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HomePersonal A letter to my family


A letter to my family

Erin

Dear Family,

I know you read this site, probably not regularly, but often enough to see this. So I’m writing this letter to you all to inform you of some things.

First off, as some of you know and have known for some time, I’m transsexual. That means I was born in the wrong body. My soul is female, and always has been. I am in a male body, and it’s felt wrong my entire life.

Because I believe things happen for a reason, I have not done anything before now. I have since found out that the reason I was born like this is because I was supposed to give my DNA to my daughter. She was meant to be born of me with a specific lady. Because the technology does not exist yet to allow us to take the DNA from one female and use it to fertilize another female’s egg, I was born male.

If you think about it, I have never been male. I don’t like most things that men are supposed to like. I don’t like sports. I don’t like repairing cars, or even have any interest in cars beyond transportation. I am not competitive. I don’t confront people well. I don’t really stand up for myself or assert myself at all. I hate “tooting” my own horn and I work best when left to do things as I may.

I like playing with dolls. I like dressing them up. I cry easily. I am more emotional than logical. I make a better mother than I do father. I enjoy looking pretty.

“But,” you cry, “we never saw you do any of those things!” That’s because I learned to counterfeit being a boy very well. I would do something that was unlike a male and I would be corrected, usually by my father, and I learned not to make him angry. So I pretended to be a boy and to do boy things. I found things that boys did that I could enjoy too, like shooting guns and hiking in the woods. But women like to do that as well.

When I would act in a dainty manner, I would be told to not act so prissy. When I would turn to my father for comfort on something, I was told not to wear my heart on my sleeve, to grow a spine and to stand up for myself.

All those pictures of girls I had up in my darkroom? They weren’t so I could look at the pretty girls and do what boys would do, it was so I could look at their clothing and to try to figure out what it would be like to wear them.

Sisters, I used to sneak into your rooms and steal your clothes, hoping I could wear them and that they would fit me. Our oldest sister even found me trying on makeup once, and helped me get it all off so Mom wouldn’t see. It felt right to have on a dress.

No, I was never attracted to boys, probably the only “male” thing I did. I bought things for myself, hid them and nearly got thrown out of the Army for doing that. Yeah, they thought I was gay.

I lost girlfriends because of this. They would find the only thing I had, a leotard I bought while in Indiana and  would have a fit, thinking I was cheating on them. This happened about three times. And once again, I wanted to be in her clothes instead of being in her, if you get my meaning.

Mom, I tried to talk to you about this. Each time you rejected me. The last time you told me flat out that you didn’t want another daughter. That killed me inside. It hurt so bad to be rejected by the one person I thought could understand. So I tried again to live a male life.

But you know what? I make a better housekeeper and mother than I do breadwinner and father. I am tired of living this lie.

So here it is. I’m transitioning to Female now. No longer will I be the male you know, I am going to be female. It is something I have been working for all my life. Yes, literally.

There’s one story that illustrates how long this has been going on.

Granny Myrtle had come over to our house in MJ at one point. I can remember this like it was yesterday. One of my cousins came over as well along with her parents. I was upstairs in my room, entertaining my cousin. Granny had just recently given me some cowboy boots or something like that. It was clothing at least. I wrote out a request to her that she make me a cowgirl outfit, dress, vest, gloves and all, and hide it inside a set of cowboy clothing that she would give me at one point, so I could trick you all into thinking I was a boy. I really wanted the cowgirl set. I thought the skirt and gloves were so cute and I couldn’t stand it.

Anyway, I gave this note to my cousin to give to Granny Myrtle when they were gone from the house, so you didn’t find out about it. She left and went right downstairs. When I realized what she was doing I FLEW down and snatched the note from her just as she was giving it to Granny Myrtle. You, Mom, yelled at me for being rude, and I was punished for it. But that was nothing compared to what I knew would happen if my secret came out.
I never forgave my cousin for that either.

Mom, I know you sent me to the psychologist when I was 12 to “cure” me of this condition. That was the first time I told you this. You passed it off as being sexual attraction, and I tried to set you straight. You wouldn’t hear me. You were so in denial that I couldn’t believe it. So I played along.

I tried telling you later, you refused to listen to it at all. I gave up. The last time was after I was married and my wife was pregnant. She was all for my being myself and transitioning right then. I lived as a woman for several months. Had dresses and makeup and shaved everything and the whole nine yards. Then I told you for the last time and got my final rejection.

Well, I’m done living what anyone else expects of me. I’m tires of being the Big Brother, the Son. I’m going to be the Oldest Sister and the Daughter I should have been from the first. I’m tired of trying to be what you want me to be.

I know that some of you won’t be able to accept this. Father, I’m sure that you will see this as my final trip into apostasy and that I absolutely need to be deprogrammed by someone and my soul saved. But I’m telling you now that I have soul searched for the last 37 years and I can’t take it anymore. I absolutely cannot be what I am not.

