changeling times

trials and tribulations of eclectic chicken

What do you buy a trans woman on Father’s Day? June 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 5:35 pm
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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 🙂

 

A dad named Jane June 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 8:14 pm
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Well…. What is a dad?

Its the one label Jane has been happy keeping…. she is no longer a boyfriend…a brother…. and the thought of throwing ‘son’ away I think was one of the reasons transition didn’t come earlier.

But her two children still call her dad. The small boy flits from Dad to Jane and back depending on company…I think becuase I always call her Jane now. The large girl calls her dad…but then she’s also the only person still to get away with ‘he’ and ‘him’.

Jane justifies it by saying dad is a role. Its two I guess traditionally…the biological and the social. Dad is not only the provider of sperm but the person who does the male to male bonding stuff with his son… the football on the lawn…. washing the car together….cricket…..trips to the barbers, he’s often the bringer of discipline in a home and in many cases the provider as opposed to the nurturer. (and yes I’m being very traditional about it).

But then Jane has never done alot of the male bonding stuff…. she does and always has done heaps and heaps of stuff with the boy. But much of the traditional male input he gets comes from elsewhere…. the sound of power tools …. the sniff of a bonfire…. the kicking a football or kicking back on the river bank with the boys and a their beer (elderflower cordial in the small boys case) are all things that have him running next door to our neighbor.

Hacking down nettles on a wasteground fox hunt…. learning to throw properly….icky stuff like putting worms on hooks…. farting when he gets his finger pulled…. are all boyish pleasures I’m capable of getting down and dirty with.

I don’t think he’s losing out on anything other than a traditional stereotype by having a trans woman for a dad.

But next Sunday is fathers day… a commercial festival I don’t hold much truck with but Jane is a sucker for a commercial festival and she’s been pondering on the thought of alternative fathers day cards for those in the LGBT community.

Pondering long and hard.

Small boy however cuts through the mire today becuase I was straight forward enough to ask him…

“should Jane get anything for father’s day”?

“No”

“Why not”?

“Because she’s a girl”

So I double checked and asked “what about mothers day”?

….and it appears we’ll both get something come Mothers Day.

I’d say thats a small boy finding simple consistancy in his world. (or else a small boy thwarting a case of Jane having her cake and eating it) 🙂

Jane however found this worrying…. for the first time ever she seemed to give some thought to the concept that our son may be letting go of his dad. I think its a concept she’s held at bay with a complicated  adult fiction far beyond the ken of a 6 year old whose world view isn’t quite so set in stone.

She’ll always be dad – the provider of sperm

but I think in time Dad will fade away as a label and a name.

 

 
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