Assumptions

Tonight wasn’t the first time this has happened.

I generally assume people see that I’m a transsexual woman.  I’m tall, have big hands and feet and have done nothing to try to change how I sound.  Apart from a nose job, I haven’t had any FFS. 

So it comes a jolt when someone says to me “As a mother you’d….”.

Tonight I went to the opening of an exhibition by a very talented and creative person.  As I was sipping on some champagne, a woman came over and introduced herself and started chatting with me.  We talked about art and life and death and eventually there was talk about children.  And then she started a sentence with “As a mother, you’d…”.  I didn’t correct her.  Her observation was about parenting rather than specifically about motherhood. 

A couple of months ago I was out to dinner with some work colleagues and was seated next to the wife of one of them.  After we’d been chatting a while she started a sentence with “As a mother, you’d..”.  Again, what she was taking about applied equally to any parent, so I didn’t correct her.

If either of these remarks were specific to motherhood as opposed to parenthood I would have corrected them. 

About a year ago I was seeing a specialist at the local hospital after having some lung funtion tests.  He was asking a whole lot of questions to build up a history.  When he asked if I’d stopped having periods, I explained that I have never had periods and explained why.  He seemed a little shocked, but I think it’s important that anyone treating me is aware of my history.  (I was surprised that my GP hadn’t mentioned my history in her referral letter to the specialist.)

I am a woman, but I’m also a father.  A fairly unusual combination but that’s who I am.  I’m also a grandma.  To deny my fatherhood would be to deny my beautiful daughters.

This Sunday is Fathers Day in Australia and I’ll be sharing the evening with my three daughters, their husbands, my grandchidren and my beloved ex and her husband.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bernadette
    Dec 15, 2010 @ 17:13:43

    I’m the same about chloes childhood. I still have some photos up. The one thing I did put away recently was a plate that proclaims “It’s a boy” . Its in a box with other keepsakes now.But I do have some childhood pics on facebook etc, chloe has been tagged in them by cousins etc and seems to have no problem with them.I have noticed on my parents forum that there are kids who want the lot burnt and deny thier whole childhood.as a mum I’d find that hard going.I find the pronouns difficult when referring to childhood moments..what is the protocol in your family?

    Reply

    • Peta
      Dec 17, 2010 @ 09:01:09

      Hi Bernadette,

      I have photos of the family in my house showing my old appearance. The past cannot be changed and I don’t think it should be ignored. It’s the present and future we live for.

      The advantage of having a new name that sounds the same as my old nmae is that people can be using my old name and I think they are using my new name. Ignorance is bliss. As my neighbour of many years said (when confronted with the new me and wanting to know what I should now be called) “That makes things easy!”

      My family and friends are pretty good with pronouns. A couple of older relatives occasionally slip up, but they are good people with no malice so I don’t get precious about it.

      Reply

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