by Laika Pupkino
Admin Note: Originally published on BigCloset TopShelf on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - 2:57 pm, this retro classic was pulled out of the closet, and re-presented for our newer readers. ~Sephrena
I guess this is it. I've reached my hand out to you again and again over these past 3-4 years only to have it slapped away, like I'm some stranger you don't know and don't want to know, who you say “murdered” your child; which hurts like you wouldn't believe. Nobody murdered anyone and I have not gone anywhere; which is more than I can say for you. But it was that scene at Janice's wedding that made me see I finally have to let you go. I've decided to abide by that ultimatum you issued when I transitioned. I won't call, write or bother you again. Goodbye.
This has been a long time coming, most of my friends said I should've done it years ago, but I thought if I gave you time to adjust we might work things out, that you might see I'm so much happier now, and not falling to pieces like you predicted, but more successful in every part of my life. But no matter which way I've tried to explain it you refuse to hear what I'm saying, and insist on seeing my new life as some spiteful thing I'm doing to you, when it never was. There's something insanely egotistical about seeing the whole world as some grand melodrama with you at the center, but I won't go into that. And though I have no hope that you will somehow suddenly get this I'll say it one last time. My becoming Robert isn't about you. I just can't be that person you've demanded I be for about as long as I can remember...
There was a time when we had a loving, uncomplicated relationship, when you were my mommy and nothing else mattered. Your attention felt good, so I was happy to have you dressing me up in those frilly pink outfits you loved to put me in, like I was the best dolly you'd ever owned. At age one or two I didn't have any real sense of who I was as someone separate from you, and I liked the way your friends would fuss over me. But as I evolved into a person in my own right all I heard was, “Don't sit like that!”, “Don't touch that, it's dirty!”, “Little girls don't do that!” and “Why can't you be like your sister?”. More than any of my friend's parents did you tried to dictate what I should think and what I should want, trying to make me into a xerox copy of you.
Ironic, isn't it? That a woman like you would have a daughter like me- your “tomboy”, your “wild Indian”, the kinds of things a parent might call her kid; Only the way you said this wasn't affectionate or teasing but the words spat out like they were poison on your tongue, with a shudder that made me know just how disappointing + wrong I was to you. You predicted that these traits would be my ruin, dooming me to a life of miserable loneliness, because “No man will want a girl who acts like that!”; and you acted like my being who I was would be not just disappointing but physically harmful for you- that hypochondria thing you've always played so well; which guilted me into doing so many things I never wanted to. Uncomplaining at the nightmare of girliness you made my room into, or being made to sashay down the runway at those horrible child beauty pageants, feeling ridiculous and looking like some pervert's wet dream with red lips and big fake eyelashes.
Then at thirteen I said no more. You called me “unmanageable”, but to me it felt like a fight for survival, that I wouldn't be able to breathe if I didn't. You called me a “weird little dyke” and let me know what you thought of that, withdrawing your love from me and concentrating your attention on your normal, non-embarrassing daughter. Not that you'd know the difference, but I never was a lesbian; although the gay/lesbian kids at my school were the most accepting, the closest fit for me socially, and I threw my lesbian identity in your face out of spite. Not proud of that, but I was seeing what a lie it was---that “love” you would always retract like an emotional drawbridge whenever I fell short of your approval---and I just wanted to hurt you back.
I know we were both relieved when I moved out. Visits home from college were easier. Since they only lasted a day or so we could go through the motions of being civil. I never stopped wanting your approval, I ached for your acceptance, but was realistic enough to know that if I didn't have it as a “lesbian” things would get even worse when I came out to you about the man I am.
That went about like I'd figured. Although I thought with time you might get used to the idea, and maybe be happy for me. But it doesn't seem like you know how to be happy anymore. And not just about me. You used to have friends. You had interests, didn't constantly complain about everything and everybody. And you want people to believe that this is somehow all my fault but nobody besides you buys this. They humor you---you've become so shrill---but behind your back they're sad for the person you've become.
When I came out as Robert you banished me until I “came to my senses”, and when I went in to have my top surgery done and you realized I wasn't going to be guilt-tripped out of it you said it would be better for me to die on the operating table than to disfigure myself like that. And that's when you deleted me from your life; my calls unanswered, my letters returned.
And I didn't push it. For the next three years I declined invitations to Dad's & Janice's birthdays, any family gathering I knew you would be at, to accommodate your wishes. I missed them and they missed me but we were all trying to “give you time”; Right up until Janice's wedding, when she said: “I don't care if Mom gets upset. You're my brother and Steve and I both want you there. It's not fair that Mom gets to dictate what we all do.”
And I agreed it was time, that we'd stop putting our life as a family on hold to keep you happy. She said you grumbled when she told you I was invited but you'd promised to be there, and like a fool I took this as a good sign...
Did you think I was going to be a bridesmaid? That fit you threw when I showed up in my tux proved how totally fucking selfish you are. Hounding the photographer not to include me in any of the portraits so I wouldn't soil people's memories of that otherwise joyful day. But just think about how everyone there treated me. Nobody was upset about me being there as a man but you, and poor Dad was beyond embarrassed as he tried to make excuses for you, that you'd "been under a lot of stress" lately. You came close to ruining the day for everyone, with the way you were screaming about how I was ruining it for everyone. But we carried on and had a good time in spite of your making a total ass of yourself.
Well if that upset you, you might want to know that I'm accepting Grandma and Grandpa's invitation to their place for Christmas this year. As their grandson BTW, so I won't be wearing a dress there either. So do what you want, but I've missed the last three and I won't be missing another. I'm not burning my bridges to the rest of my family because of your intolerance and selfishness. I won't sign this as “your son”, since you've made it so clear you'll never accept me as such, but simply,
Oh and by the way, you were wrong when you said I would never have a man in my life if I wasn't feminine enough. That guy I came to Janice's wedding with and who you saw me kissing after he caught the bouquet was Tom, and we're totally in love, and he's a proud gay queer faggot cocksucker like me!
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