Still okay.

Someone wrote…

I’m afraid to tell my mom, who’s been struggling with trying to understand the whole genderqueer part of me, that although I’m physically transitioning to be read as male, that I’m still okay with being called her daughter.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on October 23rd, 2010 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 8 comments »

8 Responses to “Still okay.”

  1. Adrien

    Go for it. I’m young yet, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that oversimplifying or dumbing-down your gender will only make it harder for people to truly understand you.


  2. Erin

    omg. as soon as i read this i started tearing up. I am home from college right now (like seriously as i type this i am sitting in my parents dinning room with them in the living room) and i am finally able to wear my binder around my parents. My mom askes me about it, but I am the one who feels akward, but I really wish I could tell my mom what you told yours.


  3. Jessica

    And you always will be her daughter. But that is the past. That is why we transition, to a different future. It’s a destination you want to arrive with her, if she’ll come.


  4. G

    My mom’s been pretty good about respecting my referential preferences. And I appreciate that. Her slips haven’t come from a place of maliciousness or misunderstanding, but habit. Thus I don’t feel the need to push it, and indeed have made a point of stressing that it’s ok and I don’t expect her to flip a pronoun switch after 24 years of having a daughter.

    What I’m feeling shy about, however, is really expressing how happy it makes me to have one person in my life refer to me as I am, and not how I’m perceived.

    What is this? Am I afraid that merely expressing the joy the right pronoun brings me is “pushing” it? Am I afraid to embrace what is right in such a “loud” way? Am I still afraid of being out, even with someone who has been so supportive?



    Jessica replied:

    I guess it’s all in how you do it. “My mother always wanted a boy — how could I disappoint her?” or “Is it my fault that when she told me ‘Never settle for being a second class citizen’ I took her seriously?”

    Maybe that’s juts my way – if it’s important you make a joke out of it – something you can both laugh at and become more comfortable with. It is very important, when you want to share something with someone, you have to give them a part to play – it can’t just be more about you.

    She’s your mother and you will always be her child. She’d probably like something she could do, not just carry your bags.


    Anonymous replied:

    This reminds me of one of my ex’s… slightly irrelevant but your line about “Is it my fault that when she told me ‘Never settle for being a second class citizen’ I took her seriously?” struck a chord and I had to share.

    My ex was able to make her coming out as a lesbian less awkward through humor, thanks to her very ignorant and slightly racist father. She is white, and there was mention of a guy that she ‘liked’ as a teen that was black. Her father’s response was ignorant, and had powerful significance that no one knew at the time: “date your own kind”

    When she came out as a lesbian a few years later, and even to this day, it’s still the best joke for her (in relieving some of the awkwardness) that her dad had no idea what he signed up for when he told her to date her own kind. In fact, when she came out to him, that was exactly how she broke the ice.


    Jessica replied:

    Fabulous response. Serves him right, too. My partner and I have some “old friends” who fell into the clutches of some awful fundamentalist christian (reationary Republican) cult – we’re pretty sure that at least one of their sons is gay… of course they’re in deep denial. We always said we wanted one of our sons to be gay, so we could have a son-in-law to come by and do chores. Daughters-in-law only pick your nursing home.

  5. Nikki

    For the sake of not completely driving my parents mad, I told them it was fine to use my birth name. and they still do, but they changed the spelling to be feminine so I can still see that they care whenever they write to me. Telling could be very good for parents! take the guessing out


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