Although my parents never once were verbally hostile to my sister nor threatened to disown her when she announced her transition, I would be lying if I said that none of us had our own issues to deal with. When a close family member radically changes their identity (or at least what we thought their identity was), it causes everyone to rethink their own identity.
Monday, June 14, 2010
In my case, I was fine with my sister's transition, but I did have a moment of identity crisis realizing that in my family, although I was still the youngest, I was no longer the only daughter. In fact the first thing I said to my sister when she told me about her true self (as at that time I was still looking at the person I had known as one of my brothers), after a sincere "that's great!" was, "I still get the jewellery!!!"
I'm over that now. At my wedding I specifically gave my sister the ring I had inherited from an aunt, and I kept the matching bracelet. My aunt had never realized that she had two nieces, so I figured that it was only right for my sister to also have a tangible memory of our aunt.
Enough about me though. This is to say how proud I am of my parents tonight. My mother believes that there is likely a genetic part to both sexual orientation and gender identity. She said that if people are judging her child, then she would just let them know that they were judging her because her child was a product of both her and my father's genetics. Anyhow, it wasn't said like, "Oh well, your sister can't *help* it, she was born like that" - it was more a celebration.
It's important to me having just gone through a wedding as it's nice to know that there is love in all forms. My parents also noted how touched they were to hear my father-in-law introduce his daughter and her wife to everyone when we were announcing guests from far away. Not that my in-laws ever had a problem with their daughter and her partner - everyone was at that wedding last year - but it's so nice that the public recognition wasn't an issue at all.
TM and I often laugh realizing that if either of our paternal grandfathers were still alive, they would not even have approved of our marriage. My Italian grandfather would have been horrified by the fact that TM has Chinese heritage, and equally, his grandfather would have been equally horrified that his beloved grandson was marrying a caucasian.
Here's to all the love in the world!