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In high school, I wasn’t out and I went to college a lot later, so in college I was out. I was out as a trans person but hadn’t started my full transition yet. Being in that college experience really taught me a lot about who I was and since I was an older student I had a lot of people looking up to me and looking to me for how did I navigate the world. And I navigated the world by being a really nice guy. And part of that being a really nice guy is letting people ask questions.
Recently my parents came up to visit me, and I see my mom about ever 6-7 months but this was the first time my dad had come out this direction to see me. In fact, I don’t even think he’d ever been back east, so that was kind of weird for him, he had this kind of culture shock to begin with. It was good for him to see me in my environment and to see that also other people accept me. I have friends, I have a great job where my co-workers respect and appreciate me. We got along better than we almost ever have. Part of that is because I gave him time to kind of transition with me. That they could ask me questions. That I wasn’t going to yell at them for calling me by my old name. I wasn’t going to get mad at them for referring to me as “she.” And that I was kind of being aware of their process as well. I think that helped a lot. That helped them and it actually helped me as well. For me, them coming to their own about who I was was a lot more important than me forcing who I was upon them.