At Born it is a story we hear only too often that family relationships can break down once a trans person takes the brave step to come out to their loved ones. To promote acceptance and give hope to the trans community we are producing a set of images to tell positive stories of relationships surviving the coming out process. These people choose to support their loved ones through a difficult time when they need support and love the most.
Charlotte and Agnieszka Flanigan
We are a happily-married, run-of-the-mill couple, together for 16 years and married for 12.
I came out as transgender to my wife about three years ago and quickly followed that up by telling my children. They have been the most supportive lot that anybody could possibly want however – as many trans people will know – the journey just seems to go on and on.
My wife and I tried the idea of ‘let’s keep this our own little secret’ for months but I couldn’t hold it in any longer and had to scream and tell the world. I soon found out there is a cruel bunch of people out there who didn’t like the idea of their mate, the friendly guy, now becoming someone else: Charlotte – the person he should have been from birth. After the hurt and upset of losing family and friends we fought through it and plucked up the courage to go visit the doctor for referral to the nearest GIC clinic.
Whilst living full-time, or trying to, I packed all my male clothes and gave them to the local charity shop. It was like the death of the my past self and the start of true self. My wife and I must have tried every different style of outfit out there trying to find my look. We also invested in a vast amount of wigs to find ‘me’ but after a huge decision I chose not to wear hair as I feel it’s over-rated.
Going with a head tattoo. along with other tattoos, some of which are not so nice (ha!) gave me a massive confidence boost but we still come across those who don’t like the look or should we say, don’t do different or challenging. Of course, we still get stares from time to time.
After hours of IPL, a few sessions of electrolysis and endless dieting and fitness, I had my first appointment with the GIC and am excitedly awaiting the second appointment.
We felt we could do so much to help the trans community so we joined a few networks and after I am now the proud admin of a local trans-aware group.
I have also written Charlotte’s journey, the finished book will be called ‘The Whole Shenanigans’ which is now available on Amazon Kindle. xx
Makeup and photoshoot by Paul Heaton at Born.
Do you have a positive story to tell about your experience of acceptance by your family and friends? We would love to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org