I’ve tried it your way, all it has brought me is mental illness and heartache. You don’t know the number of nights I went to sleep with tears in my eyes, BEGGING God to make me a girl before I woke; BEGGING to be female; telling Him that I would give anything to be a girl. It was my nightly mantra for some time during puberty. I would keep anything that a girl lost because it was my “secret dress up store”. I found Mom’s wig, I wore her dresses. I felt best when I was wearing her boots in the winter, and I cried when I couldn’t get them on my feet anymore.

I remember being young and listening to how Mom and Dad would talk about Christine Jorgensen or Billie Jean King. I would listen in to those conversations a lot when you were playing cards with your friends. I would sneak into your friend’s daughter’s room and grab her dresses out of the closet and put them on. Sometimes the seams would pop, I was the cause of that.

I hated my body and I still do. Mom, I know you panicked when you thought I was trying to slice off my genitalia in the tub one night. I wasn’t quiet that desperate, I knew it would most likely kill me if I tried it. I just wanted them to go away.

So, here it is.

You are losing a son and gaining a daughter. I’m probably going to lose you all because of this. Yes, I know what the Bible and what the Prophet say about this, I’ve read very carefully. If you don’t want to talk to me anymore, I totally understand. I’ll hate it, but I understand. I’m not changing my mind, nor can you “save” me or “cast the demon out of me”. This has been a LONG agonizing road I’ve traveled. I won’t be the first Male to Female transsexual to lose their birth family. Thank the Gods that my wife loves me, and that my daughter loves me as well, and they both support me in this.

I guess this letter is a couple things wrapped up into one. It’s a “goodbye” letter to you. It’s a “how could you” letter. It’s an explanation of why I was so fucked up when I was young. It is a letter talking about all the signs you all saw and totally ignored. It is the removal of blame from you and an explanation of how it is.

It’s an invitation to have a relationship with the girl who is to be.

It’s a plea to not reject me.

You all seemed to be okay with my daughter coming out as a lesbian, well, I am now also. I love women, I’m married to one, and I want to be one. Not such a huge leap.

I really love you all. I don’t want this to destroy 40+ years of memories, but I refuse to try to be someone I’m not. I do that all the time and it’s fucked me up beyond anything. I’m tired of it. You can’t know how tired.

Thankfully I will still have friends left. Maybe they can suffice.

Your daughter and sister,
Joy Anne Phillip

Pictures of me in my dress are here: Something really surprising

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10 Responses to “A letter to my family”

  1. Chickgonebad says:

    I think you said it as well as anyone could. *hugs*

  2. Janet Anne says:

    Dear dear Joy. How very brave you are to take this step, and to share such intimate details with the birth family, knowing their likely reaction. It is beautiful, it is soul baring. How anyone could possibly read that and not love you even more is beyond me. That said, as you well know, I face all of the same fears.

    I am here for you. I know we only know one another at a distance, and it’s not enough. But as you bravely move forward, know that I support you. I envy you too, but that is for another lifetime for me. Blessed Be.

  3. Seshen says:

    To thine own self be true, my friend. I’m with you all the way. Our body is merely the vehicle for our soul; if you choose to change it out for a model that suits you, then I’m so very happy for you. Your family will come around or not, but it’s YOU that has to live with you 24/7.

  4. Fionnula says:

    My friend, you are not the first person who has told me this, nor are you the last. But you have said this in what is perhaps the most emotionally honest way I have ever seen. I support you and I know your immediate family will as well. I do hope that you have found the happiness you have so desperately been seeking.

  5. kitsune_13 says:

    Bravo. It’s hard to lose family, and I hope that won’t be the case, but you are to be commended for being true to yourself and no longer living “the lie”. , as are your wife and daughter for being supportive. My old tattooist “Jeff” went trhu almost the exact same thing, and has happily been “Melissa” for about 12 years now.
    Melissa’s wife and daughter stuck by Jeff thru the transition, and later surgery. We also have other friends who both went thru the switch (male to femals and female to male; they’re married to each other btw) They are all very happy, after years of agonizing.
    I wish you luck in your transition; here in Vancouver, Canada the LGBTG community is more accepted than in some parts of the United States.
    And thank you for sharing your journey.

  6. Welcome to the world, Joy. Enjoy being who you are.

  7. Lupa says:

    *hugs and love* Proud of you.

  8. Siggy says:

    *big hugs* This is a huge step and I’m going to echo the “proud of you” chorus. It takes a LOT of courage to have written this. You need to do what you need to do to have the outward parts and appearance match what your very soul has been all along. It sucks that you had to pretend to be otherwise your whole life, but at least you are getting the chance to do this now. If you need moral support, or to vent, etc, please feel free to e-mail me. Bright Blessings in your transition.

  9. Lightdragon says:

    congrats.

    when I first saw this I thought you were announcing you were dying of cancer.

    All the more power to you. wether you are a male ,female , both or neither you will always be Daven to me.

  10. Fiona Morgan says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I’m a male-to-female transsexual too. It’s good to be reminded that we MtF priestesses have sisters in the Craft.

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