Hi Nia

I really enjoyed, and sympathised with your piece.

I’d lost contact with my family 13 years ago, simply over the shitty way they treated me. But when I found myself I came to a belief that I, Abbie, deserved a shot at a parent/child relationship that had so spectacularly failed between ‘Chris’ and his parents (yeah I have no aversion to that deadname, even it and my surname were not the ones given to me at birth, long before I came out as trans). And so I contacted them. They were wary, laughingly believing I’d inflicted the greater harm when last we met. I came out to them and it didn’t go well, especially with my religious mother (it’s atypical here in the UK to find people who will object on this basis). My sister was fine, and my dad mostly came round.

But 4 months was all it lasted. Big. Fat. Shrug.

The previous 13 years had taught me I didn’t need them but the manner of our parting was less on my terms, more of necessity. Of self-care. This time, through my wife’s concern, I was assured I’d do it my way. And so when it came to cutting ties again it wasn’t my choice but it was my way.

So, Nia, I feel your pain. I’ve felt it before. But leaving without those who harm us is ultimately no great sorrow, regardless of the bloodties we delude ourselves about. Family is who we choose to have in our lives. Jettisoning people, however supposedly close, who cause us injury is a cost you can bear. Losing yourself never would be.

To be trans, and to live openly, is to commit to a life lived without compromise. Not a half life. Never settle for that. Don’t you dare. I don’t doubt you already know you are now part of a much wider family than previously.

At 49 I’m going to guess I’m an older sister. 😁 Don’t hesitate to call.

Much love, many hugs


Capricious by name, steadfast by nature. Trans femme dyke. Smutsmith. Provocateur. Poet. Idiot. Kicking names and taking ass.

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