Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™
FAMILY: Want to Tell All Family I'm Transgender and Invite Them to My Wedding
Dear Elder, My name is Kyle. I am currently promised to marry the love of my life. We've been together for almost a year, and we've known each other for about a year in a half. I can't imagine not having her in my life.
To give a little background on myself, I'm nineteen years old, I live with my girlfriend, and I'm transgender. My girlfriend, Alex, is highly supportive of me, as is some of my family. But, most of my family does not recognize my gender identity, or my relationship with Alex. One family member in particular , my Grandma, doesnt even know I'm trans or that I'm dating Alex.
We plan to marry, and we both want a large family oriented wedding, but I don't know how break it to my family that we want them there. My mother has told me to not tell my grandma about the wedding at all, but I can't lie to her as she is a big part of my life. I want to be able to enjoy my wedding day with Alex and have all my family there, but I don't know how to do so without causing a wedge between me and my loved ones. O need help,im so confused and frustrated. I would appreciate any words of wisdom you'd have to offer. Thank you for your time, Kyle
I am sorry you are dealing with this problem, Kyle. My first suggestion is to go ahead and tell your Grandma. But, tell her privately, not in front of anybody else and be prepared to answer personal questions. She might surprise you. I can tell you many stories of children and grandchildren trying to keep secrets from Grandma, only to find out she already knew and was the most cool with it. On the other hand, it might not go well. But, what is the alternative? If you wait and spring it on her at the last minute you definitely won't get the response you want. If you have the wedding and don't invite her, a) she won't be there and b) when she hears about it she will be upset.
Eventually she, and the rest of your family are going to find out. You might as well try to control the when and where. But don't hang your hat on having the whole family behind you and a lovely big family wedding day. It's a nice thought, but it usually doesn't work out that way. And when you invite everybody, even though they show up, you must be prepared for some disapproving looks, at the very least. Society is changing, but there are still a lot of people who don't understand transgender. People are often afraid of what they don't understand. You and Alex need to agree that this is what you want to do and that you will go forward and have a happy life together, whether or not your families are behind you. If you can't agree on that, then you are not ready to marry yet.
You need to make all of the plans and be prepared to pay for it yourselves. I am afraid that your mom doesn't want you to tell Grandma because she's hoping you'll change your mind or that this is just a "phase" you're going through. If that's the case, when she figures out that you are moving forward, she may withdraw her support.
I suggest that you warn your mother that you are going to talk to grandma, but as I said before, talk to her alone, to give her time to adjust. I am hoping that Grandma is a lot more "with it" than everybody gives her credit for.
Good luck, Kyle. Please write again if we can help.