Coming Out to My Grown Daughter

Hi everyone! I also posted this for the members of CDH. If you want my backstory, please visit my profile. This is the story of what happened when I visited my daughter and her bride in Maryland over President’s Day weekend and came out to her.

I’m in my 4th month of spironolactone (25% drop in total T so far) and I started estradiol last week. I have been a closeted CD for almost my entire life, with stints of activity interspersed with purges that lasted for several years or more. I always felt awkward as a boy and man, and never felt at ease or like I fit in. I had difficulty dating, mostly because of my shyness and terror that someone would find out I liked women’s clothes and wished sometimes that I could have been born female.

I eventually married and we have one grown daughter that will turn 30 this summer. I can’t believe so much time has passed! My wife and I passed our 40th year together last August. It was only a month earlier that I finally revealed this side of me. We are struggling to come to terms with it and how to stay together. Since our daughter was getting married to her long-term partner (a couple for four years) in November, we elected to wait until I was about to start estrogen to tell her that dad is a transwoman.

En Femme Style

I spent several weeks after the holidays trying to figure out how (and how much) to tell her. We picked President’s Day weekend so there would be time to discuss what questions she might have. My wife and I both had a bullet-point list of things to say, but I just kept my face down. My approach changed after we all went to dinner the first night. Both the girls talked about volunteering and giving back to the community. My daughter said she might like to work with seniors who are LGBTQ because they are so isolated. Her wife added how sad it is that people of my generation feel like they have to hide who they really are. Bingo! That’s my intro!

The next morning my wife, daughter, and I sat down to talk. Using the previous night’s discussion as a starting point, I asked my girl what she would say if I told her I am in that group and on HRT to transition. Of course, she did a double-take, but then said she supported me 100%. I figured she would. She had two obvious concerns: my wife and our marriage being okay, and my personal safety. We assured her we are trying to stay together and I am looking after my safety.

The funny part of this is she said she got a text from me a few months ago with a picture of me en femme! I must have accidentally had her on a text of a photo I sent to my wife. She had thought it may have been a joke or a WhatsApp thing and didn’t say anything. She was waiting for me to bring it up! So all the delay and anxiety of planning my reveal was pretty much for nothing (giggle).

But it did take the shock out of it, so not a bad thing. My wife expressed how incredibly hard this is for her – to see her husband fading away and a strange transwoman beginning to emerge that she never knew, didn’t marry,  and doesn’t trust much. We said we have four options: stay together as a married couple (my hope), stay together but be roommates, live apart but stay married for economic reasons, or divorce (our worst-case option, we think).

So, my easiest conversation has started, but many more difficult ones still loom like shadowy specters, haunting me and threatening to steal the joy of transitioning. Additionally, the marriage hangs by a thread of love and closeness built over 41 years together. That thread can break at any time. Still, I don’t have a plan B. Only a threat to my health would make me okay with stopping HRT. I would be disappointed, but I can live with that. Stopping because someone else objects is not okay with me, because then I am denying my own identity in order to make someone else feel better. My wife understands that and is supportive, but for exactly the same reasons, can she be a wife to a transwoman? Only time will tell…

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    19 Comments
    1. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Pippa Baker 1 month ago

      Hi Briele. I am in a slightly different situation in that I was divorced about 15 years ago, so am very much single. I didn’t have contact with my daughter for 7 years. We got back in contact about 6 months ago. He is now transitioning ftm which I couldn’t be happier about but am still very anxious about coming out to him as mtf transgender myself. I have been on Spironolactone for some time and about to start hormone treatment. I don’t know when would be a good idea to come out to him as I don’t want to do anything to jeopardise our renewed relationship
      Hugs
      Pippa X

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
        Brielle 1 month ago

        Hi Pippa, that’s so great that your AFAB child is transitioning (felt strange to call them “daughter” when they are using male pronouns!). I wonder if it might work the opposite to what you think. He may be hurt that you didn’t trust him enough to tell him. Try to avoid projecting your fears on oitcome to them. We all do that and it isn’t helpful.

        You know the situation best, but if it were me, I’d want him to hear it from me first, than to find out on their own, and that they wish they could have given you support when you needed it.

        Good luck, and know our children’s reactions are rarely as extereme as we expect them to be.

        Hugs,

        Brie

    2. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Angela Lavoro 2 months ago

      Hi Brielle,
      Thank you for this important message. I am in a situation much like yours. I am 76 and have been out since 2020 to my wife and two daughters (40, 42). We have been married for 43 years and I am struggling with the same issues regarding our relationship. We haven’t had sex for over 22 years, and I have been faithful during all those years. At this point it seems we are staying together. I know she loves me and she continues to treat me like her husband, though I would much rather be treated as a girlfriend. I appreciate your comments about HRT. I so want to start HRT and continue my transition but I am concerned that my wife will not approve. I know it is my decision but we are so co-dependent after 43 years it is hard to make a unilateral decision.

