My Dad is a transgender woman, and her name is Alana.
Previously Alan, in 2009 he told my sister and I that he was transgender and that he had known this since around the age of 8. In all honesty my sister, Emma, and I were relieved because we had been under the impression he was going to tell us actual bad news. Like, he had cancer or something… but beyond the initial surprise of the announcement, nothing really changed.
Dad made the official change and went under the knife in November, 2017. I was lucky enough to be in Thailand with her for the recovery period and the flight home. It was my first trip overseas, and certainly one that I’ll never forget.
Across the years as people have learned the ‘news’, they’ve always been so surprised about how calm I’ve been about it (except the friends which I ran to directly after finding out the news, they’re the ones who copped most of the tears). But my response has always remained pretty similar, ‘what’s the alternative?’. If not calm and accepting, then what? Angry and resentful?
To this day I couldn’t say that I fully understand how or why Dad is the way Dad is, and neither could Dad! All we know is that from a young age, Dad KNEW that he was meant to be a she. His body was wrong, his name was wrong. And what’s worse is that back when Dad was 8 it was completely unacceptable for a kid to be saying these things, so they medicated him until he learned the hard way not to bother saying anything at all. The pain continued as Dad joined the RAAF, where it was illegal to be gay, let alone transgender. The bullying continued. And even after Dad began the transition, by this time a fully registered Nurse working in a predominantly female workplace, Dad was still bullied by her (female) Seniors to the point where she ended up requiring not one, but two stays within a mental health facility.
You don’t need to understand WHY transgender people are the way they are, to ACCEPT them as they are. Nobody asks you why your nose is that shape, or why your eyes are green, so why question something which is just as equally out of their control? Dad has been through so dang much to get to where she is now, finally beginning to heal after an entire lifetime of pretending to be somebody she wasn’t. Most of us are lucky to only be able to imagine how that might feel… waking up only to find it wasn’t all a dream, you really are in the wrong body.
I understand that accepting something this foreign can be hard. And the hard reality is that I often struggled (and sometimes still do struggle) with the fact that my Dad is a woman now, and not the man that I see in my memories and pictures of times gone by. And in all honesty I’ve kept that struggle somewhat quiet, with the exception of my sister and my handsome fiancé, because understandably most people can’t really relate. Sometimes, I just want a cuddle with my Dad from back then and it’s not something I’ll ever be able to get again. But I’ve still got my Dad, and for that I am extremely grateful. There are so many people who don’t have their parents alive with them in this life anymore, and the thought of that just breaks my heart.
So yes, my Dad is a transgender woman. I am 1000% an ally of the LGBT community. And if this is something that brings anything up for you, I’d love to hear from you! Comment below or hit up the contact page to email me privately.
Acceptance of our current circumstances is a HUGE part of healing, and we can work together to get you headed where you want to be by clicking here.
Love, A xo