I’m Sorry The Internet Outed Me: An Open Letter to My Mother

by: Khai Devon

Dear Mom,

I’m sorry that you had to find out like this. I know I told you that you probably wouldn’t like what I had to say, writing for an audience that is mostly queer in some way, and that you chose to read anyway. You told me by telling you to avoid it, I was taunting you, daring you to read it. But really, Mom, I didn’t want you to read it. I was being honest. I knew you wouldn’t like to find out, especially via the internet, that I’m not your daughter. I’m still your child, still the Khai you’ve known and loved for just under twenty four years now.

I came out as trans online, trusting in the anonymity I felt writing alone behind my computer screen. I found a forum in which I could be completely myself, and I didn’t have to deal with the reactions people had if they were negative. I even came out offline to a few people, but I specifically chose not to tell you because I knew you had a hard enough time accepting that I like women. I chose not to bind in your presence, even though the only time I feel like myself is with my chest bound. I don’t want to lose my place in your heart because I’m not your oldest daughter, I’m just your second-born child.

You’ve been much more accepting than I thought, so I also apologize for not giving you enough credit. The night we sat at your kitchen table and you drank wine and asked me what I meant by “genderqueer” was one of the hardest nights of my life. I hated the look of confusion and disappointment in your eyes, as I groped for the words to explain that I’ve never ever thought of myself as a girl, but I don’t want a sex change either. I hate that I can’t be what you want and expect of me, that I’m not ever going to be a straight woman. If I had the choice, I’d make you proud of me and who I am, not just what I do sometimes.

But mostly, I hate that you had to find out through the internet. That because someone else liked what I had to say about not judging books by their covers, and you read it even though I told you not to, you found out via a glowing computer screen, separated from the truth and pain you had to see in my eyes when we finally talked face to face. That you found out without me there to answer your questions, which were many. That you found out just after the concept of people who were outside the gender binary had been introduced to you, not when I’d had time to answer all your questions about it before telling you I’m one of those people.

I’m so sorry you had to read it, in the context of me telling a story about an experience I had to strangers, rather than in a face to face discussion. I’m sorry you had to find out via a link on Facebook, rather than from me personally. I’m sorry that, once again, I couldn’t do things right. I’m sorry, Mom. Please forgive me for always being wrong.


Your child, Khai

Khai Devon is a genderqueer pansexual in hir early twenties, about to embark on a life changing adventure, pursuing hir dream of becoming a slam poet in Portland, Oregon. Sie writes blogs at disturbinglynormal. wordpress.com and duffelbagandadream.wordpress.com, updating whenever the words overflow. Queero.


2 responses to “I’m Sorry The Internet Outed Me: An Open Letter to My Mother

  1. Wow. Incredible. Moms are resiliant, and it sounds like you’ve got a great one. From the tone of this letter, I think she had a great kid, too.

  2. I was outted by the Internet as well.

    My father had just passed away, and my mother was wandering around the States visiting her children.

    She was accidentally logged into Facebook as my younger sister, and discovered that my roommate was not actually my roommate and that they had not always identified as male. And that I was very, very far from the Christian heterosexual child-producing relationship she’d been hoping for.

    It was a rough couple of months.

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