August 20th, 2012

Hippo

Week 40: Also, your home is "a dark place"

So the phone call happened. I'm not gonna say I'm SURPRISED by the reaction my parents came forth with, but I'm still disappointed. It's VERY easy to slip into cynicism because SO much of their response was so blindingly ignorant and hateful. They resent me turning my back on the church, so they blame my "hardship" on my lack of spirituality. What's difficult to explain to them is the nature of my "hardship". My HARDSHIP isn't being Trans. My hardship was being a boy. I fixed the glitch. My presentation is going to listen to my identity, 'cuz the reverse sure as shit wasn't working out.

They IMMEDIATELY went into defensive mode. Everything out of their mouths was "Here's what we need to do for you to not be trans". There was an immediate "You need to see a therapist"; when I told them I'd seen three, they said "Well, sure, you saw YOUR therapists". And they told me that there are plenty of gay people who've had prayer programs "fix" them and horrible evil poisonous shit. They told me that I'll always be a son to them (despite the fact that I explained how that statement doesn't convey the happy reassurance it should) and that my relationship with them will just have to be over the phone. What was kinda gutting me was them repeatedly saying "Why are you even calling us with this?". That they see it as SUCH a fucked up horrible shameful STATE OF BEING that I should just suffer and, y'know, "Deal with it" on my own without pissing them off with more godless hedonism.

*sigh* SEE? CYNICISM. I'm putting words into their mouths and making my position more sympathetic then theirs. It's easy to do because I'm hurting and their position is one of such moral superiority, but it doesn't HELP me to be uncharitable. It TOTALLY helped get my feet on the ground to discuss some-a this stuff with a dude I used to work with. He's strong in the faith, and he and I don't see eye-to-eye on a LOT of levels. We do alright because we respect each other and accept that we're seeking our own answers and our own path. Talking to him about my parents was really interesting. I'm used to MOST of my peers being atheist (or at least non-Christian), so it's easy to fall back on "Ha ha they have different beliefs than I do so it's easy to other them and mock them", but with this dude I need to asnswer for my shit. HE prays for me, and I don't resent it. So when grousing about my parents offer to "pray for me", I needed to make sure I was on my shit. The difference? He prays for my happiness and for my serenity. He wishes me well. My parents pray that I'm not Trans any more. That I won't be queer. They have a warped notion of who they expect me to be, and the person they THINK I should be stopped being me at around five years of age (if it was EVER truly "me"), I think. It's just... It's SO POISONOUS to tell me "Well, y'know. Just be more of a man and pray a bunch, and God will help you deal with this horrible affliction." Dad didn't ask God to "help him cope" when he needed bypass surgery. Doing so would have killed him. And I TRIED to explain to mom an' Paps why I needed to transition and what it meant to me to NOT do so... But y'know. They're coming from a position where the answers are clear. They KNOW God's plan for me, and even if I don't care about it or believe in it, I'm in the wrong for defying it. They KNOW I'm a boy. It's unthinkable that any answer could be in any other direction. It's frustrating, but none of us actually WANT to hurt each other. I'm trying to hold on to that.

Hearing mom repeat over and over again "YOU ARE A MAN" was not something I appreciated. I explained to them both as calmly as I could that they were entitled to their reactions. I didn't NEED them to accept me as their daughter or support me in decisions they found morally reprehensible. But this is real, and it's not going away. I explained to them that if they used male pronouns with me, it would make me unhappy. I'm not TELLING them what they can do or how to believe and feel, but I will explain the consequences of their actions. At the end of the followup phonecall this past weekend, dad said "we hate to see our... child in pain". It's not much, but anything's better than a COMPLETE wall of unacceptance.

I don't even know WHY it's such a big deal that they accept me as their daughter. I think I'm just resentful of playing the game. The whole "I have viewpoints and you have viewpoints and we can disagree but be civil" sort of feels shitty when they're defending the oppression of queer folks and horrible elitism. They fight AGAINST marriage equality. What type of shit is that? And they were throwing ALL of this at me during my phone call. I was hearing how the world was turning against their values, and how it's becoming a wicked place and they don't know where they fit anymore (and I mean, that's a horrible feeling I guess, but I can't feel THAT much sympathy for someone whoi's losing their "right" to treat sexual minorities like second-class citizens or sick deviants or whatever). I know they're in a rough spot, and I don't WANT to turn the heat up, but yeah. They have a daughter now.

On the domestic side of things, my support system was in FULL effect. In addition to the fella I was mentioning above (y'know, I don't even know if he's COOL with me bein' Trans. I don't actually think he is. But I know he's cool with me being happy and seeking truth. Fucking RESPECT. For real.), my sweetie-pie was AMAZING supportive. She was bunkered up headphone style during the conversation itself (the shit makes her SOOOO NERVOUS), but afterwards she held me an' wouldn't let go. There's a lot of fights I've had with her and there's a lot of pain SHE still needs to work out and there's a lot she doesn't understand... but she's in my corner and wants my happiness. I'd be lost without her. Then there was my dear darling friend I mentioned a couple of entries ago... my "big sister"? She was literally holding my hand through th' conversation. It was SUPER important for me to be able to give my sweetie space and comfort for this, but god DAMN it was good to have someone there in the trenches with me, experiencing this. All the friends in the world can feel a million miles away sometimes. That evening? It was friends and movies and pot and alcohol and support and love and fuck it.

I was about to write "I can do this", but I don't even have or NEED that certainty. I simply AM doing this. And for all the disruption this will cause with my parents, I'm happy that I was honest with them. They have a right to know this stuff, I think. And my friends, th' scores of folks who popped up on Twitter an' Email just to tell me "right on", to my sister holding my hand, friends to commiserate and discuss with, and my darling, dear beloved sweetie pie... I'm overwhelmed by the support I DO have.

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