Dipper was unnaturally nervous as he sat at the table, poking at his cereal. Stan was used to the boy being nervous, he was always nervous about something or other, so Stan wouldn't have been unsettled. But Dipper seemed more nervous than he ever had, even when they had arrived last week and it had been the twins and Stan's first breakfast together. Dipper squirmed in his seat, and poked at the quickly-becoming-soggy cereal.
"You oka-" Stan was interrupted.
"I have to tell you something," Dipper said. Mabel stood from the table and went to put her bowl in the sink, patting Dipper's shoulder when she passed him. Stan cleared his throat and sat up straighter.
"Okay. Shoot, kiddo," Stan said.
"I'm trans." Dipper had a deep blush on his face.
"Okay," Stan said, "So you're actually a girl?"
"What!?" Dipper's eyes immediately welled up with tears, "Why would you say that!?"
"You said you were trans! And you're a guy! So if you're a guy, and trans, doesn't that mean you're actually a girl trapped in a boy's body?" Stan said, confused about what he had said that was wrong. Stan could hear Mabel laughing in the hall, and even Dipper chuckled, though tears still fell from his eyes.
"No, I." Dipper rubbed the tears from his eyes, "I was born a girl, but I'm actually a boy."
"Oh. OK. I thought you were just a boy," Stan said, "So why tell me? I mean, I would've thought you were a boy either way."
"Oh, well. I need help with something," Dipper said.
"OK. What'cha need, kiddo?"
"Well, see. I get shots of testosterone so that I go through male puberty instead of female, and usually mom or dad helps me if we don't go to the doctor's to do it, but they're not here and I can't do it myself, cause my hands shake too much."
"Why not get your sister to do it?"
"Mabel doesn't like needles, so she'd never be able to help me."
"OK. How often do you need me to help you with this?"
"Once a week, is all. So. . . you'll do it?"
"Of course, kiddo. Anything to help my favorite nephew."
Wendy was harder to come out to, and that was probably because Dipper had never actually planned on coming out to her. She thought of him as male even without him asking her to, and so Dipper had never actually thought it important to come out to her. It wasn't like Dipper needed her help with his shots like he did Stan. But. . . when you see a grown man kneeling in front of a shirtless teen propped up on a kitchen counter, it really does require a bit of explanation. Especially when said old man is pushing a black tank top up the teen's torso and uncovering his stomach.
"What!?" Dipper looked to where the shout was, seeing Wendy slammed a baseball bat over Stan's back.
"Whoa! Whoa, this is not at all what it looks like!" Grunkle Stan stood and backed away, "There is a perfectly good explanation for this!" Wendy hefted the bat above her head again. Dipper hopped off the counter and ran to where she was.
"Whoa! Wendy, calm down! Grunkle Stan was just helping me with my shot," Dipper explained.
"You're. . . what?" Wendy dropped the bat.
"My shot! My testosterone! I'm. . . trans," Dipper said, looking down.
"Oh. Cool, so am I," Wendy said, "Sorry, Mr. Pines. My mistake."
So, actually, to amend Dipper's earlier statement, Wendy was rather easy to come out to.
The next person that Dipper came out to was actually Bill. He hadn't planned on coming out to Bill, he hadn't actually planned on ever speaking to Bill again, but. . . Bill happened to catch Dipper at a rather inconvenient time. Bill looked over at the young boy, cradling his stomach and rocking himself back and forth. Bill had pulled Dipper into the Mindscape, hoping to be entertained with the boy's usual antics. Instead, he found a whimpering child in indescribable pain. Bill switched to his human form and came to sit next to Dipper.
"Uh, hey there, Pine Tree," Bill said awkwardly. He didn't know how to comfort Dipper, but the boy seriously needed some comfort right now.
"Go 'way, Bill," Dipper mumbled, his voice soggy with his sadness.
"Uhm. No. Not right now. What's wrong, Pine Tree?" Bill asked.
"Oh. I've heard of that. A friend of mine used to get dysphoria all the time until she remembered that her body was actually multi-dimensional light waves shifted into a human-like form, and so she could change her form into whatever she felt would be best. She makes a very charming dragon."
"That's good for her, but I'm human. I can't shift my body, not completely."
"You know, Pine Tree, if you let me possess you I could shift your body so that you're biologically male?"
"I'm not making a deal, Bill."
"I knew you'd say that. I can't actually do that, either. Not in your world."
"How are you human?"
"We're in the Mindscape, Pine Tree. I can be whatever I want. Or, whatever you need right now."
"Can I do that?"
