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Coming out to her Dad


New member
Nov 9, 2019
Hi everyone

My partner of 4 & 1/2 years came out as Trans this June. Her Dad has Alzheimer’s, and I’ve observed his decline in the time I’ve known him. Her Mum cares for him, but she herself is disabled.

The only people she isn’t out to yet is her Dad and Brother - and by default, wider family. Her Mum is generally accepting of her daughter’s transition, but is very worried about her husband. She’s always been reluctant for him to know, but does realise it can’t stay that way forever.

If he didn’t have dementia, I can imagine that his views on my partner coming out would be one of general acceptance, despite not really understanding it. Their relationship has always been a good one.

Has anyone else been in a situation like this? Experience coming out to folk with dementia?

He has a right to know his child as she is, and want to make sure we do this right.


Registered User
Apr 23, 2019
whilst I haven't had this particular issue, so not sure how much help I can be, there are things I 'filter' from the PWD I am carer for. I think it depends on the PWD level of understanding and processing the information. Some family updates I give an edited version of, as he can obsess about one thing and make big worries out of things that were not a worry if you know what I mean. Sometimes it's kinder to not say anything. The edited edition of family news is enough to keep him in the loop without overloading him. Sometimes just doing things and carry on as if the person knows the news or information. They can be readily accepting just by the normality of it happening. But I think its a personalised thing really and does depend on the PWD and where they are at, and the level of understanding and processing.


Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
High Peak
Think twice.

My daughter (25) is a lesbian and her gran (my mum) was absolutely fine with it. But mum got dementia and changed. As well as forgetting about my daughter she also became very intolerant of anyone's personal 'differences'. This extended to fat people, foreigners, people with tattoos, ripped jeans, piercings, people on benefits or with more children than she thought acceptable. You name it, she hated it. :(

So on the rare occasion she asked about my children (because she couldn't remember them and believed she'd never met them) and if they were married now or 'courting', I didn't elaborate. It would have confused and maybe upset her. My daughter wouldn't have been bothered by any insults but I thought it best avoided.

But this is your partner's dad, not a grandparent and you say they have a good relationship, so only she knows best in the end. Do consider that he might not remember and that would mean telling him over and over and having to explain each time - probably not something she wants to do. You say he would be accepting but he just won't be able to understand it in the way he would have done pre-dementia. Lastly, has your partner thought how she would feel if for some reason her dad reacted really badly?


Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
Victoria, Australia
My ex husband has been gradually losing his 'filters' over a period of time and says things I never thought I would hear from him. He is of the generation that mentally understood that black people are born black, and that gay people are born that way, but he is of a generation that never grew up where such differences were accepted. He is now living in the past and has reverted to his earlier beliefs and can be quite horrible to people because they are black, Chinese, too fat, too short, European, male, female just because he is feeling nasty.

I think that if it is important to your partner then do it, but be prepared for the fact that he may not remember or may not respond as she might hope.


Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
I think it depends on the stage of dementia & how the PWD will cognitively react.

if it means the PWD gets comfort from the information then yes. But... is it in the PWD bests interests?

I really don’t see what the PWD will gain from this. But I can see what your partner will gain from the disclosure, I’m afraid I feel that this part of the openness procedure of being Trans has to be dealt with with the best interests of the PWD as the main issue.

depending on the stage of dementia I’m afraid that it might not be possible.

sorry I know it not what you want to hear. I also want you to know we have young Trans persons in our peripheral family & have experience of the issues encountered not only by the Trans persons but also by older members of the family in not the best mental health.

So my sympathies but the PWD needs have to come before your partners.

I hope that whatever you decide life is kind to you.


Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
I would think carefully about whether you go ahead with this. Depending on the stage of his illness, her dad may not be able to process the information, and even if he does he may forget it by tomorrow. This type of memory lapse commonly happens with very important pieces of information, such as the death of a relative, and it can be kinder for all concerned not to address the issue. If you do, you need to be prepared that you may have to repeat this regularly, and possibly distress everyone concerned every time the subject arises. How her dad would have reacted beforehand may not be how he reacts now.


Registered User
Jul 12, 2019
I agree with the replies you have had so far. Your partner has had most of their life with what sounds like a good relationship with their Dad. All the memories, all the shared ups and downs, and by the sounds of it he has been accepting of them and their lifestyle choices. Your partner came out previously to him, but that experience, those memories could be wiped out if he doesn't understand. Given his condition now, given what he is able to comprehend, you are asking him to make a huge adjustment and one he probably isn't able to mentally let alone emotionally simply because he isn't able to due to his condition. The risk of hurting to your partner is very high. Your partner's Mum appears to be against it, and knows him probably best. And if you go ahead what is there to be gained?
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