Wednesday, November 28, 2012


This is the inevitable post-Thanksgiving post.  Being me, I am going to do the Thanksgiving post thang differently.

Yes, I was born a rebel.

(Not Barney Rubble.)

Thanksgiving and I agreed to disagree long ago.  Of all the major holidays here in the US, it's by far my least favorite.  Why?  Family.

My family and I never got along when I was growing up.  I'll spare you the full sob story, so I'll just say I was the "Black sheep" of the family.  By that, I mean I tried hard in school, got good grades, etc, but I sucked at sports.  I was undersized growing up.  Unforgivable sin.  I was also told many, many times that I was a "mistake" and that they didn't intend to have me. 

Great for a kid's self esteem.  Especially when that kid KNOWS she's different.

Anyway, Thanksgiving meant being stuck with my family.  I couldn't go visit friends as they were with THEIR families.  And late November in SE PA tends to be cloudy and cold so even going outside sucked.

Dinner would turn into an inevitable argument between relatives fueled by beer.  Also my older brother would be bored so he'd pick on me, which meant I got in trouble and usually grounded.  Not him- just me.

Yeah, it was like that.

Wonder why I'm so passionate about justice?

Right.  So this past Thanksgiving Thursday, I was informed that I'd be going out to my brother in law's for dinner.  He and his wife are both doctors (two different specialties) and live in a huge McMansion in central Pennsylvania.  Of my wife's brothers, he is the one I sorta like.  Someday I'll tell the story of how my racist mother in law (MIL) offended his Filipino wife.  Wife made me promise not to discuss politics, as everyone I've mentioned is a republican to varying degree.

They have three kids, the oldest of whom is five.  And one on the way.  Wife's other brother and his wife (I'll call her "C") were also coming.  They have five kids, the oldest of whom is ten.  So that's nine kids (counting my five year old), and seven adults (MIL was there as well.)

Can you see this headache a brewing?

But it wasn't the headache I expected.  The house was big enough that the kids diffused through it and also played outside.  No, the headache came from C.

I don't see her often and that's on purpose.  I don't like her, and I'm not alone.  As much as my MIL hates me, she hates C more. 

C speaks several languages.  Has a degree in business.  She's also VERY conservative.  So conservative that she home schools her children as she thinks even catholic schools are too liberal.  So you'd think MIL would love her, right?  Well, C is from South America- an olive skinned Latina.  See the problem?  Also she doesn't bother hiding her contempt for people she doesn't like.  MIL likes being worshipped.

So C sees me and asks me why I look different.  I tell her it's probably because I got a hair cut and have lost weight since I saw her- both facts.  She disagreed.  Obviously that wasn't true as she would've "noticed that."

So then she launches into how she hopes I'm happy as the entire country is going to hell because we're allowing gays to marry. 

I replied that "why shouldn't they be allowed to be married?  Can't they be as miserable as the rest of us?" 

Cue elbow from wife.

She ranted further.  I walked away.  Should I have told her I was Trans and watched her head explode?

Hi "C"!  BOOM!

Ok, so I took a walk to cool off.  It's a beautiful area around there, and I took some pictures.  Then I returned back to the house.  A football game was on, so I watched that for a while with a couple of the older nephews.

Isn't it perty?

Then dinner was served.

The host and hostess are not religious at all.  The middle brother and C are members of Opus Dei.  Really.  So C, seated next to me, offered to say grace.  That's fine.  I bowed my head.

As part of the prayer, she said "Lord, please protect our country from the gays and liberals who would destroy it."

I'm not kidding.

I looked at her, stunned.  She ended the prayer and started eating.  Like she hadn't just spewed hate.

Call me crazy, dear readers, but I was under the impression, from actually READING the Bible, that God was about Love, not Hate.

Just goes to show that there are two things that far right people in the US love to reference but have never read:  The Bible and the Constitution.

The rest of the night I avoided all contact with people as much as possible.  I watched football, and eventually, we left.

So that was my Thanksgiving.

Many of my friends on Facebook posted that day listing things for which they are thankful.  I enjoyed reading them.  I didn't post one.

So am I thankful? 

Yes, very much so.

I am thankful for my health.  I've been sick in my life, and I'm happy when I'm not. 

I'm thankful for my Friends.  As you read above, my biological family and I are not close.  My friends ARE my family.  They mean the world to me.  Since my re-awakening four years ago, I've met some of the most amazing people and I'm proud to call many of them friends.  I'm thankful they include me in their lives and for helping me along this road. Jen, JJ, Jone, Lisa, Kimberly, Krysten, Mechelle, Lorraine, Vanessa, Angela, Charlotte and So Many others that I couldn't live without.  Don't feel slighted if I didn't mention you- you know who you are, and how I feel. 

In particular, I'm thankful for my "Big Sis" Mel.  She has been a source of wisdom, laughter, and great conversation.  She doesn't sugar coat things, ever.  She's very clear about what this road is that I'm on, and the possibilities for failure.  And for pain.  She is a genius, and amazing person.

With Dr. Osborne at the 2012 Keystone Conference

I am thankful for my therapist, Dr. Osborne.  My friend Vanessa recommended her to me (for which I'm eternally grateful) and she has helped me on this road of discovery.  Dr. Osborne has patiently endured my ups and downs and whining.  She's even seen me cry.  I wouldn't be the person I am today without her help.  Oh- and she's the one who introduced me to Mel.

With Amanda, Nov 2012.  Pic courtesy: Angela's Laptop Lounge

I am thankful to the amazing Amanda Richards.  She has taught me so much about finding my inner beauty and helped me establish a feminine look.  She's been generous with her time, advice and friendship.  I can't recommend her services at True Colors enough.  She's an amazing person, even if she went to Iowa.  ;)

I am thankful for my Wife.  She could've thrown my ass out in May when I told her about being Sophie, but she didn't.  We don't have a perfect marriage, but she's stuck with me for 19 years.  I'd say we're getting along better than we have in years since May. 

Last and FAR from least, I'm thankful for YOU. You read this blog. You take the time to digest these ramblings. Sometimes you even comment. This blog would exist without you, but WITH you it's so much better. I have 51 subscribers now, far more than I ever dreamed. I hope my journey helps yours in some small way.

I could keep going.  But that's dull reading.

I don't need a special day to be thankful for the blessings and people in my life.  I thank God for them everyday.  Because they deserve it every day.

I'm a hard person to live with.  And they do so. 




  1. Sophie -

    Given what you went through, I'd have invited you here for a bird.... Mind you, it'd have been a chicken, and not much food. But the company would have been better than what you had to endure.


  2. Thanks for sharing Sophie. Your story was played out at many dinners across the country.

    As a comedian once asked " what is the difference between in laws and out laws?"
    Out laws are wanted!

    Thanks for sharing you life on Flickr and here .

  3. Sophie -

    To think of it, I might have said when C offered grace with her homily against gays....

    I'm offended by that statement against gays. I am straight, but suffered with a birth defect which is finally getting fixed. But I'm often taken for being gay because of my appearance. They have done nothing to harm you, nothing to affect your rights, and they have no intention of doing anything with you. Why are you bringing up your politics in a place where we should be giving thanks for what we have, and not showing our hatred for others?

    What C said is totally inappropriate. And your brother in law (and his wife) should have spoken up and complained immediately, but they didn't. You might never have had another invite if you said anything, but you would have done your duty to speak up when hatred is spewed.