Tuesday, December 4, 2012

All in the Family

While I would say that my transition has proceeded rather well. It has not all been without it's share of problems or issues.

Most notably would be my brother.

Sadly he and I have not talked since last November.

It is not like I have not tried too. In fact I attended his youngest son's graduation this last June. I was invited by not only my nephew but his mother too(my Brothers ex). Even in light of all that changed they absolutely wanted me there. My Ex-sister-in-law even moved to sit with us after she came to the ceremony. Choosing to sit with myself and my parents, than near my brother.

(My nephews and their mom were great never getting my name or nouns wrong and I even was referred to as Aunt Kelli. I did not even ask for that part I would have been happy with just Kelli.)

As for my brother, I am going to say he did not.

He remained on the other side of the auditorium from me. I caught more than a few gestures my way which did not appear flattering.

Worse still was when we all gathered outside after the conclusion of the commencement and I made a point to walk up to him and say 'hello'.

To which all i got in return was not a single word and the cold shoulder.

Which upset my father a great deal, but more on him later.

Another thing was some of my extended family, specifically the ones I mentioned here. Have not all been as accepting as first appeared.

What has tricked down to me was "Well we don't want our kids around you because it would be too confusing for them."

They have even stated one of the kids 'read' something in a certain religious text and stated he found it wrong because of this.

The truly crazy part of it is that his Aunt, my cousin who was telling me this, found it as out of character as I did. This child is so deeply rooted in logic, technology and science in a family that isn't deeply religious, that for this comment to made was incredibly odd.

Contradicting the older adult children in the family, who are more religious, who do not have an issue.

Personally I feel that this story was told as an excuse to avoid having the kids around me. That it wasn't actually said.

This is highly irritating because in all my experiences with kids, most of them(and I am referring to preteens twelve and under) will follow suit with whatever the parents do.

I even supplied this information of how to explain it to them.

"Tell them that [His name] will now be referred to as Kelli and will be a girl from this point forward. If they ask why. Then you tell them because she with the help of a few doctors felt this was medically necessary."

Children often will just say, oh okay and go back to playing. From there on out they will follow along with the parents. Most of the confusion stems from when they get told something like this and the parents fail to follow up themselves. i.e. the parents use the wrong name and the child will ask but I thought they were called [new name] now?"

It really is that simple. There is no need to elaborate on it and in time they will not ever really recall the other persona.

What this situation tells me is two things. They haven't accepted it themselves, be it they are don't want to understand it, are embarrassed, or they are disgusted by it, or feel it is wrong for whatever reason.

They simply are unwilling to talk to their kids for five minutes and go from there. Odds are few if any questions will arise. I even told them if it does come that they can bring the questions to me and I will give them an easy way to answer it if they felt they did not know how too.

Obviously they do not care. See excuses above.

Oh well. I have this odd feeling I'll find out for sure come this Christmas when we have our big family gathering on that side Christmas Eve. Most of these people would be in attendance and I do plan on going.

We shall see.

It ultimately does not matter since I know I am planning on moving out of my home state sometime in the near future. As much as I would like to hang onto family I also know I cannot make anyone like me.

The one other issue that I have been dealing with is my father. He surprised me earlier this year by finally opening up and talking to me. He allowed me to take him out for dinner on his birthday and a few other little things.

I had though that since we attended a few graduations parties and he saw the rest of the family talk to me like a normal person. Welcoming me and taking the time to get to know version 2.0 of me. That the ice started to break up a bit.

Sadly I don't think this is going to hold up since in recent weeks he has finally talked to my mom a bit and the impression I get from her is that he is not taking it well...still.

I don't know yet, her and I have a dinner scheduled soon, to catch up and she was going to discuss more of it with me then.

This is all just a sad reminder that there are some very closed minded people still out in the world. That no matter what I do they will not see past there own personal problems or beliefs. It also bothers me that they might not attend a family function just because of my presence. While they might feel relief from the issue I guarantee that they do not realize how hurtful it is to me.

This is the paradox of being trans. We go to great lengths to be ourselves. Which is hopefully a far better and happier person. Truly allowed to be ourselves. Yet the fear, misunderstandings or misguided beliefs of others will not let them treat a human being as such.

Oh well it is what it is. There is nothing I can to do make them think anything different.

Such is the life of being Trans.


Stace said...

Sorry to hear about your brother, and your dad. I have had few people who did not want to meet me, and one who said that when he did he would not use Stacy.

Then, when he eventually did, he was perfect. Once he saw me he treated me as me. I was really proud of him for doing it.

Then I have an aunt who is struggling so much, but she is at least trying. She wants to meet up the next time we are in the UK. This is after something approaching 18 months. Hopefully she will get used to the idea.

Good luck for the family get together, it should be something to look forward to, not get stressed over!


Cassidy said...

I second everything Stace said. And yes, it's ironic that we do this to finally be ourselves, and to be happy... and others choose not to accept that.

I'm preparing to tell my family after the holidays; I hope they take after your Mom. No matter their response, I already know I've made the right decision, and that is all that truly matters.

Best of luck on Christmas Eve, Kelli (not that you'll need it)!

Hugs as always,

LeAnne said...

Sharing some of the same issues as yourself concerning family, there is one piece of information that we fail to realize when it comes to being accepted by them.

That one thing, is time.

WE have had most of our lives, years and years, to deal with these issues of whom we are before deciding to do something about it and then suddenly, out of the blue and without warning, we tell those we love what is happening and how much we would love them to understand and if they don't understand, at least show us a little respect.

As you see, these people are late coming to this little party of ours and I could not possibly expect them to accept me with open arms (especially the men) because it is so brand new and confusing. Some I do not expect will ever come around and others, surprise the hell out of me without hesitation.

I take what I can get, and ignore the rest having spent too many years searching for myself while making sacrifices for the sake of others to be the person they wanted me to be. So if they want to come back to the party the door is always open, and I will be waiting.