Jane had an article in the Grauniad’s CiF section today.
From the perspective of Father’s Day itself its a bit of a none issue I reckon… other than its actually stalled Jane briefly into actually thinking about where the kids are in their transitional process. I think she had preconceived ideas of how things might be..and has had to perhaps rethink a little.
Basically the boy said she shouldn’t get anything ‘cos she’s a girl. Fair point, logically made. I personally see no issue with him still using the ‘name’ Dad for her yet no longer thinking her man enough to get a Fathers day card and/or gift.
Jane’s daughter who has a fairly hit and miss attitude about getting anything for anyone came up with a ‘You are one in a Million’ Fathers day card… the stats were slightly out (isn’t it 1 in a 1000 people are trans?)… but anyway…she remembered… though remembering THIS year as opposed to any other year may be her making more of a point about perceived gender than about appreciation of parenthood.
I think this latter position is where Jane thought her kids might be… that she’d get all the fun of transitioning and get to keep the status of Dad.
The main whinge on the CiF board is about janes self absorbtion…. whereas a lot of people could actually see through the style and understand the issue… or at least see what it was they were being asked to think about.
One poster said she should be grateful and should have mentioned the acceptance her children give her. And I can see both sides of this…. why should one praise acceptance unless you see there is an issue to overcome? Trans isnt an ‘issue’ (what used in pre-pc days to be called a ‘problem’) its a fact of life.
Shit happens…. deaths, illness, accidents, divorce…. kids deal with it. Those who deal well with it often do so becuase they have good role models and decent support.
But on the other hand…acceptance doesn’t come easy.. trans is an ‘issue’ until you’ve got your head round it…then it suddenly becomes a none issue. Its still a rare enough thing to throw life into chaos and make those close to the person transitioning not just rethink their relationship with the transitioner but pretty much their relationship with the world and its dog.
Thats where I come in.
If I didn’t accept Jane…if I had walked away… my son would still have a trans-dad. But he’d have a trans-dad who the other main person in his life had rejected and not been able to cope with.
As it is. Janes gender isn’t an issue for me now…. its a process we are going through as a family to make one of our family members happier. Thats got to be a win win situation. The way the world reacts to jane…CAN still be a problem. But thats not her problem. Or mine. That’s other peoples and I think on some level we enjoy spreading the understanding around.
Its giving our children a chance that not all families get to actually learn real-time about difference and acceptance.
We’ve all had to think probably more about gender than most people ever bother with.
My son thinks deeply at times and has the wiseness of coming fairly fresh to the world and if he says Janes a girl and doesn’t get a Fathers day card. I’m happy running with that.
But I’m sure as hell not going halvsies on anything come Mother’s day becuase getting to the point where trans is a non-issue has been one heck of a roller-coaster ride and I think I deserve a fucking medal 🙂