Wednesday, June 23, 2010

came out to a whole class

Yesterday morning, I came out to an entire class on the last day. This class was about diversity in education. If you aren't familiar with the world of education, diversity is a current buzzword. This class was disappointingly only about diversity of colour, (ethnicity, "race") although there was a tiny bit about linguistic minorities. (Yes, I complained about the lack of anything LGBT on the course evaluation - it's a huge area of diversity.)

We were doing a presentation about a certain conservative school board being afraid of gay curriculum. At the beginning we put up LGBTTQQI on the powerpoint and then asked how many people here know five or more people who identify as one or more of those things. I was surprised that about fifteen put their hands up. At the end of the presentation, I read something that I had prepared, basically about how if the whole class knows well over a hundred LGBTTQQI people, that these people are going to be in our classes when we teach, and that they are often a fairly invisible minority. Then I said I was an example of this, and that I was transgender. I was only out to the two other girls in my group. I was nervous, even though I expected a positive reaction. One of the girls in my group said she had just come out (she's gay) to her parents a year and a half ago, and if it was that hard for her, imagine how hard it is for a student with unsupportive parents. After the presentation a few people made a beeline for me to hug me.

I got home in the evening to drink the six-pack I had bought on the way. During my first beer, somebody else in the class who hadn't been there chatted with me on facebook and said I was courageous. One of the women in the class had told him during their afternoon class. This kind of news will spread quickly in our 40+ program group; only about 10 were in the class. During my second beer, I got a supportive email from that woman. That made me cry for 3/4 of an hour, because it's amazing and sad that people that I've known since September are more supportive than my family. Through the third through sixth beer I drunk-chatted on facebook with another woman from my class who is also supportive.

I feel relieved in a way. Now these people that I really like and have already started to miss know a bit more about me. I never really pretended to be a guy, but I like that I can pretend less and that they understand me more. For example, I never told anyone why I was separated.

My sister was talking to me today. It was actually sort of rude. I was in the kitchen on my laptop and she was in the living room on her back on the couch playing some game on her iPod touch. First she started by asking how therapy was last week. I'm always pretty hesitant to say much. Then, she seemed to be sort of asking where she could learn more about me and being trans. I suggested the Vancouver Coastal Health site, but she said it wasn't specific enough. She suggested seeing my therapist, but I obviously said that my therapist is not going to share stuff that I've told her. Now I'm trying to think how to help her. But I do think this demonstrates the fact that at least some members of my family are actually trying to deal with it now, which pleases me.

I just looked at my therapist's new website. It looks like she does offer family therapy. I'd have to think about suggesting that to my family.

2 comments:

Veronica said...

Congrats on a successful coming out!

But we really should talk.

Stace said...

Congrats!

I'm currently finishing my life CV for my therapist, which my mum wants to read. I told her no way :)

Stace