Coming Out To My Little Sister

I came out to my little sis and she was the best! Her response was the best she said “Aww I always wanted an older brother, I kinda had one but now I will defiantly have one!!!”
 she was so understanding! She made sense of it right away, I was so happy! I felt moved and so blessed. Thank you little sis, your support means the world to me.
   


Pronouns

I was washing up in my kitchen while my girlfriend was preparing dinner, My sister and her friend who also happens to be a transgender woman came back and was hanging out in the kitchen.  My sister was talking about me being transgender and she keep asking me a million questions at first I was being defensive, then my sisters friend was helping guide the conversation, because think I she could tell I felt uncomfortable but I found it helpful that she was there that day, as she understood where I was coming from and also that my sister means well, she talked about her transition too which made me feel like there was less attention was on me. It was helpful for my girlfriend and my sister to hear too, as they had someone in the room who was happy to talk about transitioning and was in a confident place where she could communicate with ease.

You have to remember at this point I was still struggling with my own self-acceptance and I didn’t have all the answers yet.  We got on the subject of pronouns after I let my guard down, after ages of them setting it up, I finally said; “I would like for you all to call me Cairo and use male pronouns, I would like for you to refer to me as he, or him when talking to me or about me.”

Which they did and it made me feel a sense of relief and I felt so much lighter.

I think something to add is that I don’t expect everyone to get it right all the time in the beginning and that it takes practice to use the right pronoun, as long I know everyone is making an effort or not purposely trying to get it wrong. I understand and won’t take it personally. It took me a while to even get it right.

ADVICE: If you accidentally say the wrong pronoun; simply correct yourself and move on.It doesn’t have to be a big deal.


My First Meeting

I was very anxious about going to my first FTM meeting. I worried about everything, I am so new to this, I have only Just selected my name (Cairo and Leo is my middle name) that’s as far as I got.  I look pretty much the same. Or worse, I didn't know how the other guys would be, I didn't know all the correct ways of saying things, like all the right terminology when talking as being transgender. I was worried about offending the rest of the group by mistake, I knew I needed to connect with others who were going through the same as I was. In the end the next London meeting wasn't until next month and I couldn't really wait that long! I needed to meet other transmen and in all stages of their transition, I wanted reassurance. I wanted to socialise as Cairo.

The next meeting was in Brighton as they had a special group facilitation training day. I managed to book a cheap ticket as it was in advance.  On the day, I was the most terrified I have ever been; My legs were shaking when I stood still, I had butterflies, my throat was dry, sweaty palms. I had never even asked anyone to call me my new name. I was totally going out of my comfort zone!!!
All the journey there I wondered how it would go, It was really raining, but I didn’t let anxiety or the rain stop me. Today I will learn more about being transgender, I will meet new people and this is a really positive step in the right direction.  

I arrived at the session 10 mins late, so I didn’t get the chance to talk to everyone beforehand, they had just started and they were doing a ice breaker; we had to say our name and our pronouns. (My grammar is not amazing and at first secretly I had no idea what that meant!) Luckily I didn’t have to go first, haha! By the time it got round to me I realised it just means the way you identify/ would like to be referred to as e.g. He/Him or She/Her or They/Them (meaning one person) it was the first time I meet someone non-binary, which in all honestly completely blew my mind, as I didn’t realise transgender was just an umbrella term and that actually there is whole spectrum of gender and some people feel they do not belong in either box.  I wrote that My name is Cairo, I use He/Him.
It was really funny being called He/Him for the first time. I liked it, but after being called She since well, forever it did take me a while to get use to. However I am happy that I was in a safe space and that all the other members were supportive and understand.

The session was aimed around group facilitation, I learnt a lot and being that I do have experience in drama facilitation I was able to be confident when answering the questions and that helped my overall confidence.  During the breaks I spoke to different people in the group and had really cool discussions, I made a few new contacts and overall I felt a sense of relief on the train home. I was proud that I didn’t chicken out!      

