Well, maybe I was a bit too hasty with my last post about my parents’s concerns over my transition. I’ve since met them – twice – and I think we’re all in a better place now.
So, yeah, I wrote that last post the second after I’d spoken to my sister, and she’d basically just given me a loads of bullet points about why what I’m doing could cause problems. I was really angry!
I’ve now had time to calm down – and the readers’ comments on that post have really helped a lot, so thanks a billion if you were one of the lovely people who wrote something.
I especially like this, from Soupy:
Speaking as a mother, when we give birth we (rightly) believe we have created perfection. Even many years later, any modification – tattoo, piercing eg – can be seen as a blight on our ‘perfect’ creation. From their point of view, your parents created you – and thought they’d done a pretty good job. Now you’re taking their ‘gift’ and changing it…
You’re spot on, my friend. I guess I was only looking at it all from my point of view – seeing all the changes (well, most of them) as positives. Having gender dysphoria means I never see my male self as anything like “perfection”.
But yep, I can now see that a mother who’s carried you around in her womb for nine months – and then spent years raising you to be the perfect little boy – could love me for the male she always saw me as, and could have difficulty with me changing the whole shooting match from blue to pink.
I arranged to meet them for lunch on Friday (my treat). We met at a lovely village pub and sat outside in the sunshine enjoying a beer, a meal and then some awesome coffees.
And it went really well. They both seemed relaxed and happy, and I was the same. I guess it helps that the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Everyone feels happier in the sunshine, don’t they?
We sat outside and we talked, and all of those bullet points were discussed, and I just answered them with the same answers I gave in my last post – although not with quite so much passion this time!
And they seemed to accept my answers. My Dad seems to be the one handling it better than my mum – he said she’d been a nightmare to live with over the previous week!
His biggest concern was about the reation from people at the football we go to. But I just said that any jibes would be from people who didn’t matter and that they probably wouldn’t last long. I also said that if anyone wanted to talk about it, I would talk to them, and try to educate them. And I reckon that will work with most people.
“Are you going to be wearing a dress?” He asked. No, Dad. How many women do you see down the ground wearing Laura Ashley? I shall be wearing girls’ jeans and tops, as I have at the last few hundred matches we’ve been to. And you didn’t even notice.
But my Dad’s being really cool about it. He asked lots of questions and seemed perfectly satisfied with the answers. I kind of thought my trans thing might be a bit of an elephant in the room with him, but not at all.
My mum is struggling more than my dad. But I think even she might be coming round now – it might just take her a bit more time.
She cried at one point, and I didn’t like that. That was at the part when I said: “Don’t think of it as losing a son. You’re not losing anyone, I’m still here. I’m still me, still the same person inside.”
My Dad replied with something like: “Don’t be daft! He’s still here, he’s still ‘uman!”
Love my Dad. We’ve become so much closer the last few years, mainly because we’ve started going to the football together – and we have a beer and a chat for a couple of hours beforehand. I just hope he stops making his trademark “stockings and suspenders” joke now, or I’ll hit him with my handbag!
When I was down at the Birmingham Royal Ballet last week, I spoke to Sophie Rebecca, who’s basically the UK’s top transgender ballet dancer.
She said that her mum is still “grieving the loss of a son”, and Sophie’s been “out” for ages. So it’s not just my mum. I guess, like everyone says, I just need to give her time.
I saw Mum and Dad yesterday when I popped round for Father’s Day. We didn’t talk too much about the trans thing, but I told them I was going to two hen parties, and it came up a couple of times. We were all relaxed and chatty again.
They still call me Andrew and use he/his pronouns, but I’m not too fussed about that. I hope they’ll try and call me Andie in good time. That’s how I signed the Father’s Day card, after a message thanking Dad for being so supportive.
My mum also gave me a few makeup tips, when I told her that one of my eyes was stinging – and she said it was probably from using an old mascara.
So that’s where we’re at now. I’ve told them I won’t update my name etc on Facebook until they’re ready – but I did say don’t take months and months either. I want to get it over and done with really, and then I’m “out” for real.
I still think it’s a shame that LGBT people have to “come out” in the first place. But I know that, if I don’t, my dream of HRT will be but a pipe dream.