Guest Post: Being a Transparent by Anon
Third post from Anon on my blog today, talking about what it means to be a parent and undergo a transition. –Ben
Being a Transparent
I KNOW what you’re thinking, “Enough already, you already wrote depressing stuff about transcontinental drifting, now you’re going to make us feel transparent?” Nope, not gonna. It’s about being a parent that is now transitioning.
Now I say again–transitioning is unique for each of us, no two transguys are the same. So it is the same for trans-parents. So really all I can do is share what it’s been like for us (me and my kids) so far.
Spawn 1 is my son: fully supportive and so far no issues, no special talks have been needed, other than letting him voice his thoughts about my new name.
Spawn 2 is my (binary-gender-bender) daughter: fully supportive, however she ran into a problem. What to call me. So from here on, my article is about how she/we are handling my transition.
Some back story. Both my spawns are fully grown into young adultsville, they also have different fathers from each other, and my daughter’s dad is not one of desire. He was a violent drunken man who had very little to do with her life. Just enough for her to see how bad he could be. Kids of course when at school exchange information about one another, and her friends all new her father as a ‘piece of shit’ who was not in her life. If you are wondering why I am sharing this, as it would seem irrelevant to being trans, I am telling you it does. Because I know I am not the only one who has had a horrible sperm donor in my life. I am not the only parent to be a single parent raising kids. And I am not the only transparent to exist.
Up until the day I announced my decision to have a sex change, I was Mom. Sometimes I was mom&dad (as an honorary from my kids having played both parts in my daughter’s life), except there was still this negative man who’d show up as a reminder. So throughout growing up, this dark shadow has been superglued to the title of ‘Dad’.
And thus the question came up. The first time she said it, it hurt like hell. But then my spawn doesn’t always pick the right words. She told me “It’s fucked up. I can’t even talk about you to my friends anymore.”
I asked why not, what did she mean.
And she told me, “Because you’re not my mom anymore.” Talk about getting punched in the face.
As it turned out she hadn’t meant she was disowning me, rather she was troubled with how to refer to me since I was now transitioning. I’m a stealth transguy. I am transitioning, yes, but I don’t want to be known as a transgender (outwardly). There is this disfiguring stigma that attaches to this word and I don’t like it. Like being called Frankenstein. I’m a guy and nothing more. My daughter knows this and even if it weren’t that way, I’m not a hundred percent passing yet, so she could get away with it and few would gawk at us for it. But she won’t, she honors my choice and knows it won’t be much longer before I will pass. So she is all in, not half ass. She understands it’s an oddity for a kid to call a parent ‘mom’ when they look and sound more like a ‘father’ identity. But here we found ourselves at the breakwater of using a name that had a bad taste on her tongue. She didn’t want the disgust people knew about her dad to get dumped on me if she stated calling me ‘dad’. Neither did I.
There was another issue happening. A silent virus. My transition was creating an erasure of the life she’s had with her mom. This one is harder to approach. It’s worse than the transcontinental drift and we can’t stop this one either. Is she allowed to talk about her mom transitioning? Sure, and she does. She is very proud, but as my features continue to change and my voice is no longer recognizable, the mother who used to smile, laugh, beam down at, and scowl at her has vanished. Now a face she doesn’t know so well stands before her. No longer matching her childhood memories. It’s a bipartisan by product; it’s me, but again, it’s not. I understand this completely, as I see it in my own perception. The woman I left behind is someone else. I am no longer her. And the man I am now has no past. Like amnesia. It’s odd and sometimes causes a lonely feeling.
We’re still working on this, there may not ever be a solution for the erasure. After all, part of transition is shedding the old identity, the old gender. How many of us stopped and realized how this would affect our kids? We certainly had no intentions of throwing our kids away, but with identity so goes memories. I speculate it’s harder the older the kids are at the time of this life changing decision. So we’re working on this to keep as much intact as we can to shield the emotions of loss.
In the meantime, my spawn found an answer for a name. You gotta love Hawaiians, a people who you can never know if they are coming or going because the word for goodbye and hello are the same. Well, it turns out this magic language has a gender neutral name for parent, used for both Mom and Dad.
I am a transparent, but my kids call me Makua.
Anonymous gay guy, born without his penis
About Anonymous gay guy: my writing isn’t meant to bring answers. Nor are they for guidance. As there is no one answer any trans guy can give to another because not one of us has the same life scenario; we’re not in the same place of transitioning, or the same age, or the same level of support or lack of. So answers can’t be given. I write them as a means to handing you a flashlight, to better see the trail you’ve set before your feet, hoping you might not stumble as often as could happen. In the process, I might see more too.