On Being a Parent Without a Holiday

Happy, uh, Whatever You Are Day?

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Ah, springtime! Holidays, anniversaries, and all sorts of reasons for celebrations!

Graduations. Weddings. Mother’s Day. Father’s Day.

But No Day For Me

And no day for thousands of other men and women like me. I am a Transwoman. I have two daughters and three grandsons. One of my grandsons was IFAB (Identified Female at Birth) but has finally begun his own journey, similar to and yet different from mine.

By the time I was able to start the long process of becoming my true self, my daughters were already grown. They had never known me as the woman I am, but rather the empty husk they had grown up calling “Daddy.” In those days, I got Father’s Day cards every year. Now, nothing.

So at least in that sense, they’ve finally come to accept who I am — and so there are no more cards for me. But in accepting me, and acknowledging the changes I’ve made and am still making, there’s no recognizing the fact that I’m no longer “Daddy,’ but some other kind of parent for which they have no name. I’m certainly not “Mommy” or “Momma” or any other title that reflects the new reality of who I am.

If I were a reasonable person — something of which I’ve never been accused — I suppose I could comfort myself by celebrating Grandparent’s Day. I’ve been told that I should console myself with the knowledge that I’m not the only Trans* parent facing the same problem.

But no. Just because there are so many of us facing the same problem holds no comfort for me. Instead, it angers me. I am enraged by the fact that my transitioning — which for me and so many others — was a life-saving decision is used to discriminate against me simply for BEING WHO I AM.

But rather than rage, rage against the dying of the light, I have chosen June 6 — my original birth date and the day my friends surprised me with a surprise birthday party, the theme of which was ‘Happy Birthday 1-Year-Old — to celebrate as my personal Mother’s Day. I’ll wrap myself in my Transgender Pride flag, take a few selfies, and pick the best of them to serve as the basis of my very own Happy Trans-mother’s Day e-Card.

It’s much more satisfying than simply ranting on my blog….

Getting Old. It Ain’t For Sissies

Are you of my generation? Remember when we actually had to go outside to play with our friends? And how rough we had it without Instagram and Snapchat? We had to take pictures with film cameras, send the film out for processing, then order reprints before we could go door-to-door handing out prints to our friends in order to show them what we had for breakfast two weeks ago. Or was it three?

Remember eating lunch at Tommy’s house, and calling his mother “Mom?” And everyone was okay with that?

I grew up in a military family, on military bases. “Sticker shock” describes the feeling I had when the cost of a movie ticket jumped from 15 to 25 cents.

And the theater itself! We had to walk a mile each way, uphill, in the snow to get there. Well, it was Texas flatland, so forget the snow…and the uphill. But it really was a mile. (I know this for a fact because that’s what the driver of the free shuttle bus measured it when I asked him.)

Later, in high school, the movie ticket was a whopping 35 cents, which made my Friday night dates (movie, drinks, and shared large popcorn) take a huge chunck ($1.50) out of my weekly allowance of $10. Why, to take my girlfriend to the Senior prom, I had to save my entire allowance for TWO WHOLE WEEKS in order to be able to take my date first to the Olde San Francisco Steakhouse for dinner ($10 for the two of us), buy her a corsage, and buy the tickets to the prom.

Nowadays the movie ticket costs $12 dollars a pop, or about half the price of a large drink and a large popcorn. I don’t go to those theaters, because the last time I went, the recliner armchairs were so comfortable I fell asleep and missed the whole movie.

I remember visiting my grandparents for family get-togethers, and seeing my cousins. We all sat around listening to the aunts and uncles moaning about their health problems. But you know what? Today, in 2018, that generation is gone…and when I meet with my cousins via Facebook, our discussions are the same: health problems.

We’ve become our aunts and uncles, our parents.

So when I see younger generations complain about us Boomers, I just smile and think, your day is coming.

“Five to one, baby. One in five.
No one here gets out alive.” Jim Morrison

Growing up – it’s a trap!