trans dads? counting cards

What do other trans women do about the d-word? And what are they expecting, if they have kids, come Father’s Day.

Intriguing one. A friend recently opined that she thought my daughter’s continuing use of “dad” was disrespectful. I said I felt otherwise: that I regarded father as a biological role – and so didn’t mind being identified as such (though it does cause grammatical havoc, with sentences like “My dad, she…”).

Besides, I do knkow a lesbian couple who have adopted and have tended to split, with one parent being mum, t’other dad.

However, I do like getting cards on the various commerce-fests dedicated to celebrating mums and dads and birthdays and the like. And there really is next to nothing out there appropriate.

Andrea has been researching and she says she managed to find a card for a gay dad – which is some progress: but the greetings card industry doesn’t yet appear to have woken up to trans dads.

So-o. What would you recommend (apart from the ubiquitous blank card)? Is it proper for a trans woman to receive a father’s day card anyway? And if you were given the task of designing such a thing… what would you do? What sort of (catch) lines would you adopt?



9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Dru said,

    I’d say it was a matter for careful discussion and negotiation between the trans parent and the child(ren)- it can be important for a child that, in a life presented with changes above and beyond those experienced in the average family, they can hold onto the ‘daddiness’ of the MtF parent. This does not necessarily mean denial of ones present identity; we all have only one father, and for those of us whose father happens to be a woman, then the two terms do not have to be yoked by violence together…

    …it can be a good laugh, sharing with the child(ren) the sense of inappropriateness of the usual Father’s Day guff to our circumstances.

  2. 2

    Lucy Melford said,

    Without suggesting that you do or ever would usurp any part of Andrea’s territory, I reckon that your previous dadship probably now has a mumsy flavour to it. So perhaps you could style yourself ‘Fother’. But perhaps not the more colloquial alternative of ‘Dum’!

    Playing with this further, ‘Mather’ could be acceptable, but ‘Mad’ seems to strike the wrong note somehow.


  3. 3

    Danielle Davis said,

    Perhaps we need a gender-ambiguous parent day?

  4. 4

    Paula said,

    This American day didn’t exist when I transitioned.. my daughter treats me like a crazy aunt.. Suits me just fine and keeps her mothers insanity plagued family off our backs. I think the best mission is to completely ignore such nonsense as “fathers day” .. Mothers day had a historic reason which was to give the galley slave a day off one Sunday a year.

  5. 5

    I think this is a situation that comes down to the relationship between the two people such as yourself and your daughter.

    I’m male to female myself, yet both my parants refer to me as “son” still. I know a lot of LGBT people might take offence at this, but the key part here is that they are my parents and that they love me. In time they may well start referring to me as “daughter” instead, but my relationship with my parents is way more important that what they call me.

    I personally think it goes back to something I once heard. When we transition the person we appeared to be in other peoples eyes for all intend purposes is dead. Just look at how much of what we physically own we tend to throw away when we start to go full time. If my parents call me Zoe, and She, and get most of it right – then I don’t feel harmed seeing them make that effort if there use of the word “son” helps them connect the new me to the old one and reduce some of the pain they may feel.

  6. 6

    Carka said,

    I’m pretty sure I would find “Dad” upsetting – but then I don’t have any children yet, if I ever choose to do so.

  7. 7

    Sabine said,

    Dunno about the UK – but over here Father’s day is on Ascension and the usual activity is for fathers to gather in groups in the countryside and drink themselves senseless with beer dragged along in a small wagon.

    Not exactly a card-giving occasion unless it’s a get-well card.

  8. 8

    Jane Bloggs said,

    This is so ironic you posted this Jane, I was just thinking about this yesterday after coming across that Daily Mail interview you guys did at the start of your transition.
    (It mentioned the “Dad name” issue briefly)…

    I have no idea myself (I can’t have kids anyways ) ,but I really see where ZeeJay is coming from.

  9. 9

    Caroline said,

    Never went in for procreation, did not want another soul to suffer on this earth by my efforts and I could not feed a cat on my income anyway but…

    A friend’s daughter,canny thing, had me down as first choice if disaster struck her parents and to make sure I knew sent a father’s day card each year. She is in her mid twenties now and has not long changed to Mother’s day cards, I don’t think she still needs me in an emergency any more and I don’t expect to be looked after in my old age either!

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