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Visibly, my day wasn’t that cool. After falling asleep at 6 am after writing my parents a coming out letter, I woke up, stayed in my PJ’s, and did laundry in between sitting around on Facebook. Oh, I ate a bagel. Fun times.

But yes, I did come out to my parents. That’s a rather big deal. I left them a note that it would be redundant to post if you’ve read anything I’ve written here. My autistic little brother said he was “shocked,” which was cute. I don’t really care what he thinks, honestly. My mom is confused but supportive, and she’s actively helping me pick out a haircut. I want something pixie-ish, still feminine and pretty but also short. More updates on that later. My dad told me he didn’t want the inherent “weirdness” of my new “theatrical show” to “lose me my friends.” Ouch. Deep ouch Unfortunately, I couldn’t really counter it because I started crying (I cry so goddamn much!) and that impedes communication. But I think that they’ll see that I’m dressing the same, and looking the same, and acting the same as before, but with a little more honesty. That was my theatrical show. This is me without the mask.

I mentioned coming out to them in my Facebook status. Most people assumed I meant as bisexual, and gave their congratulations and support. I don’t know if I’m ready to advertise the queer thing yet, so I just let them think whatever they wanted to think. But my cousin M asked what I was coming out as, and I told him. His reply was “Oh, me too.” What?!

So between folding my mountains of college laundry, I was exploring these topics with M. He and I have always been the black sheep in our redneck family: the atheists, the intellectuals, and apparently the queers. He recently married a beautiful girl, and unfortunately doesn’t know anyone else trans though he has been struggling with it for years. We talked for hours about this and that, about his future first womens’ clothing purchase, about what deodorant I should use, about coming out to cisgender lovers, and so much more. It was special to have someone to talk to who understands the gender thing, and who understands me. We grew up together. My dad is practically his adopted father. M gave me my first sip of beer and didn’t make fun of me when I spat it out. And now he was the first one to bypass asking, “What the hell are you talking about?” and ask instead, “Have you picked a new name? Me neither.”

For his birthday, I’m sending him all the girl shit I won’t need anymore. A sleek purse I’ve never used, filled with nail polish and goofy hair clips and eyeliner. A figurine of Cinderella dancing with the prince. A deck of “Discover Yourself!” cards, like mini personality quizzes, that my friends and I used to do at sleepovers. He and his wife can have a sleepover and paint their toes and tell secrets. I think that packing that up for him may have been the best part of my day. In return, he is sending me his too-small boy clothing. That’s cool too, but doesn’t feel nearly as good as knowing I created in him that surge of recognition I’ve felt talking to others like me.

Today was really special. Even though I spent half of it crying, it’s like I keep getting closer to something that’s right.