Today’s awkward Transgender moment…

…well, okay.  Actually, this one is yesterday’s.

And there’s more than one.  >.>

Yesterday was the funeral for Jae’s maternal grandmother.  Between the viewings, services, and gathering afterward it was pretty much an all day thing.  I spent most of it either with Jae, or sitting with anyone I saw who looked like they’d been left alone for a while and listening to their stories.  (I spent a lot of time beside the sister of the deceased, until more of her actual friends and immediate family arrived.)

So, anyway.  There were plenty of awkward moments that had nothing to do with me being transgender (actually, I think I passed fairly well among the older people in attendance.)  But this is about awkward Transgender moments!


Apparently there were a number of instances in which (and I don’t know why this tickles me so much, but it does) I had spent some time talking with someone, then moved on — just for them to comment something along the lines of ‘What a nice young lady’ to Jae, who would then reply: “Yes, she’s my wife.  I like her rather a lot.”  Just for reference: this is the conservative side of the family.  to hear Jae tell it, there were many quickly hidden expressions of shock.  And that totally makes my ‘enjoying the discomfort of others’ side snicker.

There was one cousin who had met me regularly at family gatherings before I transitioned, who had no idea who I was now.  I just introduced myself with my prefered name and left it at that.

And there was a precocious ten year old who walked up to me and bluntly asked: “why do you have a voice like a man?”  o.O  Clearly I need to do more voice exercises.  And I am now very much reconscidering whether or not I should try making a self-narrated audio book version of MNML.

On the other hand, he was genuinely curious, if somewhat blunt in his curiosity.  So I was relatively okay with explaining — I was actually a lot more uncomfortable with the number of people who expressed sympathies re: my brain tumor.  I don’t know, but it feels hypocritical to be told I’ll be in their prayers when it’s coming from someone that I know attends a conservative church.

At one point I did overhear my father-in-law (Jae’s step father, and a nasty enough person that we have flat out told him that he is not welcome in our home.) pointing me out to people with my deadname, so that was unpleeasant — but nothing I could really do anything about.

I was actually more thrown by a conversation I had with one of my aunt-in-laws.  Or rather a series of conversations where I was introduced repeatedly as one of my mother-in-law’s kids.  Which I was sort of okay with — because I didn’t want to be making a scene and I knew I was with a conservative crowd.  What stung was when she apologized for it by saying that she was just doing it because she couldn’t exactly introduce me as Jae’s husband.

Husband.  How much a word can sting. :/  I was sort of okay with it when I thought that she was just shielding old “conservative” (read: potentially bigoted) people from realizing I was the wife of Jae.  Because then it felt more like she just didn’t want to butt heads with people who were against mairrage equality.  But hearing her explain that it was that she didn’t want to explain that I was transgender stung, and realizing that she still thought of me in masculine terms sucked, too. :/

Of course, absolutely none of that was the point of the day, so I just did my best to be there for people and not make a fuss when I ran into the occasional less than pleasant (or utterly disrespectful) reaction to my presence.  Bleh.  I am not particularly fond of spending time around people that I don’t already know, and don’t know are friendly and lgbt aware.

Still, being there to give comfort, an open ear, or a box of tissues where I could was a good thing.  And I guess so was explaining about the existance of transgender people to that kid.  And hey: while his word choice wasn’t very diplomatic (particularly his comment “Wow, I’m glad I wasn’t born messed up” — which I’m confident he did not mean as an insultingly as it sounds) his questions were a lot more innocently motivated than my optometrist’s, back when I got my new glasses.  ~_~

Anyway, I guess that’s all.  I’m looking forward to being home.

Thanks for listening.


1 response to Today’s awkward Transgender moment…

  1. fionag11

    Kudo’s to you to being the gracious and sympathetic “nice young lady” in this challenging environment! (Except for the jackass stepfather, he had it coming).

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