I got my first taste of rejection from my parents when I cut my hair. My haircut was pretty much androgynous, short, but not especially masculine. I specifically did not want a boy cut so that my parents wouldn't get mad at me. The next morning, as my dad took me to school, he told me my new haircut was cute, but that my mom didn't like how short it was. "But it's your hair, and hair grows back," he added. I felt relieved to hear my father's acceptance At school, many friends complimented my haircut. It suited me.

Skip to the morning after. I got in the car with my dad, and he told me, "You look horrible." At first, I thought my hair was messy, or I had something on my face. "It's every day." OK, I am a bit of a slob. "You don't look like a boy. You don't look like a girl. You just look strange. Your friends are too polite to tell you, but you look horrible." I was devastated. I tried to hold back the tears, to distract myself, so that when I got to school nobody would know anything was wrong. I managed to distance myself from my emotions so that I could go through the day like a zombie. People must've noticed something was wrong because I was acting so distant, but at least I wasn't crying like a fucking girl.

When I got home from school, I avoided my parents - they both work full time jobs so it was easy to do. I also sent some of my closest friends the following email slightly edited:

My dad (and probably my mom too) have probably figured me out, or something... Neither of them are very happy with my masculinity. My mom... she's been on my case forever. Ever since she realized I was a tomboy (since before I can clearly remember, which means before 6th grade) she'd been bugging me subtly about not being feminine enough, and I never really cared. Since I've been kind of transitioning (i.e. progressively acting/dressing more guyish) she's been bugging me more... which is essentially what I've expected. She was really upset when I cut my hair

But my dad... he got on my case about being androgynous this morning. I wouldn't have expected it. When I came out as a lesbian to them, he was immediately OK with it, and he probably rehearsed his "I accept you even though you're gay" speech before I told him I was gay. My mom initially was uncomfortable but she's fine with the gay part now. When I cut my hair he even said it looked cute and that he liked it, and it's my hair and I can do what I want with it. So I thought, "Yeah, he just sees this as a lesbian haircut. It's all good" But this morning, he basically looked at me and said "You look horrible" (in those words). At first I thought may my hair was sticking up or he didn't like that I was wearing bleached clothes (I volunteer at the animal shelter and play in bleach and dog poop Wednesdays) but then he said that it's every day, and that I dress like a guy. (I do? I thought I dressed slightly on the feminine side of unisex...) Then he went on to say "You don't look like a boy. You don't look like a girl. You just look strange." And then he went on to say "Your friends are too polite to tell you, but you look horrible." (You're not just being too polite to tell me you hate me cause I'm a transboy, are you? You really don't care, do you?) Then he went blabbing on about how this will affect whether people become my friends or hire me for a job. I fucking know that! In most of the country transgender isn't a protected class, and I'm willing to deal with that.

So anyway... my dad has wanted me to go back in the closet about being a lesbian, which bugs me, but I understand he's ignorant about what it's like to be in the closet. Maybe he's figured out that I'm trans and wants me to hide it too? Or maybe my mom talked him into trying to get me more feminine or something?

...I'm also thinking seriously about telling them straight out... not because I'm ready for it, like I was with the whole gay thing, but because MAYBE they'll understand how hard it is for me to be a girl if they know I'm not one. But then again, maybe they'll be more pissed, because nobody really understands transgender anyway.

So... whether I end up telling them the truth or not, living life trans is looking pretty ugly for me right now, but I can't see myself living as a girl, so I've just got to follow this path- and that means I'll need moral support from you guys, and in case something really bad happens I might need financial/shelter support too. So sorry if I'm being a burden on you, but I really need you guys right now.

The next morning, I put on my dangly earrings and my pretty girl shirt.