Difficult choices…

i like to think of myself as a moral sort of girl. i don’t just jump to action, but sometimes i spend hours – days even – agonising about how to react to situations.

That is particularly the case when i am mistreated in some way by a store. Sometimes, when the mistreatment is clearly the result of general store policy, i fear to complain because i am aware that the easiest way for a store to shrug off responsibility is to blame the individual who served me. Often someone poorly trained by the store in the first place.

My complaint then does little, except to undermine one individual – and confirm the store in its smugness.

So it is with one possibly shoddy little episode currently running round my mind. A few months back, my step-daughter took part in an exchange trip to the United States. She stayed happily with an american family, attended an American Catholic School – and her exchange partner was due back in the UK this month.

Earlier this year, i flagged to her school that i was transitioning. At the time, it felt fair to me that i should do so. I see no reason why that should be an obstacle to anyone staying here – but still: they might have personal objections and therefore should have the choice.

All seemed well. They indicated no problem when talking to aforementioned step-daughter. Then a letter, a couple of months later, stating her parents preferred her not to stay with us. No actual reason given, but one can guess.

Sad. Although i think i still concede a right for parents to take such a view. They may be wrong…possibly prejudiced: but since elsewhere i write at length supporting the rights of parents vs. those of the state it would be hypocritical of me to do anything else.

Last week, i met a number of the students in question. A different story started to emerge. Several said that teachers at the school had problems with one of their pupils staying here. Not her. Not parents. But teachers.

Now i am cross. But still trying to approach this calmly. They may have misunderstood…mis-heard. I also have a sense that this episode could blow up – and i don’t like the idea of the slightly reserved girl who visited last week being dragged into such a mess.

But if it really is officially-inspired, then yes: i am furious. Especially given how supportive my own church has been in respect of my transition.

Stay calm. Next step, i think, is to write calmly, politely to the school in question: ask them how official this line is…and see what they say.

Then we shall see.



4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    kerri said,

    well thats a shame, as the student and parent should have made the decision not the teachers, and your approach is sensible stay calm, and write that letter jane.

  2. 2

    spirifer said,

    I agree with kerri – I would write a reasonable, calmly-worded letter, querying whether this decision has come from the family, or from the school.

    If it is the school’s decision, then that is quite disgusting. AFAIK, the Church has no official line on TS issues, so it would come down to a question of individual bigotry at the school.

    • 3

      janefae said,

      hmmmm. There is actually some doctrine on ts…to the effect that it is not in and of itself sinful…but that it doesn’t count.

      Once a male, always a male. Outside of a few very specific medical intersex conditions, the church view seems to be that you carry your birth gender to the grave.

      That is why the state automatically annuls marriage when one re-assigns gender, whilst the catholic church, so long as your marriage was correctly contracted (basically: you were capable of having sex and procreation at the time you married), continues to consider you married forever after.

      Not sure whether grs is grounds for annulment….


      • 4

        spirifer said,

        That’s what I meant, Jane – there’s NO official doctrine on it.

        And re: marriage – only if you were married in a Catholic church, I believe. Civil marriages don’t count.

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