Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekend in Delaware

Well, I wasn't going to write until after Keystone, but I felt like I should.

Sometimes I hate being right.  I'll explain.

So on Friday I drove down to southern Delaware with my wife, dog, and daughter.  I hadn't seen my parents in months (intentionally) and they were pestering me to see their granddaughter.  And that's fair.  just because I don't want to see them doesn't mean she shouldn't.

So we drove down Friday morning through the rain and snow.  It was a pleasant enough ride as there was little traffic.  We stopped for lunch in Midway then went to my parents.

They told me there was some flooding on the road, as there often is after a major storm.  They also said the house was untouched from Sandy.  That was true.

Swamp overflow.  This was low tide.

However their pier was totally destroyed. 

My parents live on a bay, and used to own a boat.  They docked it at this pier.  Back in the early 90s, all males of my extended family were conscripted to replace this pier, bit by bit over a few years (always during the spring.)  I hated it.  Wading through foot deep smelly mud and hauling heavy wooden poles was not my idea of fun, especially with my dad (and my aunt, who watched from shore) berating my strength and inability to build things.  But over the course of three years, it was completely finished. 

And in one day the battered aging pier was gone.

So my parents spent $30,000 replacing it.  Piers aren't insurable.

Thirty thousand dollars worth of Wood

At first I wondered "why have a pier when you sold the boat?"  Then I thought of it- THEY don't, but whomever owns the house next might.  And that pier would make a great selling point.

In any case, we all went to dinner, then went back to their place.  I took the dog for walk just to get out of the house (which they keep heated to 80 degrees year round.)   My mum and my daughter watched Brave which my mum hadn't seen. 

She kept saying "There's no bears in Scotland!"  I said "because these guys killed them all." (Mum grew up in Scotland, and still speaks with a heavy brogue infused with Gaelic.)

After that, we put my daughter to bed, and my mum and I watched Skyfall, which she also hadn't seen.  When Javier Bardim makes his big entrance, my mum scoffed and said "oh, is he gay?"

I said "what if he is?  So what?"

"Ach.  That's horrid!  The only thing worse is a tranny."

Only thing worse than a Bond Villain

So.  I mentioned that I hated being right.  I have maintained to all who listen that coming out to my parents would mean being disowned by them.  Some scoffed, as I said the same about my Wife, but I was wrong about that one. 

And my proof struck me between the eyes Friday night.  As she had been drinking (so was I- I'd had a couple glasses of wine), I decided that this was not the time to attempt to educate her.

I said "They're just people.  All of them."

She sneered.

As I mentioned previously, she often told me "You're useless," "you were a mistake," and "we didn't want you" as I was growing up. 

So Friday night, she added another insult to the pile.  How did that make me feel?  I didn't feel a thing.  I expected it.  I detached from my parents long ago.  I guess I SHOULD feel bad- another layer of pain. 


Saturday Morning

Saturday we took my parents to lunch in Rehoboth, then took our leave.  We headed south to Bethany Beach to walk around.  The beach was closed and boarded off.  That's because the beach was gone- washed away

I drove us home as the sun began to set.  My daughter fell asleep in her child-booster seat.  My wife played solitaire on her phone.  And I was lost in thought.

Friday night at dinner, I sat across from my mum.  Now, I've been on HRT for three months.  My parents haven't seen me in a long time, during which I've lost weight.  Oh, and my hair has been growing.  They commented on that, disapprovingly.

Did they comment on any change aside from my hair?  At one point during dinner, my mum looked at me strangely and told me to take off my glasses (in drab mode, I wear glasses.)  She looked at me closely. 

"Why do you have dark circles under your eyes?" she asked.

"I work seventy hour weeks and have a five year old."

And one hell of a fact that I'm keeping from most people in the world.  Especially my parents.

For now anyway. 



  1. Sophie, I know exactly how you feel. My parents rejected my early (childhood) attempts to come out to them, and with them being Southern Baptists, Fox news addicts and big supporters of last years (anti "gay") marriage ammendment here in NC, I Knew there was no way they would accept me as trans. At the very least it would Not be easy.

    I had as a goal to come out to them before the end of the year but I wanted to wait until after Christmas. Life events forced my hand a little early and I had to come out them a bit earlier than that. I had been hearing complaints about my hair all year long and I am sure they had noticed other things too since I had been on for HRT 7 months.

    I had worked up a coming out letter, an idea inspired by my therapist. Earlier in the year I ahd even seen a second therapist (without a gender specialty) to help me in this huge undertaking. For many years I had considered coming out to my parents to be paramount to climbing Mt. Everest. In fact, until a couple of years ago I never thought I could or would be able to do it.

    Before she even finished reading my letter my mother had completely accepted me and embraced me. When she went home and told dad he called me up and asked me to dinner. I have never been more surprised or delighted by anything in my life as much as their instant and total acceptance of my being trans and my plans to fully transition. From day 1 they saw me as their daughter, even after seeing me as their adoptive son for 47 years!

    I write you this to encourage you and also to show you that no matter how hopeless this momumental life event may seem, there is in fact hope. I look forward to reading in your blog that they embrace the real you. If it does not happen overnight, I still have to believe that your parents love you and will accept you as you are. Hugs and best of luck!!


    I wrote a lot about this forthcoming event in my blog and here is one of the posts from the aftermath. I hope you can find encouragement in knowing that the outcome can be much different than what you expect.

    1. Tammy -

      You are a lucky woman....


  2. Sophie -

    You may have to take the risk and see what happens. With the hatred your mother spewed towards "trannies", you and your family may be better off breaking away from those who can't accept you for who and what you are. Non-sexual love (like a love of a parent for a child) of a person should transcend the container/body that person is living in.

    But it's easy for me to say. My mom passed away years ago, my dad's 84, I have no children, and my brother (and his family) are not the closest of relations. My friends are very accepting of me. You value those connections highly (even if they are dysfunctional), and it's not up to me to do anything but wish you the best, and to hope that that best comes to you....


  3. Sophie
    Bob Dylan sang "If you ain't got nothing ~ you got nothing to lose".
    I am sorry that you relationship with your folks is so strained.
    Good luck as you go forward.