I’m not feeling great today. We got home too late last night, and I always feel crappy if I go to bed past 2AM. We went to NYC. I wanted to go just to enjoy one of the last nice days of the year, but Adam’s sister was available, so we ended up spending the entire day with her. When it comes to some things, she’s the girliest girl I know. So, no frolicking in the park or walking aimlessly outside.
While it was fun and totally necessary that we spend the day with her, I was a little disappointed that I missed out on the things that I wanted to do. Of course, not every trip to NYC has to be about me. They are a fairly close family, as in, they‘re way more in each other’s business than my family has ever been, even when we lived under the same roof. She’d been in Thailand for a year, and back for about a month, so they were due for a visit.
She’s transgender and transitioned in her early twenties, but even as a boy, she was short and small, with soft features, the kind of flawless skin any woman would kill for, and large doe-like brown eyes. As a result, after her transition, she’s perfectly beautiful and unquestionably a woman. She’s very lucky.
She’s also very brave. She’s often open about being transgender, and it’s lost her a few jobs, even in NYC.
On our train ride back, Adam and I were mulling over some of the stuff she’s had to face; things that we never even thought about or considered. We were also talking about how much easier she could make her own life if she just didn’t tell anyone about being transgender, and how much integrity and courage it must take to be honest about it, on a daily basis.
Although, I think part of it is pride. She’s accomplished a lot, she’s a real transition success story, why shouldn’t she be proud of it? It’s more than that, though. Watching her talk to Adam and listening them talk about family and growing up, it was clear that she grew up feeling like an outsider in that family. Adam and his dad are the same. Aggressive, opinionated, competitive men, who have a level of confidence that borders on delusion.
Those are traits that can totally, totally suck when you’re their partner, and trying to express your feelings without it turning into an argument, but otherwise, it works out for them. They’re not afraid of leadership roles or decision making; they thrive on it. They never stop to feel inadequate or question their abilities. They‘re happy putting themselves out there, in every way, from making corny jokes, to lighten the mood, or not being afraid to express an opinion when they think something is amiss.
About that sucky part I mentioned, it transfers to daughters/sisters, too. She also has a lot of those very same traits that obviously run in their family, but she is, and always has been a girl, who is soft and sensitive, and had a lot of complex feelings. She grew up being treated like a boy, asked to be tough when she didn’t want to be tough, bullied by classmates because she hated sports and violence. Her brother was all those stereotypically masculine things; tall, strong, athletic, competitive, and he participated in his share of rough housing and fist fights. If he included her, it was to include her in sports or some other physical activity.
Yesterday, she surprised him when she told him that she never liked doing any of those things, she only did them because it meant spending time with her older brother.
Her dad favors her, and always has, but he’s not exactly the most emotionally available guy in the world. Their stepmother favors Adam, really favors him, to an extent that’s almost creepy. Adam favors his stepmother back, again, to an extent that it’s almost creepy. When those two are in a room together, there is so much mutual admiration going on, anyone would start to feel a bit left out.
Today, she still craves their approval; especially from the big brother and the dad. She wants so desperately for them to recognize what she‘s accomplished, and she wants to accomplish more. Even if that means risking her personal success and well-being to change attitudes about what it means to be transgender.
They are a truly interesting family, and this is the first time I’ve ever had front row seats to a family that actually communicates and has real relationships. The relationships aren’t perfect, but they are sincere. They really try with each other.
If anyone as ever questioned whether or not there is a biological aspect to being gay, that person should check them out. They have about a 50/50 gay to straight ratio in this generation and in the previous generation (on their dad’s side). And no, one generation did not influence the next. Most of the older generation never even came out until they were middle-aged or old because of the social stigma’s of their time. They had to be content with having close “friends” and living with “roommates.”
Adam’s sister was saying to me, yesterday, jokingly, I think, that because they have so many gay people in their family, they really haven’t procreated much, and it would nice if some of us straight folks would get on that. She wants to be an auntie. I told her that I was actually hoping for the auntie role, myself.
Anyway, that’s all that went on this weekend. I invited her to come down and stay with us, if she wants. I hope she takes me up on that.
|Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011 at 3:07 PM|