Give OUT: Olivia’s Story

Nine months ago, my fiance told me that he had seen my dad posting under a different Facebook name, “Jessica.” My fiance said that my dad had a profile picture, and he was dressed as a woman.  It felt like something we weren’t supposed to see.

Loneliness
After my initial waves of emotions subsided though, I was left with much uglier feelings.  My father was living a second life as a woman, and had been for the last 25 years.  At this point 95% of her time was being spent as a woman.  And we weren’t part of that.  And we weren’t written into that.  As I thought more about my father and her hidden life, it struck me that we were the hidden life.  

I felt utterly alone.  My other family members rejected Jessica.  I didn’t want to talk to Jessica about it for fear of hurting her feelings at a time when she needed to be supported.  Talking to friends was out of the question, since Jessica didn’t want anyone to know about her.  I found myself relying on re-runs of Keeping up with the Kardashians for support. I had hit rock bottom.  

Finding support
Luckily, I found COLAGE, and doing so changed my life.  When I joined the Facebook group for People with Trans Parents, I spent hours reading the comments on the wall.  I could feel the fear and loneliness that had been living inside me for months start to leave my body.

Giving Back, Giving OUT

While I am incredibly grateful for COLAGE, I must emphasize that it is not enough. I still find myself startled by the lack of resources for transgender families.   I live in the Bay Area, one of the most progressive places in the world — and yet it is still incredibly difficult to find people to connect with. We need your help to expand the reach of COLAGE and help us get into the hands of those who need it most.

That’s why we’re asking for your support on Give OUT day, April 20th.  Your donations on Give OUT Day will provide the financial resources COLAGE needs to support more youth and empower them as they combat the loneliness and isolation they experience in schools, at work and online.

I can’t help but think how our family might be different if my father hadn’t felt forced into secrecy for all of these years.  I hope to live in a world where no one is forced to hide.  I hope to live in a world of love and authenticity.  Most of all, I hope to live in a world of community and understanding.  

Thank you for standing by our side as we build this world together.

Olivia, COLAGEr

 

Author: admin

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