Well, when they tell you to go with your instincts they are right, just go with them and be prepared for what you may find. You’re bound to find ANYTHING but the normal, trust me. This is how my Monday morning started, I trusted my instincts and even though I had thought better of it, I went on and listened to my gut and called my mom anyway. *One thing I should mention right now, before we go any further is this: things that my mom say can and will probably contradict themselves throughout this blog and blogs to come as the story unfolds…I have already learned things today that proves that, but they may not make it into this particular blog but may make it into future blogs, so I just wanted to throw it out there for you in case you started to get confused.*
So. I called my mom this morning for an every day casual check in, just to see how things had gone over the weekend; I do this every couple of days actually just to touch base with her and to fill her in on what’s been happening here on our end. We only live about an hour from one another, but we don’t get to see one another but maybe every couple of weeks (especially in the winter months) so it is nice to keep in touch. Any way, I digress…She asked me if I had spoken to my man child recently and I had not so then she asked if I had checked out his girlfriend’s facebook page lately, which again I had not. I explained that the gf and I are not fb friends, I’m not the stalker type of mom, I figured if and when she wanted to open that part of her life up to me she would friend me…no harm and no foul. Well, my mom says these words like they are some kind of magic spell/bad omen: “I think she is trans gendering!”. I must say that I was a bit stunned, I really had no idea that she was even thinking of doing anything remotely like that…NONE. So, I move my mouse of the screen and find her page, which has enough photos for me to get the general gist of what is going on. She has changed her name on her page to a male name and she has changed her appearance to a very manly look, hair cut into a very manly cut; which I will say is a VERY GOOD look on her. She actually makes a very handsome young man, actually a better looking man than she did a woman. Now, I’m not saying she was an ugly young woman, she wasn’t/isn’t, but she just happens to look better as a man. So, if that is what she is going for…success for her.
Now, this is where the call with my mom gets a bit “odd”. (sigh) I asked her how she found this out and she tells me that she saw something that the man child posted on his page and she followed the link back to “his” page and saw the name change and the photos of “his” new look. OK, so she played Sherlock…points for her. 😉 She then starts to fire off these points/questions at me:
- How will this all effect the man child? Well, apparently he is aware of what is going on and he is still with “him”, so I’m guessing they are working through this together.
- What about having children? Mom, “He” is still technically a woman and that is between them…IF they ever come to that point in their relationship.
- How will he deal with what people are going to say about HIM? I don’t know. He will have to handle it or leave. Those are his only 2 options, this will test him more than anything else in life. I will talk to him about this for sure, he has to know that a shit storm of ignorance is about to come both their ways and they have to both be prepared for it. I know his dad and I will have his back for sure.
- Well, I have gay cousins on my dad’s side of the family. OK. But, neither one of them are gay. Trans Gender does not mean gay, mom.
- I wonder how long this has been going on? No clue. Does it matter?
- Yes! It’s not fair if she knew this all this time and does this to him like this! I don’t think there was any “trickery” involved, mom.
Now, to be honest with you, I had thought more and more about the last comment long after I hung up with my mom. That one comment had gotten to me more than the others. Why? Well, what if “he” knew for years that “he” felt more like a man than a woman and had been hiding it? What if “he” went into this relationship with my son knowing that “he” would one day “come out”? Is that fair to my son? Is that fair to “him”? Well, I called my son and I talked to him about this and I was a bit surprised and not really surprised all at the same time at what he told me.
My man child told me that he had a “feeling” for a few months that something was up and they finally talked about it a couple months ago, he does love her/”him” still as the person he knows and right now the gender thing is not so much an issue with him. I get that, I really do. Love is love. That is how I raised my children. Love is Love.
I asked him if he was prepared for the onslaught of ignorance that was bound to come both their way and he assured me that they both were, not that it eased my mind or my heart any, but I have to accept that he feels that they are. No matter what, I stand with my children.
I know that it is quite possible that I will lose friends over this, but then again, were they true friends if they choose to leave over this? My outlook on this is: NO. I cannot make life choices for my grown children, he is an adult and makes his own choices in life and whether or not I agree with them, I will always stand with him in the end. He is my son, my flesh and bone, a part of me…forever. For me, it is that simple. Love is Love.
I have been meaning to write this blog for a while now, but there has been quite a lot of things going on in the SWW home that have kept me busy, too busy to sit down and write clearly that is. But, today I have carved out some much needed time to get this blog out of my brain and into the interwebs to you lovely people…the ones who actually read my blog. 😉
There was quite a bit of feed back (all wonderful by the way) from the blog I did about the Teen and her “coming out” of sorts, and that got me thinking about other things that her, me and her dad talk about concerning the whole gender thing. I must say this, she is extremely patient with us when we come to her with questions. I mean, we are new to this stuff too and I don’t trust everything I read or see on the interwebs, she knows her feelings/body better than anyone so who better to ask questions to…right?
