I do hate to keep boring you guys with the sordid fallout from my coming-out a few days ago, but it seems that my parents are taking it somewhat less well than I initially suspected. As it turns out, they apparently do not trust my competence in such matters. After a somewhat lengthy and uncomfortable telephone conversation, I discerned that their objections were two-fold. My mother, for her part, is primarily concerned with how this transition will affect my life and career; she was under the impression that I was running around, interacting with my professors and TAing my labs in “drag,*” owing to the fact that she apparently believes that I am a pathetic child who is incapable of tying her own shoelaces without a team of loyal servants. I assured her (for the second time, actually), that I hadn’t come out to my professors or to my students, and I had no plans to do so, and that I had been wearing “gender neutral” clothing, for the most part.
My father, for his part, is primarily concerned with my competence, apparently, at making any life decisions whatsoever. According to him, I should have sought “other, contrary opinions” concerning my gender identity. Gee, I wonder if he would have recommended the same degree of even-handedness if I had told him that I had no plans to change my sex. I suspect that, no matter what logic I use in coming to the decision, if it is in favour of changing my sex, then, selon mon pere, it is the wrong decision. I wish I could have been strong enough to tell him that, in fact, I needed no auxiliary opinions, as I consider myself to be the absolute authority on my own life. I wish, moreover, that I could have told him full truth; that the moment I had started to consult with my therapist in the first place, I had already in my heart decided that I was trangendered, and that the only real reason I had for seeking a diagnosis was to absolve myself of the responsibility of having to make the decision for myself, and that once I found out that it didn’t really work that way, I spent months building-up my courage before I was able to come-out. This is not cancer; this is not AIDS or diabetes. This is not hypochondria, because this is not a disease. I do not need the opinion of a distinguished and accredited medical professional to tell me who I am, just as I do not need a liveried guardsman to wipe my ass when I take a shit.
And everything was going so well.
*By which I suppose that she means, in this case, dressing like a character in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert