“Hey, flying spider or whatever you are now,”… said my mom teasingly… “Tic, toc, tic, toc, we need to invite your grandparents into our world, that is, if you want to spend Christmas with them”
First, you´re giving me the creeps! A flying spider is a perturbing idea!
“Don´t worry, that´s why God didn´t give wings to spiders… oh, but they can jump all over you!
Stop it! There go my efforts to handle my arachnophobia! And, what do you mean by inviting them into our world? Aren´t they already?
“Oh, that´s a cool idea that was explained at the TransFamily Alliance: instead of asking them permission by coming out to them, you´re saying that you have control over your world and that you´re lovingly inviting them.”
Oh, I see, like, you´re not asking for their opinion but saying what´s happening in your world and now it´s up to them to belong to that world. Clever! You should talk to Miss Richards? You guys are serious stuff! You should start strategy consulting!
“Our new hero? Yes, I´m also Team Miss Richards. But really, what do you think about my parents?”
Nothing scares me more than losing them or that they have a bad reaction. I couldn´t handle that. But you know, mom? They´re the best people in the world, I cannot imagine for a second that they could react in a bad way, but I totally understand if they freak out.
“Yes, well, they´re experienced people, they´re not naïve, and they´ve gone through real sh*** in their lives and reacted well. I also know my parents and I have a good feeling, but still, we have to be prepared for a bad reaction or if they need time to digest it. We might have to spend Christmas without them if that´s the case, but time to time. Now we need a Strategy, and I guess the best way is that we both tell the story.”
Totally, I think that being firm, and having both of us speak from the parent and the daughter´s perspective will send the message that you and I are on the same channel.
It was one of those normal days when Grandma took out her cookies and we sat in the kitchen, surrounded by Christmas decorations all over the house. We, as a family, have always enjoyed this time of the year, and my grannies make sure to have all the decorations in place every year. Grandpa had gone out to run some errands, which made the waiting even more nerve-wracking.
He´ll be here shortly, Grandma said, and my mom elbowed me discretely to tell me that this wasn´t helping at all, to which I answered, “I know”. I must have eaten twice the number of cookies that I normally eat. Finally, Grandpa arrived and greeted everybody with a big smile.
I left some time for my Grandpa to put some food that he had bought in the fridge and to sit calmly before dropping the bomb. I felt that I needed to do it; they deserved to hear it from me, I thought that would be the most authentic.
I told them that we needed to speak about something important and I narrated things at a very slow pace, explaining how I´d always felt and how that had made me a quiet person. I explained my confusion, and how terrified I was, so forget about mentioning the situation to anyone and how I felt that there was no way out. My Grandma took my hand, re-assumingly saying it was ok, and that I had nothing to fear.
Mom asked if I wanted her to continue, but I said I got it. I took some deep breaths as Kate had taught me to do and I continued. I explained my evolution, and when I said how mom had freaked out, finally my Grandpa looked at her, after being still like a statue for several minutes, without moving a muscle. At least Grandma was holding my hand and kept squeezing it as a way of saying, “Keep going, it´s all right,” but I couldn´t read Grandpa; what on earth was going through his mind? Am I breaking his heart? Mom nodded to my Grandpa like saying “it´s ok, I´m aware of everything”.
I finished my speech and couldn´t hold tears anymore, and crying, I said: Oh, and I´m inviting you into my world, I couldn´t bear losing you guys!
Grandpa stood up quickly and hugged me and saying it´s all fine. Then we hugged the four of us and everyone was crying now. Grandpa, I couldn´t read you, you seemed like having a storm going on in your head, you scared me to death! Grandpa took his turn to speak:
“Yes, my head is still spinning, but not for the reason you were thinking, let me tell you a story you don´t know and the reason for looking shocked. First, you have no reason to worry about losing family, at least not us. Some years ago, not many, actually…how many years have passed?” Grandma, knowing exactly what he meant, answered “five”.
“Oh that´s right, it´s five years ago that we went on that cruise and met Steve. Steve was a very nice fellow who we met with a group of people on that cruise. I don´t know what led to a conversation, that now I can tell, wasn´t random. Nothing is random in life, kiddo, it all has a reason and a purpose. He had a trans girl, but he was against her transition and didn´t support her at all. He expelled her from the family, and then he lost her forever. I wish I could take back time, I wish I hadn´t been such an A***hole! I wish I could tell her I love her and ask for her forgiveness, but now it´s too late”.
“Grandma and I felt so sorry for Steve and his daughter. The whole family was destroyed because. of bigotry. I don´t believe I would have ever acted like Steve, even before listening to his story, but I can tell you that it changed our point of view in a drastic way. Who knows? Perhaps Steve´s girl is an angel taking care of you, so you should thank her!”
I will Grandpa, I will! “I will too, said mom crying!”. That´s a horrible story!
“Well, now you know the reason for my long face. Sorry about that, but I don´t want anything bad happen to you! I wouldn´t forgive myself if something happened, but you know, it´s terrible out there, I´m not going to sugarcoat it for you, so we need to make things carefully and take care of you!”
My mom intervened and explained our ordeal. Grandma thanked my mom, and hugged her, saying she´s been the greatest mom in the world and that she won´t be alone in this.
So, Christmas was on! And as we were heading to the car, I stopped and came back to tell my Grannies: sorry if it´s asking too much, I already put a lot on your plates, but there´s a friend who´s like me, only he´s transmasculine. His family is threatening to kick him out, and he´s very depressed now. He´s in danger. I cannot let anything bad happen to him. Could we invite him for Christmas?
“We´d be honored!” Said Grandpa. “We won´t let anything bad happen to him, you can count on that.”
Mom and I cheered in victory, it had gone amazing! Later it hit me that I didn´t tell them my name, but mom said it was ok, it´s already a lot for them to digest.
It didn´t matter though, because on Christmas there were presents at the Christmas tree, with the tags AMELIA and AIDEN.
To be continued…