The holidays are always rough no matter the occasion. However, when you add on a trip home to visit your family and a year’s worth of injecting yourself with hormones, it’s safe to assume that it will not be a comfortable trip.
My family always tries to have good holidays, but they always end up being hectic, due to someone acting like a fool. We are atypical, in the fact that dinner conversations often revolve around politics, catching up in unruly ways, and starting off at the table together and ending up elsewhere, among other things.
Now don’t get me wrong. My family loves each other; very much in the way the Conner Family on the television show Roseanne loved each other. But, that’s what makes it hard sometimes too. We yell a lot. We fight a lot. We don’t agree on many things, but we manage to come together in most situations.
The biggest conflict I have with my mother is that she doesn’t know how she feels about her only “female born” child transitioning, which to me is reasonable to a degree. We’ve talked about transgender issues before and from my understanding she sympathizes with the struggle, but she doesn’t seem to lump me into the struggle. I feel like I’m a separate entity because I am her child. It causes me anguish because sometimes she’s there and sometimes she isn’t, and it prevents an understanding. My father on the other hand is completely against it, which I feel gives me a bit of an advantage, as it always has. However, due to that, our relationship has hardly ever scratched beyond a superficial layer.
Since this is my first time home since transitioning, I can only imagine what will happen. My mother and I will start a light conversation, laughing for quite sometime. My father will make some off comment about my facial hair or about “homosexuality,” which will turn into some religious debate about semantics, which will in turn change into a shouting match from my parents. Then a very long, very serious conversation will unfold about how I’m making terrible decisions in my life because I hang out with sex workers and am altering God’s design because that’s usually what happens.
My biggest way of combating my family’s transphobia has been minimal contact with them, but another way is spending time with my chosen family, which if there was ever a time to say thanks to them, it’s now. They honestly make this struggle so worth it. All in all, when I go back to Virginia, I expect a rift, but I also intend on having a good time. I’m just hoping my speculations will be wrong this time around.
Come back to read my post-holiday experience.