My uncle is around 60.  He's been through a lot of crap in his life.  He's a Vietnam vet with some of the typical after effects, struggled with (and conquered) addiction, father killed in car accident, he was the one who found his mother who died in a tragic circumstance.  Not one to show emotion... sat stoically at my grandfather's funeral.  He's not one to open up.  He makes sexist jokes, owns a hole-in-the-wall dive bar frequented by all sorts of miscreants.  Conservative Republican/Homophobe, or at least he puts on an act like he is.  False bravado, perhaps.  Because he this a soft spot inside him... you know it's there.  You see it when he plays with his granddaughter, in the way he interacts with kids.  Anyway, Unk was one of the people that I thought I was certain to lose.

A while back, my Mom told me that she filled him in vis-a-vis what was going on with me.  A couple days later, my eyes widened as the cell phone rang and flashed... Unk calling... Unk calling... Unk calling...  I held my breath and answered.  I've never talked to Unk on the phone, ever.  Great, I'm about to get reamed.  I couldn't have been further off base.  Unk called to tell me that he and Poppy (my grandfather, who died in the car accident) both loved me and would, no matter what.  He knew how much I loved Poppy, and he also knew that I've had thoughts like "Poppy is rolling over in his grave right now..." so for him to mention Poppy the way he did, just shows how much he gets me.  Something I didn't realize.  We talked for another couple minutes or so... I hung the phone up and cried, feeling ashamed that I gave this man so little credit.

I visited family a couple weeks ago, for the first time since coming out... I saw Unk at a birthday party we had for my kids.  At the end of the party, he pulled me aside and said to me, "Anyone who doesn't like who you are, tell them to go fuck themselves."  Absolutely blew me away.  A couple nights later, he called again and told me that he felt selfish and a little ashamed, because before the party that he was worried about feeling awkward around me, and after he thought about it some more, he thought, "gee, what must it be like for T?"  I told him that whatever he was feeling was valid, and it wasn't selfish... this isn't an easy thing for anyone.  He responded that to his surprise, being around me wasn't awkward at all... we then talked about quite a bit... he told me about his half-assed, as he put it, research, where he read that the prevalence of TG people was about the same as redheads.  We talked about how I looked, and he told me in the most non-weird way possible that I looked "attractive."  I told him that this entire conversation showed me what a good person he was, and what a good heart he had.

We then got to talking about why is it that it took this, this change, for me to say this to him, why can't men do that?  What do they have to lose?  Why can't men tell each other they love each other?  We never would have, before this conversation.  He acknowledged that it was easier to say these things to the female me, and I acknowledged that it was easier for me now as well.  Why does it have to be that way?  But it is.

Needless to say, I've been shaking my head in amazement at this series of conversations.  Now *I* am the one who feels ashamed... that I thought this man, who obviously has a huge and accepting heart, was going to reject me.  Perhaps the trauma he has endured in his life makes him sympathetic to what I am going through.  It doesn't matter, really.  All that matters is that we now have this closeness that we otherwise would not have.

When I expressed angst about telling this person or that person, my therapist would always say, "People might just surprise you."



That's a positive story, well done your uncle!

All the people I've told who I've worried about have turned out to surprise me.

A very positive story! As Jenny says well done your uncle!


"Laura Waringo likes this".

Awww that's so heartwarming girl!!!!

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