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My Mom.


Guest Carter L

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Guest Carter L

Hey.

So, I came out to my mom a few months ago, and she is adamantly against my identity. She denies the validity of it and believes that I am doing it for attention. She has viciously reasserted my biogender over and over again, shoving gender normatives down my throat and gender identifiers (as female...ugh) in my face. She (and even my more-accepting dad) believe "this" cannot be true because I don't "exhibit any of the textbook characteristics."

So, sure. That's annoying. The real problem is, though, that I am now away at a boarding high school (which before, on the morning of move-in, my mom told me in a stern voice, "You will not do anything weird. You will not perpetuate any drama. You are a girl." And then she waited for me to respond, which I didn't. She then said, "You are a girl. You are not a boy. You are a girl"). I want to be out here, which I can be amongst the student body, but I want to also take advantage of my rights as LGBTQ Youth in Maine. I have the right to be called by proper pronouns by the faculty. However, they don't want to do so because they'd have to be deceitful to my mom and they might slip up anyways.

My thoughts are that I have to come out to my mom again.

This could be very risky, though. She told me that if I "perpetuate this" up at this school, she'd pull me out (which would probably ruin my educational future because of the prestige of this locale, and, if not, would look terrible on my transcripts since I'm a junior in high school and I just transferred from another place for this year) immediately. She's already expressed her refusal to support me through college and the rest of my life if I choose "this path" in life. I don't know if by coming out to her again it would be "perpetuating it," though, since I wouldn't be mentioning anything about being out at school.

Here's what I thought about putting at the end of an e-mail to her to come out again:

Also, I want you to know that anything pertaining to masculine identities is not "perpetuating" anything. I understand that we were born and raised in very different eras, and while I recognize that life may be difficult due to the path I have chosen, I am prepared to endure the consequences so long as I can be comfortable in my own skin. I understand that you, as a person, see my choice as that of a "freak" or a "love-up," but I don't want you, as a mother, to invalidate my emotions. I recognize that my brain is still developing, but large life-decisions I've made in the past have stuck -- not because I'm not open to them changing, but because when I make a decision like this, I know it's right for me. I understand that I don't follow the textbook definition, but in this day and age...who does? Textbook definitions are there so you can diagnose people who exhibit certain characteristics from their youth -- not to claim that someone isn't something just because they haven't always exhibited the characteristics of (whatever it is you're diagnosing at the time). In fact, I'm fairly certain the reason I didn't exhibit any "typical characteristics" is because I've always been so concerned about fitting in and trying to have people accept me for who I am. And I've always felt so different that I've changed myself in order to fit in. I didn't have a chance to breathe or think about how I feel about the changes I was making to my lifestyle in order to be a social creature until I went to McAuley and didn't have to worry about everyone dressing a different way. That's when my introspection began, and that's when I started to become more comfortable with myself as a person. Even you said you could tell I was much more comfortable after beginning my schooling at McAuley. In two years, I will be in college. In two years and three months, I will be turning 18 -- I will be an adult. By that time, I want to be able to be who I want to be socially (obviously I can't do anything medically until I've earned enough money after I turn 18). As an adult, the states I'm interested in living in are few and far between, and I looked online at their non-discrimination laws, and all the states I'd like to live in (and then some) have non-discrimination laws against gender identity/expression in the workplace, housing, and public accommodation settings. We're living in a different world now, mom. The only people who haven't been completely okay with and supportive of my gender identity are you, that random person from Falmouth, and dad (but to a lesser extent). Even if you can't accept my decision, I wish I could garner some respect from you. You're the woman that raised me into the human being I am today. I respect you and love you and would hate for our relationship to be destroyed over something petty like gender.

I know you're going to be angry with me. Sorry.

Should I do it?

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  • Forum Moderator

Carter,

This is a very tough call. That education could make such an enormous difference your whole life. Enable your future transition. But the price is also very high. In the end it is a decision only you can make. Getting that education shoud be a real priority but can you delay your transition that long?

I am impressed by your letter. the only thing I would change is saying the path you have chosen because this is an imperative not a choice. The other suggestion would be to ask her to let you see a gender therapist. you could point out that if she is right (even though you know she's not ) a gender therapist would sort that out in short order. If you are right it would save you more years of misery and suffering. Perhaps you can work out a compromise along those lines.

I wish you well whichever way you decide!

John

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