Balls to the Wall

Hi Mom,

It only took so long [to receive the insurance information] because, in an attempt to honor my name they changed my legal name in the system and billed it out accordingly. All that I submitted were one round of blood tests and an appointment.

I got the blood tests done to check and see if all of my hormone levels, etc. were in a healthy range for me to begin hormone replacement therapy. This was a step I took after completing the standard period of therapy required by the american psych assoc. I pay for the prescription out of pocket and have stayed in therapy since starting a couple months ago. Since you’re saying I’m out of coverage now I will switch to the only other Doctor in KY that sees trans patients and he’s in Louisville. It was a really good step for me to take this year.

[Regarding a recent academic award] I’m proud of me too. Thanks for your support. It was nice to go to the awards ceremony and be recognized for my hard work and contributions to the Lexington and UK communities. The dessert bar didn’t hurt either 🙂

In regard to your last letter, I don’t understand why you think me transitioning is disrespectful to you. It is out of respect that I share my feelings with you at all. You may not understand it but it’s hard to understand exactly what it means to be transgender unless one is themselves. I have explained it the best I can to you. I don’t know if you have sought any outside resources like PFLAG but I know it would help immensely instead of staying silent. I just feel like you’re picking parts of me to support right now and that is extremely unsettling. You may have gained a son but, regardless, I am your child. It will be good for you to see me surrounded by my friends and mentors who respect me for who I am.

When are you planning on arriving?

I did it. Nothing screams “Happy Graduation” like the howling tears that are sure to color the receipt of this email. There is no reason in hiding the truth anymore.

My parents’ last letter included text like “we feel you are not respecting us by changing your name” and “we are sad that you don’t know want to be the girl be conceived and supported through childhood.” My father always told me that I wasn’t his “problem” after I turned eighteen. I would appreciate some consistency. I decided to tell them that I started hormones for a handful of reasons. For one, my voice is much lower and my body shape (and hair distribution) is starting to change. More importantly though, I felt that we would find ourselves trying to have a conversation about it during down-time at my apartment and that did not sound appealing to me. Obviously, I need to discuss this with them. They are taking the position of objecting and not looking to work through this. They closed their last letter saying that they just wanted to have a “nice time” at graduation with me. As much as I love throwing a lace doily over the elephant in the room, I will not let my parents ruin my graduation by being obstinate in front of my peers and mentors.

The bottom line is this. When my father sees queer ad gender-non-conforming people he contorts his face to appear as though he has smelled rotten eggs. He has done this to me.And I will not be his problem anymore.

2 Responses to “Balls to the Wall”
  1. Mel says:

    E. A. Irving. I love you dearly. Your parents don’t know how awesome you are but I do have hope that eventually the tide will change. I’m proud of you for being honest with yourself but also with them. You are braver than you know. See you soon.

  2. Hannah says:

    Congrats on graduating and on being in a good enough place in your life to send this letter. I can relate to these sorts of conversations. My mother told me that my girlfriend posting the lyrics to the song “My Girl” on my Facebook wall was “A slap in the face” to her, as my mother. We go through very, very dark time with our parents when we make choices and follow dreams and needs that they disagree with. My mother also does the “I will support this partof your life but not this” as well. I tend to find that the people that are really happy are the ones that know they want some, know they need something, and make it happen for themselves.
    Your posts always inspire the hell out of me by the way, Elias, just so you know. Best wishes.

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