trans talk

The thing about parents

The thing about parents

is that they are so predictably unpredictable.

Take, for instance, the coming out experience.
My girlfriend, who was only ever referred to as my boyfriend to my parents, was slated to meet them for the first time as we were leaving the country.  L.A. was our hello-goodbye pit-stop before our one-way flight to Tokyo.  Because my girlfriend was newly into her transition and she felt weird about the whole, “Nice to meet you, I’m actually a transsexual, please use my new name with correct pronoun as your daughter and I are moving halfway across the globe in six days” introduction, we decided to skip her coming out to my parents.

Oh parents…I suppose I wanted to keep this pre-move visit simple.  After all, I am that person who came out to them during a rare winter vacation stay, on Christmas Eve, many years ago when I was in a lesbian relationship.  Well, impulsively coming out to one’s not-so-socially-liberal family after holiday dinner probably wasn’t the smartest thing, especially regarding the crossroads of my expectations and their reactions.

My father: That’s abnormal, immediately followed by his leaving the dinner table and heading upstairs.  Case closed, i.e. I am not talking about this, i.e. if I ignore this it will go away?  This non-acknowledgement continued for quite a few years.
My mother: I always suspected something like this was happening (really?!).  Why didn’t you talk about this sooner? (hmm…maybe for the same reason that you couldn’t bring it up as well?).  Well, you really shouldn’t rush into anything (ok, duly noted).

After that long-term relationship ended, my mother had this to say: I always had doubts, felt you were unhappy and knew it wasn’t going to last (awesome, appreciate the honesty after the fact).

Fast forward to October 2012, we’ve been in Tokyo for a couple months and I (with the help of omnipresent Facebook) decide it’s time to have the my BF is a transsexual talk. My mother doesn’t take the news so well; I am informed via email that she needs to stop communicating with me until she has finished processing and please don’t tell your father about this.  Okay…

A few months after that, my mother started emailing me again, noticeably excluding the girlfriend from all conversations and I figure my dad is still none the wiser.

Oh, the parentals.

trans talk

I don’t want you to be a transsexual, dammit.

I don't want you to be a transsexual, dammit

Why can’t you just be a crossdresser?

I notice that soon after coming out as a crossdresser, my boyfriend is reading everything he can by and about transsexuals.  Did I bring that on by asking if his transgendered self stopped at crossdressing?  I’m not ready to deal with the huge adjustment that his being a transsexual would require.  And then there’s my gut, my ever-reliant intuition telling me that his coming out isn’t over.  Waiting to hear what seems to be the inevitable is HARD.  Also, I’m incredibly impatient.  If it’s news that will greatly impact me and change our relationship forever, I wanted to know yesterday, damn it.  So I push the question; I ask him with increasing frequency if he’s sure he’s not a transsexual even though my wiser self knows that I’m not ready to truly deal with his answer.

My brain is so mad at me:
Why can’t you just enjoy what might be the last moments of your hetero relationship as you know it?

Because knowing it could be the last makes it impossible for me to enjoy.
And I’d rather know now so I can start dealing.
And it’s already different…just anticipating how different it will be.

How about giving him the time he needs because it’s not all about you?

Fine, yes, I get that.  But this waiting is TORTURE.

And I am so. fucking. torn.  I  waver between being his supportive best friend and the girlfriend desperately trying to be okay with her boyfriend’s probable true coming out. Aside from the bottom dropping out of any future expectations of our relationship, the countdown is seriously upon us before Tokyo take-off.  My brain is quickly, quickly, not quickly enough trying to sort it out.  We have to sell off and pack up our American lives in less than six months, my boyfriend is talking all sorts of transgender, cisgender (which I apparently am 100%), agender, bigender, genderqueer, crossdresser vs. transvestite vs. transsexual and I’m…waiting, still waiting.

And then one day…
Rumi, I think I want to take hormones.
I’m a transsexual.

Of course you are, love.
And then I start to cry.

relationshipping, trans talk

How NOT to come out to your girlfriend

How NOT to come out to your girlfriend

How about not on ecstasy?

Especially if it’s your GF’s first time on E?

This is what I remember:
Consumption of bitter white powder and 15 minutes later, I’m reeling over the toilet as my body wants this poison out ASAP.  But it doesn’t come up and another 15 minutes later I think I start feeling pretty fuzzy and sedate.  My boyfriend joins me on the couch after his porch cigarette and we’re doing the ecstasy love-stare into each other’s eyes when…

Him: I have to tell you something.
*big, trepidatious sigh, pregnant pause*
I’m a crossdresser.
Me: Seriously?
Him: slowly nodding, Seriously.
Me: Okaaay…processing, processing, on MDMA, processing…I’m really glad you’re telling me this…I still love you. I believe we’re shedding some tears; his of relief and mine, sympathetic

And then I’m off the couch, über-happy, dancing to music (where did that lovely beat come from?) and I grab his hands.  Let’s dress you the way you want to be dressed!!!, I say.  I’m so fucking high and elated at this point and all I remember is a collage of pink, orange, white and blue fabrics and colored bras that I’m putting on my bf as I’m shown a remarkable collection of his heels. Wow.  The heel collection makes his confession hit home: my boyfriend really is a crossdresser. But that hit is short-lived as my emotions are still in a blissful E-tornado.

And then morning hits.

I feel like total crap.  I’m drained and my body is not impressed with the dose of toxins its been subjected to and my mind is trying to begin the morning-after sort.  After I re-realize that, yes, my boyfriend really did come out as a crossdresser last night, my emotions start to kick in. I suddenly have a zillion questions (since when? why now? does anyone else know? what does this mean? is this a precursor to something more? etc. etc.),  I’m confused for the future and I’m pissed (was it his plan to dope me ridiculously happy so I would give him the reaction he wanted?!!!). And WTF is this dreadful feeling in the pit of my stomach saying, “there’s more…”?  The trifecta of anger-suspicion-mistrust is the main reason why I suggest not coming out to your partner on mind-bending drugs.

Mostly unbeknownst to us, it will have turned out to be the 1st chapter of an entirely new relationship.