I wrote on here a few weeks back how happy I was that Annie’s mum had invited me to her local hen night, her hen weekend in Leeds and her wedding – with a place on the top table, no less. Now it seems she’s not the trans ally I thought she was.
Right now, at 4.49pm on this Saturday, I should be sitting outside a bar in Leeds with Annie and all the girls on the hen weekend. But I have been barred from attending for the same reason I was invited in the first place – because I’m transgender – and so I’m just getting text updates from Annie instead.
Let me rewind… a few weeks ago, when Annie and I were just good friends, there was no problem at all with me being trans.
Annie’s mum and stepdad-to-be, let’s call them Betty and Clark, were fine with me being trans, and they said I could wear whatever I wanted to wear at the wedding.
I spoke to them all about my transition, about what it means to be non-binary, everything. I showed them photographs. And they seemed fine with the whole thing. They even let me share a bed with Annie at their house a few times when we’d all been to the pub together. So all very liberal and great.
Things changed when we went on the hen night in Derby a month ago. I wrote about that night here, saying that Annie and Betty had had words, but I couldn’t really remember much about it.
It transpires that Annie and I had been getting on rather well and that Betty had seen us kissing – outside one bar and inside another.
We’d shared a few kisses by this point. I wanted to start dating but Annie will be the first to admit that she had put up something of a wall. It wasn’t the fact that I’m trans that put her off but the 21-year age gap and the fact that she struggled in terms of falling for people.
That wall now lies in ruins and we’ve agreed that the age gap doesn’t matter one jot. She seems to have fallen pretty deeply for me (yay!) We’ve made a promise that we’ll get married and we’ve frozen sperm so that we can begin a family via IVF in a few years’ time. It’s a beautiful whirlwind but, a month ago, things were different.
So Betty and Annie had a bit of a chat and basically demanded to know what was going on. Annie told her that she’d love a relationship with me – but was concerned about the age gap.
Betty then got in touch with me and said she wanted to come round to my house to talk to me. So she did. I made her a nice cup of tea in my best Minnie Mouse mug and we had a chat.
It was all very calm and I listened to what she had to say. She asked me if we were seeing each other and I replied no – but that I’d like to. I explained that Annie and I had just decided not to put any dating/relationship labels on what was happening and just see how things went.
I said I was happy with that. Obviously, I wanted a relationship but, if nothing developed, I’d have been happy with having made an amazing friend.
She didn’t seem convinced and said that Annie wasn’t telling me everything. It was pretty clear that Annie wasn’t telling her everything either. For instance, we’d made love twice by this point.
What else? Oh yes, she said she didn’t want Annie staying at my house anymore (but admitted she was powerless to stop her).
In terms of the hen weekend, She’d earlier said I could still go but that Annie and I could no longer share a room together.
Speaking at my house, she said I wouldn’t be welcome at the hen weekend because I’d looked “meek” during the hen night. I wasn’t meek. I felt super confident and sassy – read the blog about it – and she was afraid I might get beaten up “by a homophobe”…
I’d already been kicked off the top table at the wedding a week or so earlier and told that I could sit on a table full of gay people. Riiiiiiight. She then banned me from the ceremony and reception altogether.
Oh, and if I did stay over at their house again (fat chance), I’d have to sleep on the sofa bed downstairs, so not even on the same floor as Annie, let alone the same room.
So after months and months of building up my confidence and happiness, I’d been kicked where it hurts by Annie’s mum – someone who I used to think was a trans ally. She was basically saying: stay away from my daughter, or else.
A day or so later, Annie talked and she told me she just wanted to be friends. I was dead upset and cried my eyes out. So did she. It felt like she was being backed into a corner and was taking the easy option. We’d both obviously got feelings for each other.
Another day or so later, we met up as friends to go foraging for elderflower – we were going to make some elderflower champagne. We had a lovely day in the sunshine and decided to round it off by heading to the pub for a drink.
A bottle of prosecco was ordered and we sat in the beer garden overlooking the town where I live, chatting and getting on famously, as we always do.
Then Annie began to get text messages from her mum, asking where she was. She’d earlier told Clark that she was with a friend – then she confessed that she was seeing me and that were picking elderflower. Hardly the crime of the century, is it?!
Betty went balistic. She demanded that Annie return home at once – or that she’d call her dad. Annie just kept saying: “What have I done wrong? I’m just having a glass of prosecco with a friend in a beer garden.”
