I was going through some old posts, and I realized I had mentioned briefly the phone call my dad had with me when Wolsey first came out (see post at https://accidentallygay.com/2013/10/09/unexpected-support/). I do have more to follow up on that, but I realized I never talked about when I told my mom face to face (or maybe I did and I can’t find the post, either way it is a story worth telling multiple times).
Wolsey and I had been really worried about what my parents would say. Like I have said previously, I come from a biker family and there is a weird conglomeration of old school values and incredibly progressive viewpoints. Those viewpoints slid around a bit depending if my dad was currently drinking (alcoholism makes everything in a family unsure).
I went up there in September of 2013 without Wolsey. I honestly don’t remember at this time why that was (it might have been school or he might have been sick), but I went up in our normally bi-weekly visit. When I got up there my dad was going to multiple doctor’s appointments, so that left me alone with my mom. I do remember it was a rainy grey afternoon, and we were sitting in a parking lot in my car waiting.
We had been putting off telling my parents for awhile. My folks had been on a drinking binge, and that made things more difficult. However, my mom just stared at me for a few minutes, and then asked me “What is going on Lucky, something is up. Are you and Wolsey ok?”.
I panicked a little, but reassured here that nothing was wrong with Wolsey, or I.
I turned to her and said that I had something important to say. I could see my mother breathe deeply and prepare for bad news. I suspect she thought I was going to say something about quitting my job or some issues with Wolsey.
I touched her leg and in what I now only remember as a blur. I told her that Wolsey and I had been talking and that Wolsey believed he was transgender man. My mom’s eyes squinted at me for a minute as I explained in a very clumsy way that he was becoming my husband, and I would appreciate it if both my she and Dad refer to him with a male pronoun.
She stared at me for a couple more minutes. I could tell she was worried. Finally she nodded, and said of course both her and my dad would accept that. They would refer to Wolsey as a man. This wasn’t nearly as surprising as when she went into a very intellectual explanation that she understood that Wolsey’s gender identity didn’t match with the expression of his body. She also went on to mention she understood that Wolsey probably had dysphoria.
She leaned over and hugged me, and told me it would be a rough road but they would be there for me and my husband (yes she used the word husband). She smiled at me and told me to wait on telling my dad. She said she would talk to him because even she wasn’t sure how he would respond. (I found out later if you follow the link above that he was fully accepting, but there is a whole set of unexpected circumstances and reasons for that, that I may talk about later).
The reason it was hugely unexpected was because my family’s highest education is one high school graduate (my mom) everyone else dropped out in high school (including all my siblings). They are ravenous consumers of tv, and they watch any documentary from TLC to Discovery Channel. I never imagined they would understand what Gender Identity was, let alone dysphoria.
I never expected her to react that way. The phone call from my dad was even more unexpected. It makes me thankful not only for my wonderful husband, but also for my broken, but beloved parents.
I just thought I would share that today, oh and just realized what a pain posting from my phone is 😉
(6/21/16 21:45 Clean up and editing done later by Wolsey because, Hoo boy! Phone posting.)
When my (grown-up) genderqueer child came out to the grandparents about transitioning, we were all surprised by how educated they were, just from talk shows and the news. I would even go so far as to say that they knew what good parents and grandparents were “supposed” to say from the media, or at least they were able to use the vocabulary and “talk the talk” while getting used to the idea.
That is awesome. That is why I am public about everything to everyone. We (Wolsey and myself) both think the more exposure people have, the less scary it becomes.
I am amazed at how much the media does get right (oh they get a lot wrong don’t get me wrong) and people pick up on it.
Maybe they saw Jazz Jennings lol! I went to a book signing she did, and boy is being famous probably bad for a young teen, but you can’t deny that tv works.