Shopping To Combat Dysphoria

I felt like a kid on Christmas day, I have been shopping a million times but this felt different. We chose a smaller high street and had to stop and rest regularly because my knee was still playing up however the actual trip was the source of my happiness even in pain I pushed myself because I knew this was going to help me feel better. I just wanted to feel at ease.
Changing rooms where also something I felt annoyed about because the men’s section was generally a floor apart from the women’s. Each time I had to go from the men’s section to the women’s to get changed. Which one made me feel more dysphoric, secondly I was still having trouble with my knee as you can imagine; stairs where my enemy! After trying on basically half the rail of different sizes, I found the best one for me, I picked up a pair of jeans and a few t-shirts.

I felt a bit intimated when in the men’s sections searching for boxers, I didn’t know my size and you can’t really try them on, so I took longer to decided which ones to buy.  I just felt like some guys looked at me like I shouldn’t be there, because it didn’t look like I was looking for to get someone a gift, lucky for me my girlfriend was there and she just made me laugh and just told me not to worry about others, after she said that I felt more relaxed and I just carried on shopping as usual.  

Once I was home the first thing I tried on was the boxers, which fitted me fine and then after that I just put on my new t-shirt, jumped on my bed, I was just the happiest person in the world, I felt comfortable, I felt like a guy. I am, but I felt like one for the first time, just like this is how it was always supposed to be. 

The next day I tried on the rest of my new clothes and then it didn’t seem to have the same effect, I looked in the mirror and it was as if I noticed everything female about myself. Which really troubled me.  I don’t know where these tears came from, but I just burst out crying.  I was getting ready to go out, so I was wearing a bra and it just made me feel so distressed. I didn’t want to go out anymore. My girlfriend hugged me and told me not to worry, we can buy a binder if I wanted or get some sports bras to flatten down my chest.  Which was a really important step to make me feel okay again.


Once I sorted out that little problem, I felt comfortable and over the moon with my new FTM wardrobe. It really did make all the difference.

ADVICE: If you have a transgender friend/loved one, in particularly in the early stages of their transition, help them out by supporting them on a shopping trip, if will boost their moral. Plus its a great chance to talk and even you just being there means the world. 

Coming Out To My Mum


I live in a house with only women, my mum has noticed the washing line is suddenly full of boxers and men's clothes…my washing looks like there is a man living here. There is, me! But I haven’t told her yet. My mum has been acting weird for a about a week now, she keeps looking at me like she is concerned and I keep looking at her back like I 
want to tell her something but then I don’t know how to just bring it up
and I don’t know if I am ready yet.   

I remember my mum saying she is really worried about me because she knows I have been having hard time with my health and being stuck at home.  
She thinks I am depressed and letting myself go, because I stopped wearing make-up, I only wear really boyish thing and my hair was never out. She was really concerned to why I was suddenly only wearing boxes. She told me they were ugly and that surely I can’t be comfortable, if I liked boxers; there were women’s ones, why did I have to have the men’s one? 

In the end it got in to a bit of an argument and out of frustration I told her I am comfortable that way and that I am transgender!  (Which wasn't the way I wanted to tell my mum- we have a close relationship and I wanted it to be a better conversation.) 
It's my own mistake for thinking she wouldn't notice anything yet.

My mum was in shock at first, it was left on a bad note. I was not expressing myself very well and I think it’s a lot to take in, we left it for a day, I stayed in my room mostly. The next day my mum came in and gave me the biggest hug and said she has been thinking about what I said and that she remembers that as a child I had many sign of gender dysphoria. I was like a boy, I was different from my sisters and even my own sisters joke and have called me their older brother. But obviously because of my acting and she has seen me all done up many times she forgot what I was like as a child, and how much I'd freak out when asked to wear a dress, and if I had to wear it e.g. at my grandmas I would be angry for weeks after. My mum said  she loves me and she is proud of me, she just wants me to be happy again! That is what she is the most concerned about my happiness and if this means me being happy and its for the right reasons, then go for it. 


She then told my sister for support I think, plus my sister’s best friend is a transwoman. My mum and my sister both said why didn’t I tell them sooner? I think they were offended. I know in all honestly they have always supported me, I explained that it had no reflection on them, I personally was still struggling to accept it, I was really anxious and I just wanted to be more confident and in a better phase so they could understand it’s a good thing and it’s a change for the best, rather than seeing me struggling through this hard part. I wasn’t strong enough at that point and  I didn’t want anyone to try and talk me out of transitioning.