Our Voices The Orinam Blog

Brenda’s letter to her parents [coming out as trans]

Orinam.net thanks Brenda for sharing this letter, through which she recently came out to her parents in Chennai.
August, 2011

Hi Mom and Dad,

I haven’t had any correspondence with you in a long time, and even now I had to a make serious effort to write this letter to you. Logic dictates that it is lot more preferable that you hear about my present decision from me rather than from a third person.

In case if you have noticed, I have always distanced myself from any event and celebration within the family. First I would like to explain that, I choose to avoid not because I hate our family. I just never wanted to hurt any of you.

I can’t exactly recollect my earlier memories but ever since five or six years of age, I never felt comfortable as a boy. My hope, all through my school days, was that I believed as I grow up things would change. For the past decade, it has been a daily struggle for me against the tremendously compelling feeling of being a girl.

This is the inner reason as to why I selected Germany for my post-doctoral research. After years of futile pondering, I had decided to seek professional help. A few months before the submission of my thesis, all my suppressed feelings proceeded to a critical stage at which I was unable to function properly at my research. I finally sought an endocrinologist in Chennai who was willing enough to prescribe me the necessary testerostone blocker and female hormones. He only consented to provide me with a low dosage, and advised me to get a proper therapy from a therapist in Germany.

It was only after a few weeks on the replacement hormones that I was successfully able to complete my thesis as well as my research publications. I had already decided on transitioning before moving to Germany. The only reason I accepted this position was due to the protection laws existing in Germany for my situation. Moreover, my present institute and the associated university here have a very active support group.

A couple of months ago, things became so distorted, I had to visit my university’s psychiatrist. The therapist, being a sensible woman or due to the nature of her job, immediately fixed an appointment for me with a therapist who specialises in gender issues. I have been under hormone replacement medication for a while now, and so far I feel a lot more better than I ever felt in the 28 years of my existence. I don’t know if its the medication or my own hold on a final decision that I have started to feel all those emotions I have never experienced before.

At this point I am considering on proceeding further onto getting a surgery done to reassign my gender. I am fully aware of the fact that it would be hard for either of you to suddenly comprehend anything, leave alone explaining it to the relatives, neighbours and extended family, according to whom you two have been blessed with a *wonderful son*. I don’t want to place that additional burden on you. You two have already gone beyond your means to provide me with necessary elements of a good education all through my childhood. I have tried to make this decision considering various other social and economical factors, including my sister and her future; and I have selected the one which seemed least destructive to all of us.

My decision is by no means influenced by my present or past company of acquaintances (most of them were equally shocked at my decision) neither is it due to your upbringing. It is just that this has been the way I always felt. I only want to reiterate the fact that even though I have been undergoing physical transition, I would do everything in my capacity to provide any sort of assistance for the family.

In the near future I would have a change in facial features, as well as my clothing would change to more feminine attire. Additionally, I am trying to develop a new voice. All these are emotionally draining processes for me, as well as for you, and I feel the requirement to take some time to adjust myself.

I understand that this news probably upsets you on many different levels and may makes you both angry and sad; but I do hope that you find comfort and solace in the fact I am more at peace with myself after my decision to realign my body, and I am very happy that I no longer have to grapple with conflicting emotions every moment.


Brenda’s footnote to readers: Coming out as trans is a lot more taxing and complex process. This would be the first of a series of letters. Since coming out as trans would raise a lot of unanswered questions, I have decided not to pour out all the content into one letter, and thought the best course of action would be to let them first assimilate the idea of my perceived gender before delving into other matters of concern. Further, for gaining acceptance, more than a few letters would be required.


3 Comments. Add your own »

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  1. Thanks Brenda! Particularly for sharing such a personal communication in this forum. Cheers! It has given me “hope”. I’m gay and about to come out to my parents and brother and wish that I would be able to put it across to them efficiently.

    1. I wish all the best afzal, I haven’t been following the blog for a long time (research activity drained all my time). Do let us know how your coming out went.

  2. Brenda, I want to ask you something?? I am also transsexual. I want transition too. I am gonna come out to my family in few months( I am doing lots of research on the topic before coming out). It is important because I live with them and dependent on them and also they are my “Family”. I am studying integrated M.Sc in physics. Currently I am in second year. My question is would transition affect my career? I mean I heard trans people having problems getting job. You are also in my field so I’m asking you.. I want to pursue P.hD after completing M.Sc.. This question is important because when I’ll come out to them they’ll first ask me ‘would it affect your dream of becoming a scientist?’ so I should have the answer at that time..

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