Find a “safe space” if you don’t have one.

Before you get full of yourself and say I’m saying this from a “liberal bubble”, no, I don’t live in a liberal area. I live in a small town where every one knows each other’s business sooner or later, and they all know I transitioned. I just don’t flout it.

It’s a house where 21-year-old Nora, who is transgender, can’t be herself: where every day, her parents call her by the wrong name, use the wrong pronouns. Where she can’t dress the way she wants. Where she can’t leave the house — not even to go to the pharmacy to get the medications she needs for her gender affirmation, which her parents don’t know she’s taking. […] “I’ve got a strong feeling that if I were to come out,” she said, “I would be swiftly disowned.”

[…]

And after they opened his mail and found out he was medically transitioning, his parents pushed back. They were not happy, Elijah said, that he had used their insurance to cover his health care. When his dad called him to talk about the mail he had read, he used words like “woman” and “girl” to refer to him.

BuzzFeed

You have no problem living off of your parents’ dime, whether it be from living with them, to going off to college, to using their insurance–that you don’t contribute to!–to medically transition. However, you can’t be honest enough to have “the talk” with them, because you’re afraid they’ll cut you off and kick you out. How will you ever survive without bumming off your parents?!

News flash. It’s happened to every generation since time in memorial. You know what our community did? We picked up, moved out, moved on. Sometimes even moving across the country, to a city where we knew nobody, but could at least be ourselves and find true love. We found friends, or at least accepting roommates (if not at least landlords who made us pay rediculous rents, but hey, at least it’s a bed and a roof!) we could live with till we got at least the basics in order and found more permanent solutions. If we couldn’t go to college, we picked up a trade, factory work, or other “undesirable” work to at least make ends meet as we tried to improve our current lot.

When I finally came out to my parents, they negotiated with me. I could live with them, I could continue to try and pursue an education. I could eat at the dinner table. They would do their best to refer to me as “their son” as long as I actively transitioned medically, and didn’t grill them if they misgendered or misnamed me. If I could give them a clear time table for my surgeries and expected recovery time, they would have no issue taking care of me after each operation. Once I had all my legal documents updated, they would need a copy to update their documents so if I’m mentioned anywhere, that could be updated.

I had to get my own job and provide for my own insurance and healthcare costs to pay for it. Essentially, they’d provide for me house and home, but they would not finance anything.

However, this pandemic and incurring lockdown has still affected me, as I have chosen to change my name (again):

“The biggest hold up for me currently is my legal name change process,” wrote Nicolas, a 26-year-old trans man in Niagara Falls, New York, expressing a concern shared by many others. “Being unable to meet … and attend the proper meetings sets the process back. And given that my transition is in full swing, showing ID becomes more and more questionable and puts my identity and privacy at risk.” Ed, 21, from Austin is struggling with the same issue. “The fact that the courts are closed (understandably) rewinds my plans for the year and outs me at my new job despite having planned everything and timing as best I could so that there would not be overlap,” he wrote. “And now I will have to do the social adjusting at my new job and everyone will know I’m trans instead of just my boss and HR as I had originally planned.”

BuzzFeed

The LGBT community has always had to deal with family, friends work not accepting us; most of us got kicked out, abandoned, disowned, ostracized for generations. Your plight is nothing new. Rather than complain about having to “go back into the closet”, why not see this as an opportunity to move out and live life on your own terms? If it doesn’t seem affordable, find roommates, or move in with a family member or friend who is accepting, to help you get back onto your feet. Move to a state with transgender protections, and find a job, even in retail, that will allow you to go by a “preferred” name. (Even hardware stores like Lowe’s does this now!)

Yes, finding a new job, if not roommates, means going by your deadname, but you can use part of that paycheck to pay for a legal name change. You won’t be able to spend money on the things you want right now, like that cable bill and phone upgrade, as it’s all going towards your bills, your rent, your food…and your transition.

It’s not easy, but that freedom will allow you to otherwise be yourself. As the saying goes, “Better to starve free, than live as a fat slave.” The community keeps saying it’ll get better. You know what? They didn’t say it’d get easier. But anything worth having, is worth the struggle. I know it’s not the answer you want, but this may just be the answer you need.

Author: Charlie

I live my life trying to be your everyday guy. Drink—maybe too much?—coffee. Watch hockey. Work to pay the bills. The truth is, there’s one major aspect of me that separates me from most men: I am a transgender man. I am three years post-op, and have never been happier with both my body and my life.

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