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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pride Month Challenge - Day 7

This post is part of a series originally called "30 Day LGBT Challenge" which asks queer-related questions to be answered during Pride Month.  The original questions can be found here.

Day 7: How your parents took it or how you think they might take it.

I'm in the position where I wish my parents were better at things but I also don't have a whole lot to complain about.

There was drama when I first came out as trans, because my mom turned it into a big joke, singing variations on "Dude Looks Like A Lady."  Both my parents also asked me very pointed questions when I did things like reject women's clothing gifted to me.

"Why?! Why didn't you take those shorts from your grandma?! Why?!"

I wrote a letter to them explaining why this was appropriate--I'm very shy and confronting them was not possible for me--and my mom exploded in drama for a couple nights.

Generally she pretty tolerant after that.

My dad has been fairly tolerant at the beginning, not going through the same bizarre mourning drama my mom did, but he was also the one who kept trying to get me to postpone hormones, leading up to a moment where I accidentally sliced my hand open while butchering a chicken because dad had lectured me on how I needed to learn to be patient (it had already been like five years).  I went anyway.

My parents still misgender me pretty much all the time, but they tolerate me and I'm able to keep enough distance to keep my sanity.

I do feel a lot of envy for trans people who have super active, accepting parents.  My roommate has been dating a trans woman who we met because her parents spoke at a trans rally, and I noticed on Facebook they've been active in trans-positive legislation and stuff like that.  Another local trans person's mom has basically become a mom to all the trans kids whose parents don't accept them.  I am envious that I don't have parents who would do that.

It's very sad that I feel obligated to feel super fortunate just because my parents didn't disown me.

My sexuality they have taken... weird.  And by "sexuality" for this particular post I'm going to include both my sexual orientation and my overall sexual tastes.

The reality is that I never actually told them about any of this in the sense of just "coming out."  I tend to talk about things incidentally, and when I do explicitly say something it kind of feels like they don't hear me.  I remember saying I was bisexual... I used this term multiple times... and my mom still was confused when I said something about a girl I had a date with.  It wasn't a big deal, but it was bizarre in its own way.  So I kind of gave up and just talk about life as it comes and explain if asked.

This is most evident in my polyamory.  I never "came out" as polyamorous to my parents.  I just let my family draw their own conclusions based on things like my relationship status on Facebook and the stories I tell.  So far there's like a mild question mark expression and that's about it.

Here's the advantage:  Long ago I already established myself as the odd child.  I was the one who didn't want to get married or have kids, who had the weird politics, who had the weird gender, who hung out with the queer people.  So casually mentioning, say, "I have a date" or "my partner has a date" when they have met my partner before elicits a very mild reaction, as does pretty much anything else I do.