i love my mom.
she’s a wonderful, caring woman.
at 76 years old, she still seems young at heart.
i am her problem child.
but now, at 56 years old, i am the one she knows she can count on,
no matter what.
the one who is always there, if she needs someone.
she has merely to call.
i have given her plenty of trouble in the long ago past.
and have also caused her to re-exam certain previously held ‘truths’.
for example: of her seven children, i am the only one who is ‘queer’.
this is not something that she readily accepts, even today,
after she has had decades since i first came out to her.
then as if this weren’t enough, her grandchild,
my daughter, just happens to have been
born in a male body.
yesterday, on one of the occasions of me coming to her call,
we sat in her kitchen.
she asks me, “do you think he’s hungry?”
i looked at her like ‘who?’
then i got it and answered, “she might be. go ahead and ask.”
zeeona was not hungry as it happened and was far too busy
watching some movie on the t.v. in the living room.
i looked at my mom, with much love in my heart for her
and said; “do you suppose you’ll ever be able to use the
appropriate pronoun for her without prompting?”
“i’m sorry” she said, meaning it too. “it’s just so hard.”
i said, “how about after she has her surgery mom.
then what will you call her?”
“why, she, of course.” came the answer.
“don’t you see how silly that is?” i asked respectfully.
“you are letting a piece of skin, muscles, nerve endings,
blood vessels and such. . .
a penis, stand in the way of respecting who she is.”
clearly, she had never thought about it in that way before.
and then i thought, this is how the world feels too.
until zeeona gets the ‘bottom’ surgery done,
she will be considered male, no matter how obviously female she is!
luckily we are already saving up for that special hospital visit,
as well as for the expensive hormone treatments that will be
creeping up on us as she approaches puberty.
just as luckily, she is very strong in knowing who she is,
despite the temporary presence of what she calls ‘the spare part’.
knowing that she is a girl even if she has what society calls
a male body is easy for her, because that is, in fact, who she is.
but for my mom and most of society zeeona’s reality is simply not fact
until she has been altered.
which is something zeeona also feels must happen.
but would she feel that way if the world wasn’t possessed
of a binary coded gender mindset?
what if only one’s self-perception mattered in gender assignment.
what if instead of “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl” the doctor announced
“congratulations, you’re a parent.”
what if the sex of the body weren’t deemed as a
pronouncement of gender?
would zeeona then feel it necessary to
go beyond the hormone treatments necessary to allow
her body to more closely match her perceived gender?
i can’t say.
because we don’t live in such a world.
and our society seems hopelessly mired in dualities
about this matter
and about many things in general.