LGBTQ+ Mystery Transgender

This story contains themes or mentions of suicide or self harm.

In the fading light, the Florida streets buzzed with life. Long shadows danced on the pavement, animated by the setting sun. Amidst the jostle, one figure stood stark, a man with the weight of his world showing in his eyes. John Richardson was his name, a man known for his adamantine beliefs. His life had always been defined by structure, order, Christianity, and staunch predictability. But that changed when his only son, 15-year-old Sam, confessed to being a transgender woman.

When Tabitha finally summoned the courage to reveal her true self to her father, it was a quiet afternoon. They sat in their living room, the silence broken only by the ticking of the grandfather clock.

"Dad," she began, her voice barely above a whisper, "I am a woman. In my heart, in my soul, I have always been a woman." She looked at him with hopeful eyes, seeking understanding, and acceptance.

John looked at his child, his mind racing. He took a deep breath, his face hardening as he leaned forward. "Tabitha, the Bible says, 'So God created man in his own image.' You're trying to change the image of God. It's not natural. It's... It's an abomination!" His voice echoed through the room, his Christian beliefs forming a wall between him and his daughter.

Tabitha's face fell, but she quickly composed herself. "Dad, I'm not changing God's image. I am embracing who I truly am. This is how God made me."

"No!" John's voice thundered through the room. "God made you a man. You are Samuel, my son, not this...Tabitha."

"But Dad, this is me. This is who I am." Tabitha's voice wavered, her eyes brimming with tears. "Why can't you accept that?"

"Because it's wrong!" John bellowed, rising from his seat. His heart pounded in his chest, his anger growing with every passing second. "It's against God's will. It's against nature."

"I'd rather live my truth than live a lie, Dad." Tabitha's voice was firm, resolute. She stood up, meeting her father's gaze.

With a roar of frustration, John pointed at the door. "Get out! If you choose to live this...this abomination, you can't do it under my roof."

Tears streaming down her face, Tabitha grabbed her bag and walked towards the door. She paused at the threshold, looking back at her father. "I hope one day, you'll understand," she said, her voice barely a whisper. With that, she stepped out into the night, the door closing behind her with a resounding thud.

In the ensuing two months, the Richardson household was shrouded in a palpable tension. John's wife, Martha, yearned for her child's return. She missed Tabitha's laughter filling their home, her presence infusing life into the quiet corners. Yet, she was hesitant to challenge John, fearful of the storm it could unleash. Night after night, she would sit by the window, her eyes scanning the quiet street, waiting for Tabitha's return.

The house once filled with warmth and laughter, now echoed with silence and unspoken regrets. There were moments when John would find himself staring at Tabitha's empty room, a lump forming in his throat. He would remember her smile, her laughter, and a part of him would wish he hadn't thrown her out. But then, his conservative beliefs would rear their ugly head, and his resolve would harden. He would remind himself of the 'sin' he believed Tabitha was committing, and his momentary lapse would evaporate.

Slowly, John found solace at the bottom of a bottle. The amber liquid became his companion in the lonely hours of the night. He would pour himself a drink, then another, until the world blurred around him, and the guilt and regret were drowned in a sea of alcohol. He would sit in the dimly lit living room, his mind replaying the argument, the slamming door, the tears in Tabitha's eyes. And with each passing day, the bottle became his refuge, a place to hide from the growing emptiness of his home and the gnawing guilt in his heart.

One morning, as John arrived at his downtown office, he noticed a crumpled piece of paper at the entrance. His office was located in a part of the city where homeless people often sought shelter and discarded papers and trash were not an uncommon sight. He reached down to pick it up, intending to throw it away. But as he was about to toss it into a nearby bin, something caught his eye. He noticed a small part of the handwriting that was visible on the creased surface. It was a familiar scrawl, one he had seen countless times on school assignments and birthday cards. It was Tabitha's handwriting. His heart pounded in his chest as he carefully unfolded the paper, his hands trembling slightly. He read the words:


I can't continue to live a lie. Every day, every hour, every second spent pretending to be someone I'm not is like a dagger in my heart. I am a woman. I always have been. I can't be happy living as a man; it's a life that suffocates me.

