they can't pull that crap any more after that provision of the PPACA takes effect at the start of 2014.)

I'm glad you have all the details. Good luck!

Fedaykin98 wrote:

I was also thinking, as RG pointed out, that it would be very odd if none of your relatives were sharing this news - I mean, this qualifies as pretty juicy gossip to a lot of folks.

The members of the family who do know aren't really gossipy, and I honestly don't think any of the reunion attendees would have found out. They started the family reunions because the family only ever saw each other in the same place at the same time at funerals. They're all fairly disparate, and I would not be surprised if the gossip hasn't circulated to that group. I know my parents aren't telling people, they've refused to. The uncle that I came out to before thanksgiving does communicate with those cousins a bit more, so he might have said something, but I honestly doubt it.

For the record though, I was never actually considering grabbing the mic and letting loose.

What does a gay pride pin look like? I'm super supportive of ye homosexuals, and I have no idea. Pretty good chance the intended audience wouldn't, either.

Sidebar: There is a type of person out there who believes he is "fine" with gays, but wishes gay people would stop bringing their sexuality up, or taking offense at things that are damn well offensive.

It's like they believe they're "fine" with gay folks, but don't like "uppity" or "activist" homosexuals. I was in such a rage at these folks, and some who are even less enlightened, that I took a half-week time out from the one sports website I post on. Homophobia and using "gay" as an insult is rampant on sports websites, it seems. : /

You're both brave people. I would commend you on your huge cojones, but there might be better compliments for Hypathian

NSMike, I'm not sure on the best 'strategy' for coming out to 2nd tier relatives (if there is one). But please don't beat yourself up for feeling the urge to lay low. You're human, so you want to get along and not stir things up. That's completely normal.

edit: fixed major gaffe.