Coming out as trans to my friends and family was both the easiest and the hardest thing I have ever faced. I had touched upon the subject with two friends in a light hearted manner to see what their reaction would be a few months prior to 'coming out' but I was not ready to fully engage with them the depths of how I felt or how serious I truly was. A few months on I was sitting with some friends when I decided that I absolutely had enough and in that moment I could no longer hold it in, so I told them "I am a man". My friends were completely supportive and had lots of questions about my plans in regards to if I was going to transition from FTM (female-to-male) physically and how far I wanted to go, which I have always said, "as far as I can".
The first family member I told was my father, as I live with him and see him daily it made sense to. I was terrified, I kept trying to speak to him face to face but we have never been a family to talk about anything of much emotional value, so I ended up doing it through text message. I was at work sending him message after message and It took him awhile to reply to me, I was freaking out the whole time waiting. I contacted my step-mother who I work with and she told me to chill and wait it out. I then saw her and she gave me a huge hug and told me I had all of her support. My dad has said that it will take adjusting to and its a massive shock but he supports me in my choice. He is asking more questions now which is great, I can imagine its a hard topic to bring up to myself seeing as to him I was his 'daughter' for 24 years and now telling him "I am now your son".
I then called my Mother who lives close to me but not with me. She stayed very quiet and simply said to me "Do what you need to do, something got mixed up and you need to fix it if you feel you need to, I am your mum and if you tell me you are a man, you are my son." I left it to my mother for her to tell my brother and sister. I contacted them both after so they knew it was fine to approach me with any questions. Both my siblings have told me it was a big shock but they also support me, my brother has even taken me shopping in all the boy clothes shop, given me lots of his clothes and given me fashion advice! My nan is finding this news the hardest, she is still not ready to talk about it or call me by my legal name but I hope in time she will understand this and not just her, but that my whole family can see how utterly at peace I am since coming out and being honest with myself.
Next came posting a status on Facebook. I simply told everyone on my friends list that I am a transgender male who wants to fully transition and that I hoped I had their support. A week later I posted up a copy of my change of name deed poll and had my long hair cut short. I was sent an overwhelming amount of messages of support and interest, I couldn't be more lucky in that sense.
I have had a few people delete me and stop talking to me, but that is fine as I completely expected it, not that I believe it is okay to do that. I have been told by a very small amount of people that I am ridiculous as I am a 'girl' and that I should stop being silly. But again, I guess I expected that also. My work have also been amazing in supporting me, I have weekly meetings with them so I can keep them informed and to discuss anything that needs to be discussed, my team have also been great and all call me by my new name and pronouns.
My family call me 'Charlea' a lot but correct themselves quickly enough, but I expect it will take a fairly long time for them to get used to this whole thing as well as a name change but they are handling it a lot better than I expected and I feel I have come off extremely lucky in that department. I have faced some verbal and physical aggression when I have been open about being Trans so I am a lot more careful with it now, and I could hear 100 nasty things said to and about me, but one kind comment or act of support over rides the negativity. I am fairly open about who I am, and I believe I am strong enough to hear the negative side of some peoples opinions, but I have all of the time in the world to help people better understand.
I have to tell you that I feel blessed for the family that I have, for the friends that I have, the friends I have made since coming out, and for the perfect strangers who send me messages of love and support. I couldn't be more over whelmed and thankful. You make the negative side not matter in any way shape or form.
Follow Jayden Ray Billington on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JaydenRay24