Oh, what should I write about today? Maybe the first time D told me he wanted to be a boy, since that’s where this journey really got started. Yeah, let’s go with that one.
Summer. Hot as heck. Trip out to my bestie’s family cabin. My fiancee and I had run back to town to pick up some extra supplies, because we had decided to stay. We brought his brother back out with us, because he’d wanted to see the cabin. I got back and the bestie says, “I think you better talk to your daughter.” D heard this and ran back inside the cabin to hide. I asked the bestie what was up and he said, “Well, we better ask her if it’s okay to talk since she ran away and hid.” D gave him permission to disclose with D standing off to the side. “She feels like a he,” the bestie told me. D had arms crossed, fists clenched, and a red face 😦 My fiancee, B, stood there, wide-eyed and open-mouthed. His brother put his head down and let out a slow breath. Then all at once everyone looked at me, gauging my reaction. I knew the next few moments would be the most important in my whole life. I knew my reaction could make or break our relationship forever.
I looked at him with tears in my eyes. “Is this how you really feel?” His eyes welled up with tears, too. He nodded. I first wiped the tears from my own face and then his. I grabbed him and hugged him so hard, he pushed away. “Mom, can’t breathe.” I relaxed my hold a little bit. We laughed. “I know, babe. I know. Can you give us a minute?” He went over the creek bridge with his brother and sister. I hung my head. Then I looked up. “Okay, tell me, how did this all get started?”
My bestie told me D expressed a need to talk to him. The bestie, we’ll call him C, said, “I don’t know why she chose to tell ME this.” Well, duh. You see my bestie is a gay man that at this point had been my best friend for 3 years. More about that part of my life later, as he’s an integral part of my healing process. “Umm, C, you’re gay.” He gave me a confused look. “D probably felt like you were the safest person because you’ve dealt with adversity your whole life, too.” Recognition sunk in. “And you’re my best friend, and you have this insane ability to calm me when my anxiety kicks in and I start to freak out.” He chuckled. “So? What’s going through your mind, Mama?” I knew it was time to choose my words very carefully. B and his brother had yet to say anything. They were both still staring at me wondering what was going to come out of my unpredictable little potty mouth next.
“I knew it was coming.” More sharp intakes of breath, including C’s. “What?!” I exclaimed. I was getting hostile. “She’s always been rough and tumble. And in second grade I was informed she was passing notes to little girls. I just knew she would either be a lesbian or transgender.” I shrugged my shoulders. “Are you sure you’re not mad?” C asked me. “No, not mad, not sad, just dreading the road ahead.” But … I lied. I was mad. Not because my daughter wanted to be my son, but because the next few years were already going to be some hard ones. D was just starting 4th grade that year. His classmates wouldn’t understand. His teachers wouldn’t either. All they would see is a little girl trying to be tough. And it would be hard. They would be mean, rotten assholes (yes, I totally just went there). And I didn’t want that. And I was sad. Sad about all the pain that would be inflicted on my sweet, genuinely confused kid. Sad that his father’s conservative family would never understand and never accept my son as who he really was. The agony that would cause him made my soul quiver with fear, sadness and anger.
The next few hours were a blur of activity, parenting suggestions from my friends trying to be helpful and a mix of emotions ranging from relief because I knew the truth to absolute fury that they insisted D would eventually change his mind. Honestly? I knew he wouldn’t. He’d felt that way for far too long. I knew it in my soul he did, just didn’t want to believe it until he told me. And then I felt guilty for not wanting to believe it. I felt like a terrible parent. And this back and forth guilt and disbelief is something I’ve struggled with ever since. Until now.
Now, I’m determined he’ll have the life he wants despite his “family” trying to prevent it. Despite the area doctors not knowing what the hell D is let alone how to treat him. Despite everyone trying to convince me that D will go through puberty and settle down and decide he’s really a lesbian, not a “dude trapped in a girl.” Yes, I’ve had people say those things and it hurts. Not people who don’t know me. People who do know me, and D. People who claim to love us for who we are, but still refuse to accept us. This is not just his journey after all, it is also mine. And to hell with those people. Even those who just don’t get it yet. You will, and eventually you will probably apologize. And you might even come to terms and accept him as he is and accept my support and love of him. But, until then … shut up, because, fuck you.
That might seem a little harsh. And perhaps it is. But I’ve had a hell of a work day. And I’m cold – shivering, in fact. I’m in Northern Montana and my job kept me out past freezing. I started work at 8 a.m. and didn’t get off work until 7, so forgive me if I sound a little cranky. I wish you all well, I wish you all love and most of all, I wish you acceptance. TTFN!