Only My Mom: Talking about Guys

I spent Easter Sunday with my mom. In between bites of delicious Indian food, I told her,  “I kind of went on a date with a guy.”

My mom, being the brilliant woman that she is, responded, “Kind of a date or kind of a guy?”

Now, in many cases this would be offensive. In this case, it was simply hilarious.

I burst into laughter. “Both,” I said.

And that is how I told my mom that the person I am “hanging out with” is transgendered.

She took it well, as I assumed she would.

Now, I was terrified to come out to her as a teenager. I knew I’d dash her hopes and dreams of a white wedding gown. I knew she’d never let me spend the night with a girlfriend again. When it came down to it, she was the one who asked me the question, “Do you like girls?”

For the last five years, my mom has embraced my lesbianism. She hasn’t said a word when women spent the night or (better yet) stayed til 5 am and then disappeared. She’s invited girlfriends to birthday dinners, Christmas celebrations, Passover Seders, Thanksgiving meals, and family vacations.

After this new piece of information, she asked the logical questions: Has he had any surgery? How does the transition process work? What do you mean by T?

I explained to her how far along he is in the transition process. I explained how I feel like I’m having to learn a new language. Even though he has a largely female body, I’m learning to flirt and interact with a male.

Mom asked, “So how does this work if you are a lesbian?” It’s always fun to talk semantics with family members, as some of you can surely understand. Without going into excruciating detail, I explained to her that lesbian is a convenient and easy to understand term. People know what it means, and since all of my relationships until now have been with women, it worked well enough. I also explained to her that I understand sex, gender, and sexual orientation to have degrees of fluidity. It’s more about the person that anything else, although I certainly have preferences, and those preferences are subject to change. I also reassured her that biological penises still freak me out.

While I know my mom has always harbored a faint hope that this was all “just a phase,” I think she realizes it’s more than that.

She shared a surprising memory with me. Apparently, as a kid, I’d say things like, “I don’t know who I’ll end up with one day. It will just depend on the person.” My mom chuckled, “I guess nothing you say should surprise me anymore. You’ve been giving me hints since you were a kid.”

As much as my life is changing right now, I am one lucky woman with an amazing set of parents.

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