When Family Cuts

From a family to a transperson:

“We do have a problem with your chosen path in life and it’s nothing we care to argue about, explore or discuss, whether you had to do it or not is of no concern.

Can you understand that under different circumstances, were we not your brother, sister or daughter or son, we would not even converse with you or be a part of your life in any way whatsoever. You are far too different from us and wouldn’t even choose to be a friend of yours if we weren’t related.

We mean no ill will and hope you don’t take this the wrong way.”

This is such a perfect quote, such a perfect representation of what people fear in transpeople, why we are “phobogenic objects.”

They are normative — only they call it normal — and we are queer. Therefore, we must be different, separate, unique.

Their normativity comes from the rejection of their own queerness, the denial of their own individuality, their separating themselves from their own wildness. They are normative because they are tame, work to want what others want, only accept what makes them the same as others.

You walked away from that normative life to claim your own heart, your own soul, your own connection to your nature, your own power.

And yes, that’s what makes you so different from them that they cannot bear to see you.

It’s not that they aren’t like you in all the ways that count. In fact, they know that they are very much like you, and that’s the problem. If they can see that individual exceptional beauty in you, then it probably exists in them.

But the difference between you and them is that you have chosen to surface it, and they have chosen to swallow it, and that is what defines their lives as normies. They can’t let your deviant and individual choice challenge their own choices, they can’t let your transformation mock their denial.

What people say always is about them. They may be certain that they are talking about us, and they may well want us to understand it as about our choices, but it is always about their response to our choices.

Now, we need others to respond well to our choices in order to get what we need from them, that’s true, That’s why we are tame, following the expectations, conventions and mores of the group. We have to consider how to comfort, please and satisfy them.

But we also have to respond well to ourselves and our creator, and that’s why we have to sing the song in our hearts, claim our own uniqueness to get right with our godhead, to come from our own personal power place.

It’s really tough when people act out of their own fears, their own denial, their own attempts to control, and that acting out leaves us bruised and battered, even when it’s their pain that is being surfaced.

It’s really tough when people feel the need to separate, to build walls, to not engage people in order to maintain the isolation from their own continuous common humanity. It’s my belief that there are two great themes in human belief, the belief that it is others who are sick, bad, evil and they have to change, and the belief that the only thing we can change is ourselves, and we grow by seeing our humanity reflected in others. The first belief is normie, the second is queer, at least to me.

Your family has gotten a glimpse of the human side of their nature in the mirror you offer, and they have chosen to try to break the mirror — they spent years trying to pound you into honoring their own path of denial — and when that didn’t work, they have chosen to put up a wall, so they don’t have to glimpse what might be inside of them.

It’s a perfect quote, but it says almost nothing about you, and very much about them.

Problem is that these are people you love, and who you want to love you, and when their healing is blocked and delayed, you feel it even more acutely than they do, because you have always been the one who felt the cost of their denial, which is why you were identified as the black sheep, the troublemaker, the problem. You wouldn’t accept their isolationism, wouldn’t play along with their story, wouldn’t respect their fears, wouldn’t honor their sickness.

Your pain at this slap is real, but this slap really isn’t about you, it is about them and their limits in being able to embrace someone who is flesh of their flesh, child of their heart.

Claim your own heart, though. It’s the only thing you can do, the only thing we can do. You may well stand for what they want to deny, but you stand also for what your creator made.

And that is beautiful.