Anne's account of being the daughter of a transgender parent!
Where should I begin..
When I was about 13 I discovered a secret that my dad had been trying to keep hidden from me for a long
time, well at least until he felt the time was right. I had always known there was something different about my dad, in the way he pronounced certain words and his mannerisms.
I did find some of his behaviour odd at times but hey that was my dad and I loved him for his quirks. One day I noticed that one of the cupboards at his then girlfriend’s home had some makeup and a female wig inside.
I had suspected he had been cross dressing for some time, as he often insisted on wearing women’s jeans, but the cupboards contents somewhat confirmed it.
Confirmation and confussion
That night when I went back to my mother’s house I told her what I had found, and she then divulged to me
the darkest secret I was to ever hold. At the time I was very confused and very angry as I didn't think it was right, he was my dad after all not a man dressing as a woman. As I was very angry, I
didn't talk to him for some time until what he was doing sank in.
At the time I did find the idea rather confusing - and it was and sometimes still is - hard for me to deal with and who could I talk to about it? Certainly not people at school what on earth would they think, kids being kids? Suddenly everything he had always been telling me about being open to and respectful to transgender, gays and lesbians was all coming together in my mind.
He'd been trying to prepare me for the eventuality of who he really was. I have nothing against this, but when it's your own dad it's more difficult to accept.
So the years rolled on.
As the years rolled on I did manage to tell a few people about whom my dad really was, and I even did a
project on transgender people while I was at Uni.
Most people don't understand what it's like, but it is a very difficult thing to deal with. People on the outside have no idea what it's like trying to come to terms with such a change. No doubt it was hard for Dad also, but for the families of transgender people, in my experience, also find it very hard to come to terms with as well.
Especially with him being such a masculine man, in contrast to living life as a woman. I feel that many people on the outside just expect you to accept this life, but it's not that easy.
The physical changes.
I must say I did find it particularly difficult after the facial surgery, as the persons face who I was now
looking at was not the dad I was used to seeing. Even now, after so many years, when I see Jenny, I do of course still relate to my dad whereas other people see a woman, Jenny.
The hardest time for me, was when the breasts arrived, as their permanence somehow confirmed the life ahead. The implications of this were difficult to deal with, it sounds selfish but what about me? If I were to marry, what would I do? It's not like ‘he’ could walk me down the aisle, and what about children, what would you say - grandma or granddad?
These thoughts often run through my mind. But it's not all about me. It's also about the life of a person who has always been there for me, a person I love.
More drive than a Ferrari!
Jenny is a very passionate individual with more drive than a Ferrari! Especially in support of living life
without prejudices and for transgender people.
Also in the creation of her website ‘The Hidden Woman’ which has been the focus of Jenny’s life for many years now and the websites name so opitimises her dark years lived in denial, and is often the topic of conversation.
It is good to see Jenny helping other people and making a life for herself as she wants.
Being the child of a transgender parent is of course a very personal experience, and I hope that through sharing my account, then others in a similar position may benefit.
Maybe from time to time we all need an umbrella to protect us, until we can understand and deal with these emotions. It would have helped to talk more about my early feelings and one such source of support is here, -
I am immensely proud of Jenny and her achievements, and will always love my Dad, my best and dearest friend who I do commend for leading the life she has always wanted to, and maybe one day
‘we’ will walk down the aisle.
Love Anne x