Pat knew he was different from pretty early on. He explains:
I came into this world different. I knew I was different. But yet again, they put you in a box. You’re either male or female. So they put me in the female category, but I didn’t think I was.
After experiencing his first gay bar, he started wondering more about his own sexual orientation and gender identity. After his doctor asked him what took him so long to realize it, he talked to his family about it. Continue Reading to watch his story and see how his family reacted.
My name is Pat. I got lots of stories. I came into this world different. I knew I was different. But yet again, they put you in a box. You’re either male or female. So they put me in the female category, but I didn’t think I was.
I went to school, then my dad got me a job and there I stayed. He said, “Just come and get the job, come and get a car.” Four cars later, that’s my passion, cars, and still I didn’t know who Pat was. Still didn’t know the word lesbian, didn’t know the word gay until they told me, “Let’s go out to the bar.” I said, “What bar are we going to?” “Let’s just go out.” So they started making fun of the gay people. Okay. So of course you’re in there with a bunch of people you have to go do what they do. Nobody got hurt, okay, nobody got hurt. But the next day I was there at that bar. That’s when things started to get going. Still I didn’t categorize myself as gay, lesbian, I just didn’t know where I fit. But I just went. Then I met a girl that wrote the book “Transgender Voices” and that’s when everything started. So then I went, “Ah there’s a word for it? I didn’t know.” So that’s when everything started, here I am, almost fifty years.
I went to the doctor which I’ve had for almost 25 years. I said, “This is what I want to do.” He says, “Damn it took you a long time to get here!” And I’m like, “What?!” I said, “Everyone knew before I did?” He said, “Here’s what you need to do.” So off I go into counseling and the guy says, “You don’t need any counseling, but we have to go through the preliminaries and everything.” Started the testosterone and everything and then I have to deal with my mother. That was the most difficult because things were starting to change. I had to shave to see my mother. Thank God that I kept getting sick so when the voice started dropping she didn’t say anything. But she knew there was something going on. But out of respect I didn’t say anything. Two months ago I lost my mother, but she did see me. She touched me and I asked her, “What’s up?” She’s not a touchy-feely person. I said, “What are you doing, Mom?” She said, “I just want to touch you” and she starts pulling on the sideburns. So in my mind I’m saying, “Oh yeah they’re real” but yeah that was the last time that she talked. I am thinking that it was okay. My dad said, “You have to take care of all this stuff” and I said, “Okay I will” and papers were signed and everything. I come back and I said, “Dad I just wanted to tell you that it’s signed by your son” and he looked at me and says, by this time I’m not shaving or anything and he says, “Well, you’re still mine.” So that’s the point when I got the sign that they knew too before I did.
So here I go to the funeral and sure you’re always afraid of losing your family and stuff and it was really kinda strange because everybody knew except me. So I got accepted, I did not lose my family. But the thing is that they still call me “she.” You’ve got to choose your battles. Your family, they accept you, but I’m fortunate that I didn’t lose everything.