A bit more than a month ago, I sent out the last of the letters I needed/planned to send announcing my transition. It was less of a notice and more of a manifesto, and was my whole-assed attempt to make amends for and explain some of the stupid shit I have pulled over the years.
Some of the responses I have received have been… well, there is a right way to do things, and a way not to do things. These responses fell somewhere in the middle. Not as affirming as I would have liked, not as outright rejecting as I feared. There is room for a dialogue that will only improve with practice, as all parties’ skills are rusty from disuse.
My hope is that the silence I have endured from some quarters for the last year will end. It really doesn’t take much effort to say “This shit is weird. Help me understand.” Or, if you prefer, “fuck off”. Either way, the conflict is resolved and everyone is better off.
As Mr. Gilmour sings, “I’ve opened the door to my enemies, asking them if we could wipe the slate clean.” Whether or not they tell me to fuck off, only time will tell.
Note to folks who are parents: If your child comes to you and says they are transgender, acknowledge it with empathy and compassion. You may not understand it and you may not agree with it- but it’s about them, their pain, and their life. Not yours. Affirm their identity, affirm your love for them like a parent, and let them tell you their story. It’s not that fucking hard to fucking listen, and it’s not that fucking hard to fucking remember that your child is opening their heart to you. Respect it, and respect them.