I was talking to her about all the gender roles there are out there now and that I was having an issue keeping them all straight (no pun intended lol), and I really want to make sure that I get them right so when I blog I don’t confuse people any more than I already do or any more than they already may be. (She understands me, thank goodness!) She researched for a couple of days and got back to me with this link:
Here is the list that you will find if you follow that link:
Note: some definitions here may include words you aren’t familiar with, or have been taught a flawed or incomplete definition for; I’ve likely defined those words somewhere else in the list, but if I missed one bring it up in the comments below. Also, be sure to correct me in the comments if I misstepped.
LGBPTTQQIIAA+: any combination of letters attempting to represent all the identities in the queer community, this near-exhaustive one (but not exhaustive) represents Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Intergender, Asexual, Ally
Advocate: a person who actively works to end intolerance, educate others, and support social equity for a group
Ally: a straight person who supports queer people
Androgyny: (1) a gender expression that has elements of both masculinity and femininity; (2) occasionally used in place of “intersex” to describe a person with both female and male anatomy
Androsexual/Androphilic: attracted to males, men, and/or masculinity
Asexual: a person who generally does not experience sexual attraction (or very little) to any group of people
Bigender: a person who fluctuates between traditionally “woman” and “man” gender-based behavior and identities, identifying with both genders (and sometimes a third gender)
Binary Gender: a traditional and outdated view of gender, limiting possibilities to “man” and “woman”
Binary Sex: a traditional and outdated view of sex, limiting possibilities to “female” or “male”
Biological sex: the physical anatomy and gendered hormones one is born with, generally described as male, female, or intersex, and often confused with gender
Bisexual: a person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to people of their own gender as well as another gender; often confused for and used in place of “pansexual”
Cisgender: a description for a person whose gender identity, gender expression, and biological sex all align (e.g., man, masculine, and male)
Cis-man: a person who identifies as a man, presents himself masculinely, and has male biological sex, often referred to as simply “man”
Cis-woman: a person who identifies as a woman, presents herself femininely, and has female biological sex, often referred to as simply “woman”
Closeted: a person who is keeping their sexuality or gender identity a secret from many (or any) people, and has yet to “come out of the closet”
Coming Out: the process of revealing your sexuality or gender identity to individuals in your life; often incorrectly thought to be a one-time event, this is a lifelong and sometimes daily process; not to be confused with “outing”
Cross-dressing: wearing clothing that conflicts with the traditional gender expression of your sex and gender identity (e.g., a man wearing a dress) for any one of many reasons, including relaxation, fun, and sexual gratification; often conflated with transsexuality
Drag King: a person who consciously performs “masculinity,” usually in a show or theatre setting, presenting an exaggerated form of masculine expression, often times done by a woman; often confused with “transsexual” or “transvestite”
Drag Queen: a person who consciously performs “femininity,” usually in a show or theatre setting, presenting an exaggerated form of feminine expression, often times done by a man; often confused with “transsexual” or “transvestite”
Dyke: a derogatory slang term used for lesbian women; reclaimed by many lesbian women as a symbol of pride and used as an in-group term
Faggot: a derogatory slang term used for gay men; reclaimed by many gay men as a symbol of pride and used as an in-group term
Female: a person with a specific set of sexual anatomy (e.g., 46,XX phenotype, vagina, ovaries, uterus, breasts, higher levels of estrogen, fine body hair) pursuant to this label
Fluid(ity): generally with another term attached, like gender-fluid or fluid-sexuality, fluid(ity) describes an identity that is a fluctuating mix of the options available (e.g., man and woman, gay and straight); not to be confused with “transitioning”
FTM/MTF: a person who has undergone medical treatments to change their biological sex (Female To Male, or Male To Female), often times to align it with their gender identity; often confused with “trans-man”/”trans-woman”
Gay: a term used to describe a man who is attracted to men, but often used and embraced by women to describe their same-sex relationships as well
Gender Expression: the external display of gender, through a combination of dress, demeanor, social behavior, and other factors, generally measured on a scale of masculinity and femininity
Gender Identity: the internal perception of an individual’s gender, and how they label themselves
Genderless: a person who does not identify with any gender
Genderqueer: (1) a blanket term used to describe people whose gender falls outside of the gender binary; (2) a person who identifies as both a man and a woman, or as neither a man nor a woman; often used in exchange with “transgender”
Gynesexual/Gynephilic: attracted to females, women, and/or femininity
Hermaphrodite: an outdated medical term used to describe someone who is intersex; not used today as it is considered to be medically stigmatizing, and also misleading as it means a person who is 100% male and female, a biological impossibility for humans
Heterosexism: behavior that grants preferential treatment to heterosexual people, reinforces the idea that heterosexuality is somehow better or more “right” than queerness, or ignores/doesn’t address queerness as existing
Heterosexual: a medical definition for a person who is attracted to someone with the other gender (or, literally, biological sex) than they have; often referred to as “straight”
Homophobia: fear, anger, intolerance, resentment, or discomfort with queer people, often focused inwardly as one begins to question their own sexuality
Homosexual: a medical definition for a person who is attracted to someone with the same gender (or, literally, biological sex) they have, this is considered an offensive/stigmatizing term by many members of the queer community; often used incorrectly in place of “lesbian” or “gay”
Hypersex(ual/-ity): a sexual attraction with intensity bordering on insatiability or addiction; recently dismissed as a non-medical condition by the American Psychiatric Association when it was proposed to be included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version 5.
