I am 25 years of age and definitely mature enough to make my own decisions. However, my father is a huge source of inspiration, love and all things I consider to be the embodiment of strength. I have incredible amounts of respect for him and being that I am the last male in my family to carry on my family name, I had to talk to him first.
My father and I are both Air Force veterans who have served in multiple contingencies, so having my father know my intentions before I blind sided him was very important to me. I was a nervous wreck and mega stressed with the idea of telling him as he is that of the old school nature being born in the 60's, and having the burden of carrying on the family name was overwhelming. Unbeknownst to me, his girlfriend who I trust like my own mother had been telling him what I have been telling her. Not to be sneaky or malicious, but to prepare my father for what was to come. I only found out this last weekend when I told my father over Memorial day weekend while we were honoring our service and our fallen.
Over the last couple weeks I could tell he knew something was amiss from his awkwardness and constant looking about my room as I had several articles of female's clothes strewn about. What piqued my interest was that he never raised an eyebrow or hinted to anything being out of the ordinary. That's when I knew the time was upon us to sit down and discuss it together.
Everything was going way better than anticipated till my father hit me with an unexpected curve ball. He apologized for burdening me with carrying on the family name. He then told me that he would rather see our family die with me being happy than being miserable living for someone else since this is now going to be my 5th tour to the Middle East when I leave for Afghanistan in August. I don't know if I agree with his rationale, but I am damn happy to have such an amazing father who is willing to sacrifice so much for my happiness even now. He was most appreciate of the fact that I had approached him for his blessing before just giving him the big "eff you" and transitioning without him.
Through all this rambling, the point I am trying to make is that we seem to create an illusion of fear and uncertainty in the face of the unknown. Most people are more understanding and willing to accept us for who we are than we give them credit for. We create a fear out of our biases and perceptions that make it hard for us to truly live and feel free! After telling my father how I feel, I have almost zero fear of facing the world as I feel I should be represented!
Change is never easy, but most rewarding when the fight is seen through to the end!
Great story! I got the same reaction from my father, and he was of the WWII generation. Isn't it wonderfully liberating to know that the people closest to us actually "get it"? Congratulations! And many thanks for your service.
Barb (USN, Vietnam, '67-'68)