Whether we're 15 or 50, it's hard to shake the need for our parents' acceptance. For the non-gender-conforming among us, that can be a long (and sometimes hopeless) road.
When I first started to come out--what, five years ago or so?--it was not easy. Here are a few highlights:
I don't mean to give the impression that we agree on everything now, or that I never feel like a weird outlier, or that everything's hunky-dory all the time. But I feel pretty dang accepted, and five years ago, I would have never guessed that my relationship with my family would be this good.
Our progress, I think, is attributable to: (1) unconditional love; (2) a willingness to talk about things that bother us (even if "talking" means arguing); and most of all, (3) a sense of humor. I'm incredibly grateful for the steps my family members (particularly my parents) have taken to understand me, and I hope that in turn, I've tried to "get" them.
What signs of acceptance have you received from your family that you wouldn't have thought possible two or five or ten or twenty years ago?
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