But I was clearly Public Enemy No 1 and Betty was in no mood to tell her what she’d done wrong (I guess that was because she’d done nothing wrong – but she was sitting wih someone trans, the horrors!)
So Annie stayed where she was and I told her she was more than welcome to stay at mine that night. This went down like a lead balloon with Betty, obvs.
Then Annie called her dad (getting in there first), who was very cool and trans-friendly and pointed out that Annie’s an adult and can do what the hell she likes (just don’t get pregnant!)
There were more phone calls, more messages. Betty said Annie should watch Coronation Street, which has a storyline (apparently) about a guy grooming a teenager for sex.
“You’re being groomed and you can’t see it!” where her exact words to Annie. What the actual fuck?! Not only inaccurate on so many levels but I was being labelled as some kind of sex offender. Fuck off, Betty, you absolute nutter!
There were words thrown about like “sick” and “wrong”. And then I got a text from Clark, a kick-boxer, which said: “Me and you need a private chat somewhere.”
How threatening is that?! Let me remind you, dear reader, that I had done (and still have done) absolutely nothing wrong. All I’ve done is fall in love with Annie and treat her like a princess. What a bastard I am! Needless to say, I didn’t reply.
The rest of that night was beautiful. We ordered another bottle of prosecco, and another and another. We were sloshed but we didn’t care. We were falling in love. Brick by brick, the wall came down and, by the end of the night she told me to propose to her.
I nearly did! I said I wanted to – but give me chance because if I were to propose, I’d want to do it properly, with a ring, a beautiful location and a few appropriate words – not pissed as farts at the Black Swan at closing time.
We spoke about moving away and starting a new life in Australia. And the next morning, nothing had changed – it still hasn’t. We’ve made a promise about marriage and we’d still like to emigrate. Exciting times!
It’s a crazy situation, but it all feels so right for both of us. No doubts for either Annie or me. I’ve heard of those couples who “just know” before but never really believed in that before now. But now I just know. So I’m going with it.
Annie’s been staying with me most nights since – she’s all but moved in now. Betty and Clark have backed off, presumably because they can see they were pushing Annie away.
A couple of weeks ago, my wedding ban was lifted – but Betty said I could only go to the evening do – and only then if I was “dressed as a man”.
She also told me she accepted we were in a relationship – but told me not to take Annie to any gay clubs or involve her in LGBT “social circles”. FFS!
I saw them both on Thursday night and Annie and I briefly popped in to their house. It felt very awkward and even more so when Annie ran upstairs for a minute to get some things, leaving me to chat to Betty.
So I made polite conversation and asked if she was looking forward to the wedding. She said she was – and said she’d love to see me there at the evening do.
I said I’d love to go but that I couldn’t because I didn’t like being told what to wear. I said I’d not done anything wrong and that nobody but her (and Clark) would give a f*ck about what I wore. Most people would think I was a woman anyway. I’m not gonna brag – but I look hot!
Besides, why should I go to an evening do when I’ve been kicked off the top table and then the ceremony itself? Not to mention the hen weekend.
Annie came downstairs at this point and then we left. We argued soon afterwards – and that felt awful. I said she should have stood up for me but Annie said: “She’s still my mum.”
We made up soon afterwards, but everything was still a little strained that night, and the next day. There were a few tears. I think it was just the culmination of a month of agro from Betty and Clark and it got the better of Annie. And me.
However, the hen weekend has involved a fair bit of drama, with Annie yesterday accusing Betty of being a transphobic bigot! See, she did stand up for me – she was just biding her time.
She’s also said lots of nice things about me and her to the other 17 (I think) women on the hen weekend and I’m getting loads of positive comments from them. One lady said to Betty: “Would you ban me from the wedding if I turned up in a gents’ suit?”
The reply: “No, but it’s my wedding… I’m not a bigot… I’m worried about what people might think if Andie turns up dressed as a lady.”
I’m Annie’s partner. How awful that Annie can’t be with her partner at the wedding purely because of transphobia!
And yet when Andie and Annie were “just good friends” she had no such concerns. Funny that, eh? It seems she was perfectly happy to be a trans ally so long as it didn’t involve her precious little girl.
So long as all her friends and family at the wedding didn’t know that her daughter was in a relationship with someone transgender. Cos that what it all boils down to.
So now my confidence about being trans, which was sky high a month ago, is now pretty low again. I should have done the “big reveal” on Facebook by now – but I keep putting it off and putting it off because I’m feeling scared about what people might think again.
Thanks for that, Betty. You sure know how to make a girl feel good.