While at my artsy friend’s house last night, my father called out of the blue. He “just wanted to talk”, which I should have known was going to lead to going over what happened when I took him out for dinner when he was in town. When him and I do actually talk, it’s never merely shooting the breeze, and I probably should have let him call me back tonight instead.
In any case, it happened. Small talk quickly moved into the heavy matters regarding what he revealed to me at dinner due to me coming out as transgender/transsexual.
He started with an apology about possibly hurting my other family relations because of this new information that was shared mostly to change my mind about being trans*. I let him know that I wasn’t upset because of the new info, but I was upset with how he basically said that I should “fight against this” because of someone else’s indirect influence on my life. That, of course, opened up the floodgates for yet another drawn out debate regarding my extremely difficult acceptance to be honest about who I am and can recall having a desire to be since childhood.
Long story short, it was a more in-depth rehash of our previous 2-3 hour conversation that involved a lot of undercut denouncing of my ability to make my own decisions and self-awareness because “I’m still in my 20s”, telling me to wait because I don’t know everything (note that since we will never know everything, it’s basically telling me to wait forever), and “God doesn’t make mistakes”. Meanwhile, I have to stand there and take all of this because I understand it very well and my personal feelings & book knowledge on being transgender are not coming across well.
Fun fact: Ren comes from a Christian background and used to be very active in the church. Oh how things change.
In the end, I told him that he really should do some reading on the topic because he is only looking at this from the spiritual direction. To contrast, I have analyzed, agonized, and flipped upside down every reason this is inherently a “bad choice”, and yet I’m sick of being something that I’m not and have never cared or wanted to be. I merely adapted because I didn’t know there was any other way around what society and God had pinned on me. He agreed to do so if I took time to look at this more from his perspective. In his mind, everything in this world has a spiritual foundation.
In hindsight, I realized that he has still not once asked me real, honest questions that allow me to express my thoughts and his concerns. He has stuck to exposition and spiritual referencing without taking the time to ask something as simple as “can you explain to me how adjusting your gender can make you happy?” He has admitted that his years more of living entitles him to more credibility and speaks as if everything out of his mouth is absolutely correct.
“I hope you know you are making this very painful for me, Dad…”
“Sometimes love is painful.”
He still doesn’t get it, which lets me know how different we are and how much “mansplaining” he is unconsciously doing. Doubling back just to say “I’m not trying to hurt you” or “I have transgender friends so I get it.” I flat-out told him that he really doesn’t as he insists that I am the way God intended for me to be because God doesn’t makes mistakes.
If God doesn’t make mistakes, tell that to the parents whose child died days after birth.
If God doesn’t make mistakes, tell that to the grade-school child who gets teased for having down syndrome.
My father believes that by me living true to my heart, I am saying God made a mistake. For the record, I never said God made a mistake, and I believe we are all unique individuals put on this Earth for a purpose. I don’t claim to have my life all figured out, and this is far from easy even after speaking to a professional multiple times. I have lived long enough to know where I want to go and how I need to live to feel happy and complete. It’s not like I didn’t try to resist this by being involved in the church. The values of Christianity still are positive ones…when not being skewed to demean people for who they are and the rights they deserve.
I told my artsy friend that my father thought I had already started hormone replacement therapy because of my voice. He laughed and high-fived me for the “small victory”.