Assumptions, assumptions…

Two wonderully quirky assumptions this week, both making me smile, though for rather different reasons.

The first, part of one of those introductory conversations you have when you meet someone and start to compare background: friends, family, kids… I mention the boy, and how i’ll be keeping him entertained over the weekend.

“Nice”, come back the response. “And who does he live with?”

“Huh? His parents”, i reply, slightly mischievously.

“Oh. So you’re not his parent?”

Er, hang on! This feels like a good point to abandon the direction this conversation seems to be veering in. No. His parents haven’t split. Yes, I’m a parent: and no, i’m not a grandparent.

I am not sure which i find more odd: the assumption that if one transitions, one must automatically split: or that i am a grandparent. Grrrr! Not for a few years yet, I hope.

Next up is another quite similar conversation, with another new acquaintance. Or rather, an old acquaintance who has always previously been ever so clightly arms length. No particular reason: just we haven’t had call to chat intimately…and yesterday, we did.

Friends, partners and offspring, once again to the fore. The boy comes up again, and i mention that he is joint effort by me and andrea.

“Oh.”

There is an obvious pause. Wassup? Did i just put my foot in it.

Not exactly: I’ve known said acquaintance for a couple of years now. And she has never known me as anyone except Jane.

OMG! I realise the number of people to whom that applies must now be growing. And she…well, she’s always known me as Jane…pretty much always thought of me as a woman.

So for one brief moment, before realisation set in, she assumed we’d opted for IVF and…was about to inquire which one of us had been mum. I like that.

A fair bit better than being thought of as grandma. 🙂

jane
xx

3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Shirley Anne said,

    What a tangled web we weave when transitioning eh Jane? Compliments on the one hand and insults and bewilderment on the other!

    Shirley Anne xxx

  2. 2

    paula transpanthers uk said,

    hahaha.. yeah, same problem. Watch out, there are people in the trans “community” (not us older girls but generally the new starters who will try to tear us down because “having genetic children invalidates you” kind of argument. I would love to take those teens and shove them back into school in the 70’s and being a teen in the 80’s and let them find out for themselves just how different the world we have fought for so they can have it relatively easy is compared to the nightmare we grew up in.
    It was a major part of my journey, realising the true person I am now in no way invalidates the life experiences of the “other”. It’s not my problem if other people can’t (or won’t) get their heads round something so simple. Sitting here looking at my birth certificate dated January 1966 which clearly says “sex – girl” and pondering some of the paradoxes that creates it’s no wonder other people have a hard time. It’s all rather Orwellian Ministry of Truth stuff.. Only thing I’m struggling with is this big grin that has been fixed on my face for the last week.. It’s making my cheeks ache!!

    Paula xxx

    • 3

      janefae said,

      mmm…i trust they don’t/won’t, given that in my own experience, the majority of cis women are perfectly to accept even late transitioners as women.

      And, given the degree to which battles are still continuing, from funding of hormone treatment, thru to resistance to the use of hormone blockers, it is very much us oldsters who are making it possible for those coming thru now. Still.

      Ah well. Walking thru Manchester’s Canal St a year or so back, i was mildly amused by a highly judgmental comment being made by a couple of young gay guys (20-something) about the genderqueer individual i was with. Her comment: they’re lucky. They are too young even to know what battles had to be fought to give them the freedom to be quite so judgmental. They do not know…

      Which is maybe the neat paradox we face now. Early transition, a fair few people asked me why i hadn’t earlier: why i hadn’t known earlier. But…sheesh! The 70’s really are like another country. Trans was freak show stuff and mostly presented as being about sex and sexuality. The idea that that applied to me…nah.

      Irony, of course. Back then, it was very hard to understand that that could be you. Now, for some of the youngsters, it is very hard to get how unacceptable what they are doing ever was.

      jane
      xx


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