"It's your Mindscape, kiddo, of course you can. Just focus on the body you're supposed to have, and it'll shift. It won't be all that different, but it might help."
"So. . ." Bill scratched the back of his head, "You're trans."
"Is that common? Like, are lots of humans born in the wrong body?"
"Not lots, but certainly more than any other time in history. At least, ones that actually act on it."
"Is Shooting Star?"
"Mabel? No, she was born right."
"Good for her."
"Why are you being so nice?"
"Pine Tree, I don't have a physical form. I think. . . I think that I could be lucky in that sense, sometimes. Because if I ever know that they messed up and my body was wrong, then I could really easily change it for myself. But, uh, you humans. Can't do that. And, I think, in moments like this you don't need some evil overlord trying to take over your body and your dimension. You just need a, uh, a friend."
"You want to be my friend?"
"Yes. Look, Pine Tree, it isn't gonna stop me from trying to take over your dimension and gain a physical form, but if you ever need someone to talk to, and you don't feel like it can be any of your friends or family members, you can just pop on into the Mindscape. I'll see what I can do."
"Of course, Pine Tree." Dipper yawned and slumped over to the side, falling asleep. Bill looked over at the kid and sighed, pulling him gently so that the boy rested against his shoulder. Bill looked down at himself.
"Damn, Cipher. For a chaos demon with an insatiable thirst for blood, you're certainly getting soft."
Ford was. Well. Ford was hard. Ford had immediately read Dipper as female, and referred to him as such. And Dipper could understand reading him as female. Even he knew that he was rather feminine looking. He couldn't understand how Ford completely missed Mabel loudly calling Dipper her brother, or Stan referring to him as "nephew", or literally any other way that people called Dipper a male while in the vicinity of Ford.
Dipper had thought the Author would be super cool. Open minded, and awesome. But he was kind of turning into the exact opposite. Dipper had asked Stan, but Stan thought that Ford would be open minded, but since Ford was already letting Dipper investigate cool things with him, Dipper didn't want to risk Ford suddenly treating him like a precious porcelain doll and not allowing him out on investigations. Besides, Stan and Ford hadn't spoken for over thirty years. Dipper needed someone who had spent time with Ford more recently. He thought about askin McGucket, but he needed someone who would remember their time with Ford.
"Well hey there, Pine Tree!" Bill greeted upon Dipper's emergence in the Mindscape.
"Bill, I have a question," Dipper said.
"I'm not telling you about my plan for world domination, kiddo," Bill said.
"No, I know. It's about something else," Dipper said, sitting down. Bill shifted to his human form and sat across from the boy.
"What's up?" Bill asked.
"You know Ford pretty well, right?"
"Well, yeah. I've been in his head."
"Do you think he'd be accepting to, ah, someone like me?"
"I should sure hope so. Why?"
"Well, he keeps calling me a girl, and I wanna come out to him, but I don't want him to not let me on adventures anymore."
"I think you should just tell him, Pine Tree. If he doesn't accept you, then he's a jerk and I'll kill him."
"Uhm. Okay. Please don't kill him? He may be a jerk, but he's still family."
"Oh, all right. I'll wait to kill him till I take over the world."
"Guess that's all I can ask."
"So why does he think you're a girl, anyway?"
"He read me as female when he first arrived, and I guess he hasn't been paying enough attention to realize how everyone else calls me male."
"Yeah, he's never been the greatest at observational skills. But, look, Pine Tree. I've been in Sixer's head. I know, that he'll accept you. Don't worry."
"I gotta go, Pine Tree. Important World Domination planning meeting."
"All right. Bye, Bill. Thanks."
"Later, Pine Tree."
Dipper sat up and looked around, rubbing his eyes. Bill had been. . . surprisingly helpful. Dipper knew what to do. Next time Ford called him a girl, he would laugh and say that he was a boy, like it was something that should have been obvious. Seemed a great idea.
His moment came at dinner that night.
"Hey, Grunkle Ford, can Dipper and I go on your next monster hunt?" Mabel asked.
"Of course. I'd love to have my two favorite girls in the world along," Ford said. Mabel looked at Dipper.
Dipper laughed, "You know I'm a boy, right?" Ford dropped his fork and blushed. Stan sucked his lips in, like he was holding back a laugh as Ford stammered.
"O-oh. I, uh, I am so s-sorry, Dipper. I didn't- you look- I guess I." Ford sighed, "I'm sorry."
"Nah, don't worry about it. Can we still go on the monster hunt?" Dipper replied.
"Well, of course. I still need my favorite niece and nephew along," Ford said.
Dipper grinned at Mabel, happy now that both of his grunkles recognized him for who he truly was.