I think the title sums up the events of the week for our family when it comes to trans-related issues in our family. Obviously, as any family with a transgender child will tell you, and as I wrote last week, trans is just one facet of our family. It does not define who Fab is, and it does not define who we are as a family, but it is a part of our life that we are always aware of, especially when national events force us to think about it.
The kids went to visit their grandparents for the week (my busiest work week of the year), and I went to court for Fab’s name change. Living where we live, and the things you hear does lend a certain nervousness to the event. All that said, the day couldn’t have gone any better. I was one of the last people to go before the judge, and while she asked others seeking name changes for children the reason why, she did not ask that of me, and in less than five minutes I was done and down in the clerk’s office to get the name change orders. Fab was happy to hear it when we shared the news on the phone, and while we didn’t think it was a big issue to her, we found out otherwise the week before when she was at the doctor’s and saw the paperwork with her old name still on it. It was a solid win for us, and another step towards getting all her official documents to match who she really is.
Trump…do I need to say anymore? Reversing guidance that helps to make our kids feel safe and protected is not only irresponsible, but stupid as well. Based upon comments before becoming president, I honestly don’t think he personally cares where transgender students pee, but his base and those around him do…so for me this is pandering of the worst kind. Mom’s anger and fear for Fab is growing as a result of this kind of stuff, among other things, and I hate to see her feeling this way. Fab, for now, gets to live in a bubble we’ve created. We know she is aware of more than she lets on, but there is much we are still able to shield her from, and we are thankful for that.
For me, the removal of guidance was mostly symbolic. A Texas court had put a halt to Obama’s guidance almost immediately, and so it hasn’t been in effect. Gavin Grimm’s case will go before the Supreme Court in March, and for me this whole issue was always going to come down to Gavin’s case. If the Supreme Court finds in favor or splits, then Gavin, and all transgender kids will be able to use the bathroom of their choice, regardless of what President Orange thinks. Granted, it doesn’t help that the executive branch has removed its support of Gavin, but the Supreme Court does not exist in a vacuum, and I have to hope they will do the right thing. Fab already uses the ladies room most of the time, and as of yet she doesn’t mind using the clinic bathroom at school. However, we know the day is coming where she will start to care, and my hope is that before the next school year begins that SCOTUS will deliver it’s ruling, and it will be in favor of all transgender students rights.
By ugly, I am talking about people, and with all that is going on in the world, both Mom and I find it harder to stay silent, and we are no longer hiding who Fab is from those we know, which means if we haven’t told them yet then we are no longer going to hide it when someone asks us “How are the boys?”. Mom dealt with a co-worker on Friday who asked this question. This is a woman that my wife has never really cared for, because the woman is ignorant on a wide variety of subjects, and a Trump voter. She is one of the many who thought the Affordable Care Act was different from Obamacare, to clarify the level this woman is informed on. Anyways, she asked Mom “How are the boys?” and Mom told her that we actually have a son and a daughter. She then shared about Fab, and showed her a picture. The woman responded with, “Well, at least she’s lucky she is pretty,” and Mom went off on her using language she was not proud of. Another co-worker stepped in to explain why that statement was offensive to my wife. All women should get why it is offensive without explanation, as if the worth of a woman is determined purely by her beauty. However, if you take it a step further and apply it to transgender girls/women such a statement becomes even more offensive.
I am a man because that is what I am. I just know it. How masculine, muscular, handsome I am has nothing to do with it. Now, Fab is a girl. She has known this for a long time in her heart. Living as a girl makes her feel normal in her own skin. Living as a boy never felt right to her, and caused her the stress of always pretending. She did not transition because she thought she would be a pretty girl, she transitioned because that is who she is. Certainly most of us like to look our best, and I’ve discussed before, as parents, it makes us breathe easier that she will never have to go through male puberty, but telling a transgender person that they’re lucky they’re pretty or that they pass is insulting…period. Not all cis-gendered women are pretty, or thin, or super feminine in the binary sense, but that doesn’t discount who they are as women, so why should it discount a transgender girl’s identity as a girl? People need to think before they open their mouths sometimes. I’m just glad that Mom didn’t punch her, as I’ve said Mom’s been on edge for awhile now.
Finally, I got to deal with an old friend who told me that he doesn’t agree with the whole transgender thing on Facebook. I’m in no way close to this guy, and haven’t seen him since high school, so it really wasn’t skin off my back. He ended up deleting his posts after I went after him online. This is in large part because while his statements were bigoted, he didn’t seem to get that until after I laid it out. Even then, I still wonder if he got it, or deleted his posts because he was afraid others would see him as a bigot.
When someone tells me they “don’t agree” with the transgender thing, they are telling me they don’t agree that my child should be able to exist as herself. If you take a moment and substitute “trans” thing with “black” thing, “Latino” thing, or “Jew” thing…how does that paint a person who says such things? Just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it is wrong or incorrect. My statement led to the man telling me he worries about the safety of his son and daughter…which is also shadow speak for “trans people are perverts.” I told him he should worry more about cis-men he knows as they are the ones most likely to assault his children. I invited him to share his data on evil trans-predators, but as I said he deleted his thread without ever sharing…because it is all bullshit.
My hope is that perhaps it made him think, and will continue to make him think. I can’t know for sure, as I probably will never have contact with him again. I dropped him as a FB friend, because if someone sees my kid’s existence as a “joke” then that is someone who will not be in any part of my life.
On another note
The kids came home from their grandparents yesterday, and we are thrilled to have them home. After spending all day in the car to go and get them, this leaves me with one day for my weekend, and so on that note I’m going to stop writing and go spend some quality time with my little monkeys.