It’s true that honesty is the best policy…removing the necessity to cover and hide lies. I’ve spent my life as a parent instilling these values into the morals of my children. I know that some, including those close to me would argue that this was hypocritical based upon me keeping my true gender identity hidden away from the world for over 4 decades. But is it really all that clear as to how each and every one of us defines what is being truthful?
I would argue that that “truth” is reliant on the knowledge of an indisputable fact…something that can be tested and proven…something that is repeatable. So…what do we do when even the definition of “truth” is in dispute? Take for example the view that I was being dishonest with my partner, family and friends by not coming out earlier in life. Can anyone say for sure that I was being dishonest?
I would argue that there was no dishonesty as was there was no clear truth…no indisputable fact. In my life I knew there was something different about me…but over the 40+ years of life I was unable to repeatedly test and prove that I was in fact transgender and had to transition in order to live. So…in reality my gender identity was not a fact and not an untold truth until I proved to myself it was the only way to live. The facts are that the moment of this truth coincided with an attempt to take my life, and that the only thing I did from that moment until telling my family was talk to my therapist about how to tell this truth.
The thing is…no matter how I’ve tried to explain this reality…it is really only something I understand. I lost the trust of those I care about simply because we differ on our definition of “truth”.
So, once again I find myself thinking of what constitutes truth and honesty. I’ve been recently looking at dating sites, exploring the possibilities, considering and pondering how I can share my new found happiness and existence as a woman with someone of quality and compassion. It is difficult to put yourself out there for anyone, but consider what must be factored into a profile for a woman of a transgender experience.
For me…most sites are not designed to allow one to identify as anything other than a man or a woman…and this is not a problem, as I consider myself mentally, emotionally and physically a woman. I have completed my transition and plan to live my life as the woman I’ve always been. However, I cannot and will not ignore or erase the journey that has brought me here, as to do so would invalidate my parental roles and the important parts I’ve played in the lives of my partner and family. So am I being dishonest if I don’t tell people about my transgender life? I don’t believe so…because I am a woman, that is a fact, a proven and repeatable fact which medical professionals agree upon.
So when I’m open and honest about my past, disclosing my fatherhood, my role as a son and husband, my surgery and hormones…I truly see the cost of honesty…loss and loneliness.