Salon Piece on Dad’s Transition

Posted by – October 28, 2011

The caption was what got me: “After Dad had gender reassignment surgery, he promised he’d be the same person.”

Please, lovely trans folks, STOP saying this to your loved ones. It’s not true. The whole point of transition is to become a different person.

That doesn’t mean you won’t carry plenty of your personality over with you – you will & you should. But you will not be the same person.

If gender matters, gender matters. You wouldn’t need to transition if it didn’t, so be surprised when your loved ones miss your 1.0 self.

6 Comments on Salon Piece on Dad’s Transition

  1. TheNerd says:

    I said that to my boyfriend, and he asked “what do you mean by that”? And I said “well, I’m going to get rid of the things I thought I had to do in order to fit in as the wrong gender, and start just being me, so that means I’m still the same me”. And he was like “oh”. And that was that.

  2. Julian Morrison says:

    I think it isn’t as simple as “I’m going to quit pretending” – at least, for trans people who assimilated at all into their wrong-gender role.

    For myself I don’t experience my identity as a unitary “real me”, I’m more like a basic personality and a lot of accumulated habits of mind. Some of those habits were always bad fits to my gender. Not all of them. So transition is a messy process of deciding what still fits, what doesn’t, and experimenting with what to do instead. Just as with childhood, an essentially (re)constructive act.

  3. Wendygrrl says:

    The femme journey…sigh….

  4. natasha_ says:

    Much of the piece seems to be bemoaning the fact that the child’s parents have split up. People do this, and the result is always gonna be your childhood dining table in a different house.

    Seems to be the core issue is one of authenticity of identity. If you believe that a transsexual or transgendered person’s pre-transition presentation is the authentic one, then you’re always going to have issues with their transition.

    On the other hand, if you feel that their pre-transition presentation is inauthentic (as they clearly do, or else they wouldn’t be transitioning), then there’s nothing to lose but the lies.

    One of the problems with associating with people who knew you pre-transition is that they can’t help but undermine you. It’s always going to be difficult, for everybody.

    Articles like this one make me thankful that I transitioned while my kids were still infants.

  5. JennL says:

    My heart really goes out to this young person and others who share the pain experienced in a transphobic world with a transitional/transitioned loved one.
    I can only say that really loving someone requires that we let them be free to express who they really are in the way they feel they must. Their love for you does not diminish in the process.

  6. Andie says:

    It’s a painful story; transition means more than one person. It means your whole family. A wife who doesn’t want a wife who loses a man, a daughter who loses a father, who represented strength and steadiness perhaps. A son who loses a role model, a pattern, a guide. Of course it’s loss. What we’re not so good at is seeing gains, so wrapped up in the loss we can’t begin to see. Yes, I can understand all this loss.

    But how can anyone make a “good” decision between personal integrity and authenticity, and the people they love most? I need to be regarded as a woman : therefore you will be regarded as “that poor wife / daughter / son” who has such weirdness thrust upon them so unfairly. But it’s your choice, and I never stopped loving you. You can walk away from me, I can’t walk away from myself. And I have to accept that.

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