extended family edition

I have a pretty big family with 11 first cousins, 8 aunts/uncles, and too many second cousins and spouses to count. We all grew up together, eating family dinners at grandma and grandpa’s, going on family trips, and celebrating birthdays/holidays. Now I don’t live near any of them and we only see one another once a year (if that).

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I sent them all a letter before #topsurgery to disclose my #nonbinary #trans gender. I imagine it’s difficult for them to completely wrap their heads around, as they weren’t there first hand witnessing my struggles prior to changing my #genderexpressionand starting #testosterone. The thought of letting my extended family into my gender alignment was scary, but felt necessary. Even though we may not talk or see one another regularly, I felt their love and support in everything I did up until that point in my life. I wanted to carry those feelings of acceptance and belonging into this next chapter.

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I remember being incredibly anxious the night before I sent the letter, unsure of how my relationships with each person may change and dreading the potential gossip that could be a result. At that time I did not have a vision of what a supportive extended family would look like. I could have never even imagined that a year later my cousin would call me up to ask what I would like written on my place card at her wedding. But she did. The card read Mx Mere Abrams. It’s amazing how a gesture so small can make such a huge difference. Basically since middle school family events were one of the places where I felt the most anxious and uncomfortable. Now they are spaces where I know I can be my full self. 

Mere Abrams