My Holiday Gift Was Being Welcomed As My Authentic Self

My Holiday Gift Was Being Welcomed As My Authentic Self

I knew this holiday season was going to be one to remember, but little did I know it would be the best one yet as I was called Ian from some relatives.

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I never told my family I was going to start testosterone, I just started it on my own. I did not want to be questioned or talked out of something that had been on my mind for a while nor did I feel comfortable talking about injecting myself with testosterone. Recently I have had a hard time looking family in the face due to the greater deal of acne, the small peach fuzz, and the deepening of my voice. Of course, this makes me happy, but these apparent physical changes had me anything but confident when approaching my family this holiday because they did not know of my changes in person.

Although my family and I have always been close, I have been keeping my identity a secret for the sake of disappointment. The sake of being the only daughter. The sake of changing my name, a name I very much loved to another name that suited me well now. There have been countless thoughts about my identity in regard to my family and how they think. Thus, I was unsure if I could look anyone in the eyes this season as I have a small stache growing on my upper lip.

As I am not going to mention any of my family members names, I do know the thoughts certain family members have expressed of me transitioning when I wrote my "coming out" letter. I did not see all of my family this year because of their views. Thus, while it might have been too much of a shock for them, it too was a shock to see some of their reactions. Thus, when starting my transition back in August, I decided to keep the weekly testosterone shots to myself except for the occasional Instagram or Snapchat posts.

Christmas Presents -Ian

As the festivities began this year, I was filled with excitement as I was handed Christmas presents. I was not excited because I had presents, but I was excited for how the presents were labeled. As the presents were sitting under the tree this year, I saw them labeled as "Erin", however when being handed the presents to open on Christmas, I saw that some had new labels with "Ian" on them. I held in my emotions as I was the last person to open my presents. I took it in and when asked "what I was doing?" I responded with "keeping the labels, its my first Christmas as Ian".

However, this year I was welcomed with arms wide open from some of my family members and for them, I am so overjoyed and thankful. This Christmas taught me to focus on the family members that are supportive and accepting now. The friends and the "family" I have made because family does not have to be blood related. I cannot change the way some of my family think, but I am very fortunate to have some family that want to see me happy. Does it hurt knowing parts of my family and I cannot speak knowing our differences? Or that I cannot be open or myself around them? Yes, of course. But, I am so happy for the family and friends I have to date. So, being called "Erin" or "she" this holiday season was alright because I know it is a process. It is a change and change takes time. So, something as simple as acknowledging my presence was enough for me as I know not everyone within the LGBTQ community receives that during the holiday season. So from my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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5 Truths Every Future Teacher 100 Percent Already Knows, So You Don't Have To Remind Them

We are going to school for years, to be in a school for the rest of our working lives.

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All of us future teachers typically hear the same sorts of things about what we are going to be doing with the rest of our lives. While none of the following reasons are necessarily untrue, there are silver linings to absolutely all of them that make each and every one of the future teachers sitting in college classrooms right now, even more excited for what lies ahead.

1. We do understand that we won't necessarily make a lot of money.

One of my professors told my class that if you're taking this career path for the money, you're in the wrong place because this should be about your love for teaching, not for an increasing salary. While it is important to know what you're getting into, I completely agree with that professor.

2. We know being an education major is actually difficult.

On a college campus, the most common stereotype floating around about education majors is that their workload is extremely easy as well as their classes. Sure, it's no Stoichiometry (I can't even imagine sitting in a classroom learning about that), but our classes are hard in their own way. Having to relearn the basics of subtracting three-digit numbers to then be able to teach to a second grader is a lot harder than it sounds, thank you common core!

3. It's not really the same thing every year.

As a teacher, you have a curriculum that requires you to teach the same content to your students every year for the duration of your career. However, every year has the potential to be extremely different from the next. Each year you have a new batch of kids, a new batch of personalities and a new batch of stories. This is one of the most exciting parts about teaching, you have the ability to know what to expect but also so much uncertainty at the same time.

4. Yes, we will be with children all day.

"Aren't you going to get bored talking like a kid and having to look down a few feet just to make eye contact?" Yes I have been asked this and frankly, as a future teacher, I wouldn't want it any other way! Working with kids all day and being their support system and voice while also providing them with the things they need to learn as they grow up is my ideal day in the workplace. But yes, there will be adults as well, other teachers, who all will feel the same way when we take a break from those kids at lunch.

5. It takes a special heart to be a teacher.

Yes, this is an argument all around the education field, and while it's true, I believe that anyone could work to have the heart to be a teacher. Being a teacher requires patience, care, love, and the desire to work with kids. If you don't have any of these qualities, then yes maybe it does take a special heart to be a teacher.

With all of the above comments kept in mind, I personally couldn't be more excited to teach kids of any ability and age. Working with children on a daily basis for nine months out of the year can get negative comments, but as a future teacher I think that there is a silver lining to each one of the five comments. If you think about it, there probably is a teacher in your life that without, you might not have gotten to the point you are at today. So thank your past teachers, and here's to the the future teachers.

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