Friday, January 01, 2021


 So, it has been years since I wrote anything here. Nearly three I believe. I wrote when my grandson was born. I don't know if a notice of a new post will show up on anyone's reader. It is okay if it does not. I need to write to think clearly and I have no better place to do it. 

I need to change Andrew's blog name to Andrea. 

Andrea is "trans femme nonbinary." I do not exactly know what it means, but I do not need to. I need only to love her.

And I do.

If you have read this blog way back from day one you will know that I expected that she was gay. I expected that she was gay until she started dating Alice. Dear lord, was that 17 years ago? I was somewhat surprised but I accepted that I was wrong and moved on.

Did you know they got married? Last year, just before Christmas, Alice's younger sister died. In early Mrach the tech company she works for sent everyone to work at home for however long this pandemic was going to last. Two weeks later she left Andrea. She called us that day so that we would know so we could call Andrea that evening when she came home and was alone. I think the death of her sister made her reconsider her life. I think that her awareness of the coming quarantine made her act more quickly than she might have. I do not believe she knew that Andrea was questioning her gender. I don't know that Andrea knew.

In the summer Andrea told us that she was nonbinary. That made sense of all the the things I new about her, but learning to use "they" as a pronoun was difficult. Later she said she was probably closer to "trans femme" and we could use "she/her" if we liked.  Will she someday tell me that she is a transwoman? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

I love her so much, as does her father. We do accept that this is the truth of who she is. We want to support her.

And we both cry a lot. Okay, I cray. He is much more manly about his sad and angry feelings. 

He has not been able to talk much about it, but I think we have the same two causes for pain.

We want her to be safe and happy. She teaches high school, and this year she is teaching remotely. She presents male for work and says she will continue to do so. That seems unrealistic to me -- given how happy she is being a girl. She came to see us for a few days at Christmas. She talked about how glad she was to get out of the boy clothes that she wore for driving. I find it hard to believe she can be happy leading a double life. On the other hand, coming out and transitioning at work is clearly something she is not ready to think about. 

And it scares us too. We knew transwomen who have transitioned and are happy. Actually, all the transwomen I know are happy, at least about who they are and how they live. It is not as though I know dozens of transwomen personally, but I do know several. But I also know that transwomen are not safe in this world. And it is very difficult to deal with your child not being safe. Even if she is 31.

She is 31. 

How did I not know? 

When she was five she told us that when she grew up she wanted to be a mommy, not a daddy. At the time I was working at the college (I still am) and her father was running a home day care. Her father was startled by this announcement, but it made perfect sense to me. Of course she did not want to run a home day care. She wanted a life like mine. I hugged her and told her that she could be anything she wanted when she drew up. She could be anything and do anything. I also told her that if she had children people would call it "being a daddy" but she did not need to worry about it.

And I took that as evidence that she might be gay. 

I did not every seriously consider that is was evidence that she wanted to be a mommy and not a daddy when she grew up.

She told me recently that she figured out that she was not gay because she knew she liked girls. (She is currently in a relationship with a transwoman).  She said that she was always safe at home and she was appreciative of that. She was always able to be herself and knew that no one would try to make her be different. She had gay brothers from the time she was 10. Her parents were active in PFLAG and she met transwomen. One in particular was a close friend of ours for a very long time. She was very happy that no one expected her to "act like a guy." School was hard though. 

I don't know how she thought about it then. She says she wished it did not take her 30 years to figure out her gender. She is glad that she was always safe in our home. She is happy that we are accepting an d supportive now.

And I do not let her knew that I cry about this.

I cry because I always wanted a daughter and I had one and did not know it. I cry because even though I tried to give all my children the space and freedom to be themselves, I still somehow failed. She told me and I did not hear. If I had listened, believed what she said, how different might her life had been?

I know all the things I would tell someone else if they learned there 30 year old child was trans. I say them to myself and I knew they are true. Hearing them in my own mind does not change the way I feel though. The same thoughts run through my head.

I remember all the time that I saw her and her brother and laughed to myself thinking that at least I had one heterosexual boy. From the time she was five until she was fifteen I was waiting for her to come out. From fifteen to thirty I believed she was just one of the kindest heterosexual men I knew. 

But I keep thinking...

How did I not know?

And I keep hoping..

Please God, let her be safe.

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