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
        Brielle 2 months ago

        Hi Angela, I understand. We haven’t gone quite that long a stretch without intimacy. It actually was getting better before I revealed my need to transition. The problem our wives face is they still want to be treated like the princess and be pursued. They don’t understand we want to be pursued and feel desirable even if we aren’t presenting as female.

        I don’t have any easy answers. It’s hard when your spouse admits that sometimes she feels like recoiling when you sit near her or try to hug her. But if the positions were reversed, I doubt I’d be much more attracted to a wife with whiskers and looking like a dude.

        We feel better for dressing, but they feel lost. The big regret I have is not at least telling her when we met that I had a history of crossdressing, and let her decide then if she could deal.

        Thanks for the complement on the article. My daughter mer Brielle in person last Sunday when I was heading back from the Keystoine Conference. We talked and enjoyed our time as if there wasn’t any difference to her at all.

        Hugs,

        Brie

    3. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Roxanne Lanyon 2 months ago

      I so wish I could live my life as Roxanne. I want to wake up each morning, freshen my make-up, put on my panties, nylons, skirt and blouse, and go out to face the world! I so wish I could. Next, I want to find a man to be a husband to me, and let me be his wife! I will be his good girl, and love him silly! I will make him so happy, and completely satisfied, as his woman. Oh, I have so much love to give, and I want to start now! Oh, please help me with this. First, how do I find, and attract, my sweet, loving man?
      Miss Roxanne Lanyon
      A Woman in Need

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
        Brielle 2 months ago

        Hi Roxanne, I may be the wrong one to ask since I’m still attracted to my wife. But I’d be lying if I said I never thought about either being a wife to a kind, handsome man or having my wife completely feminize me. She’s not a dominant type, though, so that will stay a fantasy. I had an Internet thing for a few weeks late last year with a really great man who lived in SOCAL. If I had been single, I probably would have gone out there for a visit, but he’s also married. I had to stop because I was getting so conflicted with my marriage – it felt like cheating.

        I found him when I put some pics on Flickr. But I also had to ignore several trolls. Have you tried TGTalk? It’s a little sketch, but there may be some men there who would treat a gurl right.

        Hugs,

        Brie XOXO

    4. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Lucinda Hawkins 2 months ago

      ah and yes you look absolutely lovely, very feminine looking and legs that would turn heads

    5. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Lucinda Hawkins 2 months ago

      hello and can i say congratulations on coming out! just hope your marriage will get better. its nice that your daughter wants to go to a support group of the LGBTQ , if i read it right.lol. there are so many cross dressers that are in the closet for a reason that society is not ready for that. woman cross dress all the time, not wearing a dress or skirt and make up, they wear manly pants and a shirt, short hair now days. what is the problem with men wear female cloths? NOTHING. men wore skirts way back in the day. the Scottish wear kilts, this is the year of 2022 and we have women marry women, we have men marry men. my wife knows i dress up but only when our last adult child is at work, she tells me when i can dress up. She does not mind it but will not see me dressed up or help with make up. she has seen me getting dressed up and seen me dressed up so what is the big deal with that. she knows and seen me dressed up so why not just let me dress up and even try to teach me how to apply eye shadow better, sit and talk like 2 woman. she does not wear skirts or dresses or make up or nylons, she wears pants and shirt deal and that is fine with her. it don’t bother me 1 bit. so if she can dress like a man i can dress like a woman. for our sex life is over, we are in our late 50s and we get along very well doing work out side and inside of house plus working out in the county. Its not all about sex any more for we have 1 daughter and 2 boys, we get along very well working together doing yard work and cutting trees down in the county for getting ready for our home to be built and move to county. my daughter might know i cross dress for she seen a pic of me dressed up that i forgot to put away and showed mom, daughter said its his body not hers. my niece might know for i had her dress me up for Halloween one year and she loved it and so did I. i wish you well with your transition and hope all will go well. thanks for sharing your story and hope others will learn a thing or two about the LGBTQ community, and society will be under standing also. that is why we have a group for us to get toghter and talk and have a good time

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
        Brielle 2 months ago

        Hi Lucinda, I appreciate your post. My wife and I may get to the point you are. We still have attraction, but once I’m pretty much feminized by the HRT, she may lose the physical attraction. We will probably just stay together as female roommates. I guess we’ll know in about 9 months when I go FT next year.

