my child is a beautiful eight year old girl;
full of wonder, light and tomorrows.
she doesn’t have to be much bothered right now
with things like cis-ist attitudes and
judgmental opinions about who she is.
but as she becomes a bit older,
no doubt she will one day come up
against the brick wall that is
‘the dominant paradigm’.
today we went to the bank to deposit a check.
we hadn’t seen the teller who assisted me
for well over a year. she may have been
at another branch … who knows.
zeeona was playing at ‘hide from the cameras’,
a game she plays to avoid the many not-so-hidden
cameras scanning the place for potential robbers
as i was filling out the deposit slip,
out of the corner of my eye, i watched as
the teller’s face registered first recognition,
then disgust. she had caught sight of zeeona
and remembered that ‘she’ used to be ‘he’.
i braced myself for the inevitable.
“how old is your son getting to be now?” came the question.
zeeona was blissfully oblivious to this insult
and was still busy ducking and dodging the cameras.
as for me, i contemplated turning to the teller
and answering her.
then decided to feign oblivion, as tho
i hadn’t heard her.
if she asked again, i would tell her,
“my daughter” is eight now, isn’t she beautiful?”
then if she pursued the matter further
i would tell her that zeeona happens to be
a very special girl.
but the teller didn’t ask again.
i finished filling out the slip and
just before handing it to the teller
i called out to zeeona
“okay, girlfriend (a term we use for one another)
done here soon”
again, out of the corner of my eye
the face across the counter registered disgust,
and even a slight and no doubt unconscious
shaking of the head as she accepted the slip
and began to print out a receipt.
she didn’t ask, so i wouldn’t have to tell.
but a part of me wished she’d’ve had the guts
to inquire further.
a part of me wanted to gently awaken understanding in her,
not only for my daughter
but for others who are in some way different
from her self.
what kind of world will it be for zeeona if who she is
must be kept hidden: a secret.
what kind of world is it that wont even allow
discussion of the obvious!
(because obviously, the teller knew!)
being cis and bi it has always been easy for me to ‘pass’
within the confines of the dominant paradigm
if i so chose.
but the rebel in me always wanted folk to know
how i differed from their reality. will zeeona feel the same?
since she already lives as a girl.
and will transition into puberty as a girl,
then shortly after she is 16 undergo surgery to
put everything just so,
will she feel the need to be recognised as
someone who started out life in a male body?
or will she feel more comfortable just being seen as
the girl she’s always been?
i don’t know.
what i do know is that this special faerie child
has opened my perceptions to myriad ponders
even before and ever since she surprised me with
who she is.