One Foot in the Water

The summer after Catholic school, my child made several casual comments about how they were a lesbian, and “gender-fluid.” “Yeah, that’s cool,” I said, and immediately asked the Almighty (Google) what the hell gender-fluid really meant. Turns out, it’s not really anything crazy or scary at all! (Phew!) It’s just some times you feel more feminine that mascualine and vice versa. Who doesn’t? And as far as the lesbian thing, I was actually kind of relieved – less likely for them to get pregnant!

The new school brought a couple new friends, the first two of whom were both girls, and both lesbians. Is everyone doing this now, i’m thinking? Turns out, not everyone is; there were hetero friends, too. But then mine tells me, “You know I’m non-binary, right?” “Of course,” I reply, while discreetly pulling out my phone to search “non-binary.”

Well, that’s not so bad – one reference describes it as “any gender not exclusively male or female.” Damn, that’s me on a lot of days. That’s a lot of people you pass on the street if you’re just judging by looks.

At this point, you might have noticed that I have started referring to my child as “they/them” instead of “she/her.” This was about the time that it was specifically requested by said child. Okaaaaaay. Oh, yeah, and can you not call me by my full name but use this shortened less feminine version? Okaaaay.

Also about that time, a trusted older friend told them that it was “just a phase,” and they should “talk to me in 5 years,” or something to that effect. That really got my kid’s ire up. And, honestly, mine, too. For one reason, this friend should have been more supportive. Whatever it was that my child was experiencing, there were some strong feelings around it, and it was really unsympathetic to be so dismissive. And so what if it was or IS a phase?  It’s something that my child is struggling with. Let’s help that child get a handle on this, whatever it is, shall we?

At any rate, we were now officially on a “trans” path. At least that’s how I saw it. Pronoun change, name change, won’t use the women’s bathroom (only a unisex or family restroom). Yup. Here we go!

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