        For now, I’m looking forward to the Keystone Conference next week. I’m so glad it’s only a 4 hour drive. I can go en femme and leave all my boy clothes home.

        Thanks for the complement – I’ve always felt like my legs are my best asset. I just wish I could have been FT years ago when I could get away with wearing short skirts. I’m close to the midi-maxi stage (giggle).

        Hugs,

        Brie 💋

    6. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Crystal Springday 2 months ago

      Just seeing this now. But we told our accepting 27 year old daughter on the same day your article was published. Neat.

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
        Brielle 2 months ago

        Hi Crystal, I hope it went as well as our conversation did. My girl is taking me to Ireland in May, and offered for me to bring some things and us have a GNO during the trip (she was concerned about my dysphoria being in drab for a week or so). So she is very affirming and supportive! She hasn’t met Brielle yet, so we’ll be better on zoom. I may run down ther Sunday morning after the Keystone Conference and meet them for lunch before going back home.

        Anyway, I’m glad you came out to your girl!

        Hugs,

        Brie

    7. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Jennifer Edwards 2 months ago

      Thank you Briielle. I am going to try to take things slow. As my mind and body change,, I wil change with it. Go with the flow . Jennifer

    8. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      DeeAnn Hopings 2 months ago

      I think there is a different sense about things when you come out to family members as opposed to friends. Often it is more difficult to come out to family members; my perception anyway. I’ve mentioned before that my public coming out was as Mistress of Ceremonies for a public event put on by our LGBT employee affinity group. However, before the event happened I made it a point to have The Conversation with my daughter and son, 7 or 8 close friends and my department manager at the time. I had phone conversations with my kids as they live in different states. The rest were in person. All the conversations were before the event of October 10, 2015. It was important to me to have the conversations 1/1. If anyone had an difficulty with what I told them, they could voice their opinions right them; no text messages, no E-Mails…

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
        Brielle 2 months ago

        Hi Dee Ann, thanks for your reply. I next need to come out to my three older siblings. One is in Indiana, one in Texas, ansd one in Georgia. I have been debating whether to talk by phone or send them a letter announcing I am on HRT and the purpose is not to “gte permission” or approval, but to let them know I’m going through some big changes.

        I’m closest to my brother (~2-1/2 years older). My sisters are 7 and 12 years older and I know the younger sis will be full of advice and negativity. So, I’m on the fence b/c I don’t want to get roped into three long drawn-out calls listening to all the cautions for the “little brother” and baby of the family.

        You’d think after 60+ years, they’d respect that I’m a grown-a$$ person and able to make these decisions that really don’t affect them at all. But history bears out a different attitude towards me and my life. I wouldn’t say we are dysfunctional, but we all are pretty oppinionated and quick to give advice whether asked-for or not.

        Hugs,

        Brie

        • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
          DeeAnn Hopings 2 months ago

          I think one thing for everyone to remember is that coming out is not a “One Size Fits All” kind of situation. There is so much variance regarding the members of our community in terms of life experiences, family situations, potential anti-LGBT sentiments, etc. Therefore any sort of all encompassing statements don’t have much use. While I tend not to seek confrontation, my situation and the outcome I desired, shaped my thought process. Would this be a recipe for someone else? Probably not. Clearly most folks would not present their new persona in front of 130 people, but that made sense to me. Anyway, I think it is important to remember the significant of coming out and what it can do for us. The method employed is secondary…

    9. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Jennifer Edwards 2 months ago

      Thank you for this post. I am also going through the same situation. Telling my daughter that I am a transwomen and will soon be starting HRT, Please keep us posted and to your experiences, It really helps as I try to navigate these rough waters. Thank you, Jennifer

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
        Brielle 2 months ago

        Thanks, Jennifer. My daughter has been fine with it so far as we can tell. She did start seeing an therapist that specializes in LGBTQ issues so that will help with this and her marriage as well.

        My wife and I are in a better place than when I wrote this a couple of weeks ago. It’s unfair to say our marriage is hanging by a thread. She is much more in my corner than that sounds like. Neither one of us knows how we will be when I’m living as a female 24/7 and when my body changes. She may not be attracted to me enough to want us to stay together. I can’t blame her.

        As far as our children, I think the best thing is to assure them they are loved and they won’t be caught in the middle and feel like they have to “take sides” if things get rocky. We pledged we would not communicate to her “well she did this, or he (she) did that”. Soi I hope that will allow her to relax some and enjoy both (all?) of our company together or separately.

        Hugs,

        Brie

    10. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Jane Scott 2 months ago

      Brielle, this is beautiful. Congratulations, and best wishes on the road ahead.

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
        Brielle 2 months ago

        Thank you, Jane!!

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