Sophmoric Slump No More

On November 8, 2011, I reported on this blog that I had received a letter from my parents regarding my name change. They told me if I didn’t change it back, my legal documents would be invalid and that they would never call me by my name.

They had a point. But they do call me ‘Kiddo’ now.

One year ago I still had a baby face and a nine months of artificial testosterone in my body. Now, I haven’t turned into He-man® or evolved into artificial intelligence, and you better believe I’m still holding a candle for the day that my transition turns me into Optimus Prime. But I can say with every fiber of my being that I am happier than I was a year ago, two years ago, five years ago! That is simply the most beautiful thought in my mind.

Since then, I’ve received a handful of letters from my parents. They’ve been in the same tone – never/ ever/ not even once. My mother tried to keep contact with me through the intensely personal medium of google chat. I tried to sever contact. We met in the middle.

But a magical thing happened in the following summer months. Our local PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends, of Lesbians and Gays (and invisible Trans people)) chapter president is a dear friend of mine. When familial conflict was at its worst, she scooped me up and took me for coffee. She tried so hard to see through my parents’ eyes and called them names when she could not. At Pride this year, for which she smooth talked me into volunteering, laid an envelope on the information table that was ready to be stuffed full of relevant LGBT publications and mailed free and anonymously by PFLAG. Without much of a second thought, I raided the table of trans-related booklets and sent them packing off to sweet old Georgia.

The booklets fell on deaf ears for months. I continued to painfully tell my mother I would not speak with her until she met my demands of unburying her head from the sand. Six months later, a google email notification window flashed for my attention.

“I did read the pamphlets you sent but have to admit I don’t fully understand the whole thing yet, maybe you can elaborate on it? It seems very complicated to me!”

Time passed again and it seemed the question was asked to con me into talking. Three weeks later:

“I’ve been thinking about questions to ask you and one is how different does it feel to have male hormones in your body and how different do you feel from being feminine? Hope this isn’t too intrusive.”

My friends, it’s progressing at the rate of a thawing iceberg but there is forward movement at all. Forward movement that lays the smallest amount of salve onto bitter open wounds caused by sharp words and debilitating silence.  I choose to re-open my blog with updates about my parents because, in the last year, I have been so much more than a strained parental relationship. This blog churned with the fodder of their hatred, ignorance, and fear. And one day, I stopped caring so much. I’m picking this blog back up in my sophomoric year of physical transition to hand out some more anecdotes and see what happens. 

3 Responses to “Sophmoric Slump No More”
  1. Eli says:

    Your struggle with your folks puts my (minor) struggle with my dad into some relevant perspective.

    You have my condolences, really, because this is a matter to mourn, the ignorance of our loved ones.

    This is a difficult uphill battle you are waging, no doubt you don’t need me to tell you that. But I wanted you to know I see it, and am sending healing thoughts your way, whatever they may be worth.

    Good luck, buddy.


  2. Jess says:

    I am glad there is some progress. It makes me sad that there has to be any big deal made, but I guess even slow, small changes are a plus.

    Side note: I am very excited to read your blog again! 🙂

  3. Katie Cahill says:

    As always, wishing you the best of luck in bringing your parents to see the light and accepting you for who you are. I recall their narrow-mindedness being a major downfall to your relationship with them long before your transgender journey began. So to an outsider like myself, who experiencess the timeline of YOUR life from more of a year-to-year perspective than a day-to-day perspective, this is pretty amazing progress. Not to downplay they’re lack of acceptance and understanding, or the pain they’ve inflicted, in any way. Merely putting a positive spin on what feels like glacial progress. I hope that they will prove to be have a capacity for acceptance, understanding, and genuine interest in the person you’ve become beyond your expectations.

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