(Disclaimer to those in his family, this one mentions some of you. You might not like what you read, but I am telling it as close to reality as I remember, from my perspective. I’m sorry if I upset you, but this project is for me and him. Do not get upset at him, he has no say in what I write. Yes, he.)
I don’t really know how to start this one. I thought about skipping this part all together, but I know it wouldn’t do the story justice. It just… blows my mind that people, especially those who are so close to him, could be so unsupportive. I mean, sure, I wasn’t great the first time that he told me. But I never once denied his identity, and how he saw himself. They did, and it was offensive – not just to him, but to me as well.
Let me explain. He told your parents first. They had a lot of questions, as expected. That’s normal and that is not the part that we are going to focus on. The first thing they asked about was me, and you know, this struck me as weird. I was thinking in my mind, that their son had just come out to him for the first time, and their first question was about how his girlfriend, who had been in his life less than 2 years at that point, was handling it. I was flattered, at first. They went on and asked other questions, but it came down to me: What was I feeling? How was I taking it?
He and I were both confused until they revealed their purpose for asking about me. The morning after your brother told them, they asked about me again. Only this time it was more like: “I don’t like what you told me last night. I can’t come to terms with it. How is Hayley? How can she deal with this?”. That’s right. They were using me against him. And not only were they using me against him, but they were using my feelings against him without even asking me what I felt about it. They were using me to make him feel bad about himself, and his identity. They were trying to get him to take all of his words back by using me.
He was so sad when he told me about it; he had not expected them to be so harsh. He is the type of person that needs affirmation and support and they were giving none of that to him. I was livid with them. I had not expected complete support from them as it takes time for all of it to sink in, but I had at least expected… something. They used every tactic in the book to get him to change his mind – like that’s possible – but they continued to use me as the spearhead for their campaign without knowing my actual feelings. And it was getting to him, I could tell.
Thankfully, despite their reaction, he sought out a therapist so he could get his T letter. His therapist was amazing for him. Past just getting him his T letter so he could start testosterone, his therapist helped him through what his family was putting him through in a way that I couldn’t.
He slowly told the rest of the family, for good reason. His aunts, by far, had the best reaction. We both knew that one would react well, but he was still worried. She didn’t question him, and she actively sought out support groups so she could learn more about him. We weren’t sure about the other, but she was also amazing. She immediately started calling him all the right pronouns, and by his chosen name. It was amazing to see two such positive reactions after all of the negative ones.
We had to tell my family, too. I truly wasn’t sure how they would react, but he was extremely nervous over them. He knows how much they mean to me, and was afraid any bad reaction by them would sway me (it wouldn’t). He kept saying that we should fake break up and introduce him later on as a new person (I think he was kidding, but he kept saying he wasn’t). They reacted almost exactly the same as before, and they started using the correct pronouns and name too! I was elated, and it was a big weight off of both of our shoulders to have finally told everyone close to us.