Intersex: a person with a set of sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit within the labels of female or male (e.g., 47,XXY phenotype, uterus, and penis)
Male: a person with a specific set of sexual anatomy (e.g., 46,XY phenotype, penis, testis, higher levels of testosterone, coarse body hair, facial hair) pursuant to this label
Outing [someone]: when someone reveals another person’s sexuality or gender identity to an individual or group, often without the person’s consent or approval; not to be confused with “coming out”
Pansexual: a person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction for members of all gender identities/expressions
Queer: (1) historically, this was a derogatory slang term used to identify LGBTQ+ people; (2) a term that has been embraced and reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ community as a symbol of pride, representing all individuals who fall out of the gender and sexuality “norms”
Questioning: the process of exploring one’s own sexual orientation, investigating influences that may come from their family, religious upbringing, and internal motivations
Same Gender Loving (SGL): a phrase coined by the African American/Black queer communities used as an alternative for “gay” and “lesbian” by people who may see those as terms of the White queer community
Sexual Orientation: the type of sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction one feels for others, often labeled based on the gender relationship between the person and the people they are attracted to; often mistakenly referred to as “sexual preference”
Sexual Preference: (1) generally when this term is used, it is being mistakenly interchanged with “sexual orientation,” creating an illusion that one has a choice (or “preference”) in who they are attracted to; (2) the types of sexual intercourse, stimulation, and gratification one likes to receive and participate in
Skoliosexual: attracted to genderqueer and transsexual people and expressions (people who aren’t identified as cisgender)
Straight: a man or woman who is attracted to people of the other binary gender than themselves; often referred to as “heterosexual”
Third Gender: (1) a person who does not identify with the traditional genders of “man” or “woman,” but identifies with another gender; (2) the gender category available in societies that recognize three or more genders
Transgender: a blanket term used to describe all people who are not cisgender; occasionally used as “transgendered” but the “ed” is misleading, as it implies something happened to the person to make them transgender, which is not the case
Transitioning: a term used to describe the process of moving from one sex/gender to another, sometimes this is done by hormone or surgical treatments
Transsexual: a person whose gender identity is the binary opposite of their biological sex, who may undergo medical treatments to change their biological sex, often times to align it with their gender identity, or they may live their lives as the opposite sex; often confused with “trans-man”/”trans-woman”
Transvestite: a person who dresses as the binary opposite gender expression (“cross-dresses”) for any one of many reasons, including relaxation, fun, and sexual gratification; often called a “cross-dresser,” and often confused with “transsexual”
Trans-man: a person who was assigned a female sex at birth, but identifies as a man; often confused with “transsexual man” or “FTM”
Trans-woman: a person who was assigned a male sex at birth, but identifies as a woman; often confused with “transsexual woman” or “MTF”
Two-Spirit: a term traditionally used by Native American people to recognize individuals who possess qualities or fulfill roles of both genders
I think there are still some missing and I am not done looking, but I think this will help for right now. I know that there are some readers who are trying to “come out” to their family/friends and I hope that maybe some terms on this list will help them word things a bit better so as not to confuse themselves or the other parties too much; also, other parents who are trying to understand their own children hopefully will be able to follow along better now….I know it has helped me to understand a few things better. 🙂
I think that the way I was raised, I was raised “Hippy” by the way, has helped me be so open minded about oh so many things in life. My adoptive father on the other hand, well, even though his mind has opened quite a bit since he and my mom have been married the last 36 years, he was not as fortunate as I was to be raised in such an open environment and it has been a hard road to go with him on certain things…BUT, the Teen is his granddaughter and he does accept her for who she is and does love her unconditionally. What I am trying to say is this folks: No matter what…it may take time…but if the love is truly there, they will come around sooner or later…just don’t give up on them or yourself.
Love and Blessings,