But the misery of living this truth is unbearable too, knowing that it has caused you to hate me. I am your child, and all I ever wanted was to make you proud. Instead, I see the disappointment and disgust in your eyes. It is a pain that cuts deeper than any physical wound.

I'm sorry, Dad. I'm sorry for being a disappointment. I'm sorry for not being the son you wanted. I'm sorry for not being able to be someone I'm not. I can't bear the weight of this guilt any longer.

I've reached a point where I feel it's better to be dead than to continue living this lie. I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me someday.


Reading the letter was like a punch to the gut, a harsh wake-up call that brought John to his knees. His anger, and his stubborn beliefs, all seemed so insignificant now, overshadowed by a profound sense of guilt and fear. The words on the page echoed in his mind, each one a damning indictment of his own failure as a father.

He thought of Tabitha, alone and in pain, believing that she had no other option but to end her life. The reality of his child's suffering, her despair, cut through him like a knife. He remembered the tears in her eyes, the resolve in her voice when she had stood up to him, and he was filled with a deep, gnawing remorse.

His anger had turned his child away and had driven her to the brink. The realization was like cold water dousing the flames of his rage, replaced by a chilling fear. The possibility that his child might be dead, that she might have taken her own life because of his actions, was thought too painful to bear. His heart pounded in his chest, a mix of guilt and fear, as he clutched the crumpled note in his trembling hands.

John's search for Tabitha was a race against time, a desperate attempt to find his daughter and make things right. His first stop was at the homes of Tabitha's friends, but they met him with hostility and anger. They blamed him for Tabitha's pain, for her despair, and their accusations stung. John left each home feeling more desperate, more helpless.

Next, he went to her school, only to find the doors locked and the corridors empty. He pounded on the doors, and called out for someone, anyone to let him in, but his pleas echoed off the empty buildings. He sat on the steps of the school, the wind biting through his coat, a sense of helplessness washing over him. He was running out of places to look, running out of hope.

Finally, he found himself at the hospital, the last place he could think to search. As he entered the emergency room, a flurry of activity caught his attention. A young woman, looking pale and frail, was being rushed into surgery. His heart stopped as he recognized Tabitha's familiar features. He tried to follow, to reach out to her, but the hospital staff held him back. He watched, paralyzed, as the doors to the operating room swung shut, his daughter on the other side. The weight of his guilt and fear threatened to crush him as he sank into a chair, his mind filled with prayers for Tabitha's survival.

Dear Reader, imagine a world where Tabitha survives her ordeal. Where her father, John, finds forgiveness in his heart and begs for hers. The question lingers, will he continue to push her to change, to fit into his narrow vision of the world? Or will he finally accept, love, and support her as a woman, as his daughter? This is a possible future, a hopeful one where love and acceptance triumph over bigotry and hatred.

But let's not forget how easily it could have gone differently. The crumpled note could have been tossed aside, and discarded like trash, and Tabitha could have died, alone and unloved. John could have lived on, never realizing the depths of despair he had driven his own child to. It's a chilling thought, isn't it? As a parent, as a human being, we must remember to love a child as they are and as they grow to be. If you truly love your child, their gender identity should not and does not matter. Love, pure and true, is unconditional. It does not discriminate, it does not judge, and it certainly does not push away a child in their time of need. Let this story serve as a stark reminder. Love your children for who they are, not who you want them to be.

March 02, 2024 20:48

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John Rutherford
05:20 Mar 14, 2024

Wow this is a powerful story, so sad. Thanks for sharing.


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Alexis Araneta
11:35 Mar 10, 2024

Denise, this was brilliant. A very compelling story about loving your children as they are (funnily enough, the second one I read today). Great imagery use. If I could offer a bit of a critique, I think it would be to state the ending in a subtler, less moralistic way. Perhaps, you can have John reflect on what could have happened if he hadn't found the note and then promise to do better ? That way, you offer the lesson but subtly. Either way, compelling story here.


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