Dear Annie: I am a transgendered boy and am having trouble coming out to my family. I wear sports bras and boy’s clothing most of the time, and when I am speaking with my friends, I use male pronouns, but I still can’t gather the courage to tell my family.
My mother and I once talked about it briefly, but I got nervous and ended up saying it was no big deal. Now I feel as if I’ve missed my chance and will have to wait a long time before I get another shot at it. Being referred to and appearing as a girl makes me genuinely uncomfortable, but I know nothing is going to change until I tell them. Please help. — Nervous in Vermont
Dear Vermont: Your mother likely suspects what is going on and is simply waiting for you to bring up the subject again. While you’re considering that, please contact PFLAG (pflag.org), an organization that can answer some of your questions and help you discuss the matter with your parents.
Dear Annie: I am writing to you because I am so angry. I was unhappy at my job after seven years. The insurance was the only good thing about it.
My friend “Carolyn” had been after me for years to come work with her. She was always saying how much better her job was. The money was good, and the insurance was the same. So I changed jobs. But, Annie, as soon as I went to work there, Carolyn became someone I didn’t know. She is mean, lazy, jealous and never has anything good to say. She spends her workday playing online games, chatting with online friends and taking naps.
It didn’t take long to realize that I had made a huge mistake. When I told Carolyn that I was not learning enough on the job, she said, “I don’t want to overwhelm you.” When I went to others to get more work, she’d get angry and would suddenly find the most trivial tasks to keep me busy.
And the insults never stopped. She said I only got the job because they were looking for people who were neither young nor attractive. (She should know.) She never missed an opportunity to humiliate or belittle me. It only took one week to hate that job and realize the one I left wasn’t so bad, but there was nothing to do but tough it out.
After seven months, I was laid off due to lack of work. I honestly believe I worked myself out of a job. I later found out that I was the third person she has done this to. It is like a sick game she plays. Everyone knew this but me. I am so angry with myself for being so stupid.
I am 56 years old with diabetes, and Carolyn knew how much I needed the insurance. I am amazed at how little help is out there for people like me. I’m trying to forgive, but right now, I can’t. — Rhonda
Dear Rhonda: You will be able to forgive when you are ready to let go of your anger and resentment toward Carolyn. You could not know that she was untrustworthy. Meanwhile, contact your state’s labor department or governor’s office and find out whether they have employment programs geared toward older women. Also try AARP (aarp.org) and Senior Service America (seniorserviceamerica.org).
Dear Annie: Here is another response to “Wondering,” who inquired how to ask about an inheritance.
I wish my parents had spent their money on their dreams. They worked so hard for them. Dad often talks about how much he will be leaving to us “kids.” It makes me sad that he has lived such a frugal life saving for us. I wish he had taken Mom to Europe like she always dreamed. Someday, when my loving parents are gone, I will make that trip to Europe for them. — Wishing It Was Visa Versa
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.