Dear Abby: I recently told my mother that I am transgender, male to female. She is supportive and urged me to come out to my father. Abby, he doesn’t believe me! I knew I was a girl at the age of 4, but kept it to myself until I was 16. How can I get my father to believe me? And how do I get my friends to understand when I come out to them?
– Needs Help in Missouri
Dear Needs Help: It may take time for your father to accept that you are transgender, or even to learn what that really means. Please remember that you do not have to “sell” this idea to your friends. As time passes, they will understand as you start living as a female and begin taking hormones.
An organization called PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) is a source of reliable information and support for you, your friends and family members who are interested in learning about these issues.
Dear Abby: My mother-in-law has lived in an in-law apartment attached to our home for 20 years. She and my late father-in-law were a huge help when our children were growing up. The kids are gone now, and my husband and I would like to sell our home and move to something smaller. Would it be awful of us to make her move? She is 88. She has a loud and adamant-sounding voice, so it would not be in our best interest to have her move with us.
– Daughter-In-Law in Massachusetts
Dear Daughter-In-Law: Yes, it would be awful. It almost appears you took advantage of her for baby-sitting purposes, but now that the children are grown, she is no longer useful.
While it may not be “in your interest” to have her move with you, it may be extremely difficult for her to adjust to a new living situation at her age. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.