Telling Family (Part I) – Mum
Starting with the most recent history being two days ago – Wednesday, 13th March was my mum’s 65th birthday and no one can believe she is her age. Good genes run in our family and an ex colleague f mine last year thought I was 25! Sure as hell made my day that did I can tell you. Anyway, days before, mum said she had booked a table at the Raj Indian restaurant in Flint for 10. I asked who was going and Michael, my elder brother, was not mentioned. This was because he has not accepted my decision to transition from male to female. Even now, 5 years later, he still can not come to terms with my life change. Mum said she was not going to invite him because she did not want to feel on edge all evening, and I truly understood that. However, I did plead with her to invite him and if he opted not to come, then, at least the choice was his not to come. So, Wednesday afternoon, I asked mum whether she had asked Michael. She told me Rachael (niece), has asked him. Apparently, he asked if I as going and Rachael said yes. So, he said he would not come if I was going. At least I tried to get him to come.
I can not hold a grudge or resentment for long, no matter how much I have been aggrieved. It pains me that there is this issue between myself and my elder brother. Why he can not be accepting of me? He does not have to understand why, but accept his now sister’s decision. Truth be told, we were never close growing up. I believe that he had sibling as he had mum and dad all to himself for 4 years and 8 months and then I came long in the March of 1972 and took the shine off his world. Our younger brother David, arrived in 1974 and even with 6 years and 8 months difference in age, they have always got on like a house on fire. I have always felt like the black sheep even though David and I are close in age as well as siblings and shared a bedroom in our childhood.
To go back to how I came out to family members, my mum was the first I told or should that be tried to tell. Mum and I were always close and I think that was because I had almost died at birth having the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck and I had actually gone blue as blue and my dad had to name me rather quickly because the doctors thought I would not make the night. I am still here.
Seems like only yesterday when I took the plunge, heart in my mouth and made the decision to come out to mum. It was the summer of 2007 and I had been seeing Dr Martin Riley for a number of months. I went with mum to Chester morning as I figured I could tell her over a cappuccino as I thought she couldn’t make a scene if it went bad (I knew this would not happen but even still). So, we ended up in The Gallery Cafe, Foregate Street (now Caffe Atina), a small intimate cafe with art for sale. We sat down and ordered – 2 cappuccino’s and shared a cheese and tomato Panini. Mum could see there was something weighing on my mind and asked me what it was. Deep breaths, deep breaths I said to myself ….
“Mum, I don’t know how to say this”, more deep breaths. “What is it?”, mum asked. I was beginning to get hot and shaky, “You know that I haven’t been myself lately”, deep breaths more of and my eyes began to well up, “I’ve been going to Wrecsam for a while now to see a counsellor”. Bit of time out followed by mum, “Why have been seeing a counsellor?” Before I could reply, my eyes not only welled up more, they became waterfalls and I left the table and headed straight for the toilet to calm down and freshen myself up. Why is this so hard?, I asked myself, this is my mum for gawd sake, just tell her. I returned to the table and tried again but couldn’t get out what I wanted to tell her. We finished up, paid and left without telling her. I was so disappointed in myself.
We came out of The Gallery Cafe and headed back up Foregate Street to Marks & Spencer. Mum was asking questions as we walked up the street and in to the store. Up the escalator because mum was taking an item of clothing back. whilst we wandered around looking at the clothes, mum kept asking “Have you lost your Job? , “have you been suspended?” , “Have you hit someone?” , “Are you in trouble with the Police?” “Are you gay?” i answered a resounding “No” to each and all questions. Mum was beginning to get a tad frustrated with me by now and we finally left the store and headed towards the park & Ride at the bus stop behind the indoor market and next to the old Odeon cinema with mum still enquiring as to what it was i was trying to tell her. Finally, as we headed towards the entrance to Foregate Indoor Market, mum asked THE question, “Do you want a sex change?” Within what felt like a split second, I replied, “YES”. She looked at me and I at her and she replied, “Is that it?” “Yes, I said. “You don’t want to go the whole way and have your penis cut off?” “Yes, that is the whole point, mum” “Oh, M”, she said,”You’re not doing that! Have you seen what they do?” “Yes, and it is what I want”. That was it, no issue, no rejection, I knew mum would be OK but there is always that ‘fear’ in the back of your mind that tells you that you will be rejected from the family.
I mentioned earlier that mum and I were close, well, since my ‘coming out’ to her and with her seeing me living my life happily, we are even closer than ever. I do look like mum and with the hormone regimen that I am on, I am looking even more like her. One day not so long back, I was walking down my parents front path towards the side porch extension and I thought I saw mum w=looking towards me on my approach but no, as I got closer, i realised it was in fact my own reflection! I just laughed at myself and still do to this day. I have even had commetns by friends and family on how much i am like my mum. All I can say to that is; FANTASTIC!
(( Cwtch ))