Saturday, 3 April 2010

'Er mom

    This wasn't something I was prepared for, but as of yesterday my mother-in-law knows about me. Which is to say of course that she's known about me for years, but now she *really* knows about me in that she now knows I'm transgendered.
    How did this come about? Family circumstances which I won't go in to here meant that my wife had to have a very long and deep phone call with her mother yesterday. It became obvious that she'd have to talk to her about a lot of things and that my gender issues were among them. She explained matters as they are, much as you'll have gathered if you've read some of my previous posts about my relationship with my wife.
    Amazingly my mother in law was fine with the whole thing. It wasn't what she'd expected, but she has a close relationship with her daughter and trusts her so when my wife told her that it doesn't change anything and she still has a son-in-law, albeit a slightly "different" one, who's doing everything to look out for her daughter, she understood and was OK with it. I'm sure at some time there will be some more questions, but that's it. My mother-in-law knows.
    This was the woman who was going to be last on the list because her potential reaction scared me witless. She hails from somewhere a long way west of here over the ocean where the skies are wider, the pickuptrucks are larger and (even someone with my background has to concede) the beef steaks are bigger and tastier. I don't know whether deer and antelope roam on her particular piece of range, but they might as well. They are lovely people in that part of the world, I've made friends there and I love to visit, but let's face it, the stereotypical Westerner won't be very liberal, will they. Yet she's OK with it because I'm still doing my damnedest to do right by her daughter. You could knock me down with the proverbial feather.
    There's an old and slightly insulting adage that advises a soon-to-be-married bloke to look at his future mother-in-law because that's what his gorgeous fiancée will be like in a couple of decades. I've always had a good relationship with my mother-in-law, but looking at her again in that light I realise I'm luckier than I thought.

6 comments:

  1. You Never Can Tell, can you? Young K's other parent lives with someone who was insistent upon hiding the facts of my transition from his mother 'because she wouldn't understand', which led to bleakly humorous incidents of being ushered into rooms on my own when picking K up... the mother found out about me eventually because she read about me in the Telegraph. Ha! She was totally unfazed.

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  2. There's a phrase I've heard more than once: So? You're still the same person.

    If you're really lucky, they think the new you is an improvement.

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  3. Hi Jenny, I'm so happy that she took it so well :)

    I know that the only thing that has fazed my mother-in-law was her worrying about the impact on her daughter - but that's natural.

    Stace

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  4. Lisa in Raleigh4 April 2010 at 11:05

    Jenny,

    The funny thing about family members is that they know you well enough that they already realized that there was something different about you. Also because they know you the end result was not as bad as you feared. However, because you are not transitioning, you still fit rather nicely in her existing world view.

    How was your wife's responce?

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  5. Thanks all. I am beginning to realise that those around me have indeed been expecting me to say something to them, having seen me shed years of depression without telling them why.

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  6. Its great when the news is taken so well.
    I am sure she will; have a few questions over the next few days but I am equally sure you will handle her concerns well.
    If its anything like mother in Law she only has her Daughters and families best interests in mind.
    x

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