Sunday, June 3, 2012

Coming Out Young

My friend's son announced today, on Facebook, that he is bisexual. He's 13. Part of me wants to let him in on my secret and let him know that he can talk to me if he needs support, but another part of me prefers to keep my gender variance to myself.

What blows my mind about his story is that he's only 13, yet he's comfortable announcing his sexual orientation to everyone he knows. When I was his age, I hadn't fully deduced that I was transgender, but I certainly wasn't going to tell everyone I knew that I liked to dress in my sister's clothes when she wasn't around.

It took me until I was 24 to tell my parents, and even that was a stretch. I wrote them a note, left it on the counter, and drove as far and fast as I could, to avoid having to deal with their reactions, but also to ensure that I couldn't undermine my own coming out at the last minute.

It got easier for me as I got older. I told my wife (then girlfriend) within a year of knowing her; my best friend within a month or two of that; and other friends over the course of the next few months. Today, a couple dozen people know about my deep desire to live my life as a woman, and my decision to put it off in order to keep my family in tact.

I hope that my friend's son finds the support and guidance that he needs. Surely, I will be there to help if ever I can, though I'm not yet ready to tell him why I might be of particular help. Then again, he has access to the internet, where so much useful information and support can be found - including this blog - so I know he will be better off then I, who waited too long to pursue my dream of becoming a girl.


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