Elisha: I think that it’s really hard to come out to your family when you don’t have a strong community and this is not true for all Asian families but ours sort of migrated as an island, and we didn’t have a big network of friends. So I think that makes it really hard for immigrant families when your kid suddenly does something that’s “risky.” And I think it’s hard when your kid does something that makes you vulnerable and so it was really hard for us. I think my dad was really scared of me for a bit and my white mama was just as, if not more homophobic about it all. But they’ve made a huge effort and maybe if I have a kind of nice story, it’s when I was telling them more about gender. But coming out was a struggle, real suffering…and I don’t think I’ll ever try to explain the whole trans thing. My mom freaks about Annette Bening’s son, she’s like “Poor Annette, suffering so much!” So I don’t think I’ll tell them everything, but I tried a different tactic and I don’t know if it’ll be useful to your readers, but I hope so! (haha) I decided to go for this kind of deprecating tactic and well, I usually approach things with them as a “fight,” like you know, “This is how I am, whatcha gonna do about it?” But with this, I said, “Well, mommy and daddy, I don’t know why, and I know it’s weird and I don’t know what to do about it and it would be easier if it wasn’t this way, but I just like wearing men’s clothes.” Such a totally different tactic!
How did they react?
Elisha: Well believe it or not, they were really sympathetic. They were like, “Oh, okay, so Elisha knows that it’s a problem. That’s really too bad” HAHAHA which you know isn’t trans positive or anything but still it was okay and they didn’t freak out. And then my favorite part of the story is that the next night I was sitting having dinner across from my dad, and he was quiet for a while, and then he went, “You know, white shirts stain really easily and you shouldn’t buy white shirts, you should buy off-white shirts.” YAYYYYYYY!
(excerpt from Elisha’s Out and Successful Interview)