Aftermath

Back at last. Not hiding. But definitely tired – which may have been connected ever so slightly to the media froth of the last week or so. 🙂

But not directly, for those who see karma as infusing most everyday activity.

No. A lot of work in the run-up to doing interviews last week, which meant cramming everything into the wee small hours before heading off for a full day elsewhere. Fun but exhausting.

And contemplating how relationships change on the back of such events. With friends. With family. With communities.

More of that later. In the meantime,a mix of emotions on my part.

Inspiring some

First, genuinely pleased at the various who have come back to me over the last few days to say our TV stuff has helped. The trans woman who used it as a means to open some dialogue with her wife. The trans teenager who felt it gave them enough courage to speak to their GP for the first time. And a few more besides.

That is all gain.

Highlighting difficulty

Its also opened up a slightly less happy dialogue, about the nature of support on offer. I was going to insert “partner” there – in the sense of “support for partner” – but I’d say it goes a lot wider. Out to family and friends too, in some instances. And workplace.

What’s to be done? In one sense, my immediate response is “so what?” and “get over it”. There are a fair few folk around who treat someone close to them transitioning as the end of the world, near as. Bu-ut…why? Once upon a time…no: still…some folk took that approach to others coming out as gay.

Do we still sympathise with that – or do we mostly go: its their sexuality. Get over it. And if you think that the “shame” such a fact brings on the family is sufficient to merit support, maybe you need to re-calibrate your values.

Still, I think there is a need for some family members: partners especially. Andrea talks of my transition as being “bereavement” – and she has a point. Her blog (in case you hadn’t noticed) is called “Challenging Changeling”. I have wondered how deliberate that was: whether she just went for the “Change” word, or whether she had folk tales in mind when she wrote it.

Because, of course, a changeling is a child left late at night by the fairies. He or she looks just like your own, but isn’t. Whether intended or not, it’s a very neat metaphor. Doubly so, in my case, because I opted, very deliberately, to become a “Fae” which yes, was linked to my love of all things faerie.

One thing we said at the outset is that transition didn’t change the fundamental basis for relationship. Actually, it does.

And while change doesn’t automatically, inevitably mean end, it does mean change. And therefore renegotiation and re-establishing of boundaries and all that goes with it. So there definitely needs to be partner support.

Where is the support?

Which feels, at present, to be very lacking. One individual wrote to me suggesting that Women of the Beaumont Soc might do it. I have to say, that’s been the sole e-mail putting that view, with very many – plus our own experience – suggesting the diametric opposite.

So I am curious. Maybe the answer is to sub-contract the whole thing outside of the trans community: to get Relate to do it. Because in loads of ways, this is not about the trans thing: its about the relationship thing.

As for other family, its been a mixed bag. I will be eternally jealous of Michelle, with whom we shared the documentary. She came out while her mum and dad are still alive and is now recognised as a beautiful woman by her mum. That’s something I can never have. Both parents are gone ..and even if they weren’t, I remain unsure what the reaction would have been. Could I have transitioned while my mum was alive?

I hope I could. I don’t know.

The boy…is mostly cool. For daughter it has been gain and loss: gaining someone happier, more open with whom I think she has the chance of a real relationship; but still losing the certainties of a paternal figure, no matter how boring.

So it goes. The fall out continues.

jane xx

6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Karen said,

    Time is a healer Jane, my children are fantastic, it wasn’t always so and there was a bereavement process for them as with others to a lesser extent. I was very close to my youngest and they were hit the most, possibly because they were only 8 at the time it was worse – is there ever a good time?

    Your daughter has to grow to know you all over again, we can’t move the boundaries and expect everyone to accept immediately, after all how many years did it take you to accept yourself?

    Every relationship is different and having a support, internal or external to the community will work for some and not others. As my ex said, this is the most difficult thing to deal with, more than death and more than infidelity as this can’t easily be explained, rationalised or fought against like an affair can.

    Most partners can’t accept all this and make the requisite alterations to be with a ‘different person’ to who they used to live with and also to now appear to be gay where previously straight etc. let alone all the other changes in the routine of life and living together.

    I haven’t been as lucky as some as my partnership ended immediately, partly because of religion etc. It would have been nice to remain together we had a wonderful relationship in the main and that is lost forever. I believe that if you can work through this as a family it is the best possible solution in many cases but not all….

    Thank you and your family for your openness in doing the programme, I have overheard a few people discussing the programme in positive terms which makes a huge change.

    Best wishes to you all for the future, you are all wonderful xx

  2. 2

    eclectic chicken said,

    “Her blog (in case you hadn’t noticed) is called “Challenging Changeling”. I have wondered how deliberate that was: whether she just went for the “Change” word, or whether she had folk tales in mind when she wrote it.

    Because, of course, a changeling is a child left late at night by the fairies. He or she looks just like your own, but isn’t. Whether intended or not, it’s a very neat metaphor. Doubly so, in my case, because I opted, very deliberately, to become a “Fae” which yes, was linked to my love of all things faerie.”

    a totally deliberate choice…. you underestimate me hugely if in any way you thought it was just a word semi randomly plucked.
    sometimes changelings forgot they were fae and stayed….sometimes they remembered and left their human families bereft…. they come from the faeries… nothing light and fluttery there for me, not the elegant flutterbys beloved of middle aged women everywhere … but old dark twisted tales -imagine ‘REALLY’ for a moment the slow scary realisation that your child is not your own but ‘other’…
    i even think my blog name came before you chose Fae as a name. (or at least before you told me)

    i always knew you’d be a challenging changeling…and that these were changeling times (that works on two levels too)😛

    • 3

      janefae said,

      hmmph! How on earth am i supposed to know! Sometimes you get complex references instantly…sometimes not, leaving me accused of overly complicating life with puns and verbal trickery. If i knew when and what you were au fae – sorry, au fait – with, twould be easier. 🙂

      jane xx

    • 4

      janefae said,

      besides…if the changeling thingummy has dark significance, where does the chicken come in?

      jane xx

  3. 6

    Caroline said,

    Finally the broadcast waves battled north of the border and we were able to see your documentary programme.

    Have to say that it is one of the best treatments I have seen. No doubt they have edited out bits which in your head were essential to the story but their approach is beyond reproach.

    Changelings rule…


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