Father’s Day is here which represents yet another potentially awkward day to remember.
In my travels across social media, I see all types of responses to Father’s Day. All the way from total acceptance of a transgender woman who used to be a father, to no acceptance at all.
Long ago, my daughter came to the decision she would refer to me as a “parent” and leave a gender specific label out of it. I thought it was a great idea.
My own Dad was rather emotionally distant and never learned a thing about my transgender leanings. Looking back on our relationship, it is very difficult for me to predict how he would have reacted. If my Mom’s reaction was any indication, it wouldn’t have been positive.
Both of them were part of the WWII/Depression generation which were long on being providers and short on being emotionally accessible. After all, my Mom offered access to advanced psychiatric treatment when I came out to her. The subject was never spoken of again. More than likely, any conversations with Dad would have led to uncomfortable conclusions about a subject we neither knew much about.
Either way, I would have to have taken the path of accept me or else. Which would have put me on a collision course with my parents attitude of mental illness. Get treatment and get over it.
Looking back on my interactions with either of my parents, I wish I had taken a more active approach.
Even though, I never heard it from him, Dad I love you and thanks for all you did do.
Recently I have mentioned here in Cyrsti’s Condo several times about how most of us were forced into extreme measures to protect and hide our gender dysphoria, way before we had any idea what the term even meant. Along the way I mentioned to all of you the lengths I went to hide my feminine cross dressing “stash”. I wasn’t blessed to have supportive parents, so I had to become very creative.
Speaking of non supporting parents, read on and learn of Connie’s problems:
“My hiding place for my “stash” was inside the box springs of my mother’s bed. I had discovered a tear in the bottom cover, and thought it would be the safest place because she would never think to look there. One night, though, while she was watching TV in the family room, I had the urge to retrieve my feminine accouterments to play with later in the night. I was totally surprised when she came into her bedroom and onto her bed. It felt like hours to me, as I hid very quietly under her bed, waiting for a chance to make my escape. Finally, I heard her snore and snuck out of her room. I changed my hiding place right after that, behind a panel I made removable in a basement wall. She eventually discovered that place, though, and I’ve told you the nightmarish story of how she’d laid all my stuff on the kitchen table, for me to see when I came home from school – and then made me load it into the car to take directly to the county dump. :-(“
Wow! Connie’s experience makes me happy my “stash” was never really discovered, to my knowledge. My Dad was very shy in discussing anything which became even remotely sexual in nature, so I often wondered if he discovered my “collection” of hose, women’s undies and makeup in the garage. He may have thought it was a phase.
Over the years though, like so many of us, I went through destructive purges when I decided to rid myself of all of my feminine items and thus live my life in the lie I desperately was trying to live. The process always seemed to work for a day or two before I was thinking about going back to my cross dressing ways.
I wish I could reclaim a portion of the money I wasted on my purging efforts over the years and more importantly, the wasted time and energy I spent on the deception I tried to use to lead my life.
Many of us seemingly were raised to a greater extent by our Mothers more than Fathers who for what ever reason seemed to be away earning the all important living. Some of us even had the benefit of a semi-accepting Mother. Others like “Sara Michelle” who wrote into the blog even benefited from a Mother who taught her how to feed and take care of herself. Sara actually wrote in commenting on the transgender woman (Domaine Javier) appearing on the “Worst Cooks in America” television show: “Nice to see a trans woman on a show like that! That being said, one of the 1st things my mother taught me at an early age. Was to be able to cook and take care of myself! Along with her managing a career and raising the rest of the family!”
In my family, the essence of cook training was if my brother and I liked our bologna fried or cold. It wasn’t until later during my Army years I learned to seriously take care of myself. Continuing on the subject of Mothers, I have always been curious how many of us can remember being secretly (or not so secretly) fixated on our Mothers when they applied their makeup. It’s difficult for me to remember back that far but I think I was. On the positive side, I didn’t go as far as Connie when she “borrowed” her Mom’s car and wig and went out for a spin in the middle of the night.
However you were raised, it’s a near certainty Mothers could have had a real serious impact on our lives. More so than a non transgender civilian. My life circumstances sent me into a deep closet I still have problems with on occasion. And since both of my parents have long since passed on. I have very few memories of what they would have thought if they had found out they had a daughter, not a son. So it’s way to late now to cry over spilled makeup.