*I contemplated deeply before deciding to write this personal experience article. But I have learned that when I take “me” out of the equation, and insert “us” instead, I am no longer deadlocked on what to do. This also enables me to actively participate in my intent –which, when it comes to my work as a writer at least, is always an authentic attempt to teach, learn, or gain a greater understanding of something. Thus, by putting this out there publicly, I know that others also share these thoughts but may not have a forum; and others still, those who have personal experience, can teach or share. With this editorial article, I hope to open a dialogue. An intelligent dialogue that lends itself to articulate communication versus name calling, or homophobic responses. If that is the only way that you can communicate or respond after reading this article…don’t.
As an entrepreneur and former artist, and well-traveled person, I have always had opportunity to meet a variety of people, including children, on a regular basis. I have also humbly accepted the reality that I have one of those personalities that apparently puts people at ease; albeit at times too much, too quickly, and they begin to feel a sense of trust that may lead to TMI (too much information). This is what happened recently, when I encountered a mother and daughter of approximately 9-years old. After about 10 minutes of great conversation the child, obviously listening to what her mother had just said, jumped in and asked me “Miss, how come so many men are changing into women…Didn’t God make any real men?”
Obviously caught off guard, I often have some wisdom-based answer in my side pocket, I found myself dumbfounded. All I could do was look at her mother, then back at her and respond, “Of course He did!” (Insert nervous giggle).
I wish I could’ve said something…different. Better. Deeper, yet palatable for her curious young mind.
I dare not offer the whole, “Some of my best friends are gay” quote (even if it’s true) as I delve into public domain with this. And I certainly don’t feel the need or desire to explain myself when I admit that I have formed the same question in my own head, though not necessarily “asking God.”
Hell, if I could give away my womanly symptoms that come out once a month in the form of my period; or the later-in-life flare-ups stemming from menopause and even post menopause; the hot flashes, memory issues, forgetfulness…
Take that shit, please!
Men choosing to have sex with men is nothing new. Looking back to my own childhood, I can recall there was always at least one dear soul in the community that the adults clearly loved, but always referred to as “You know he funny [sic].” Even today, I can hear them in my head saying that.
Somehow, I knew our friend was different, but I was confused by the word they used. What was ‘funny’ about him?
What is new are the growing numbers of men who have gone all the way. Those who have had surgery to now erase any association with their manhood. What is new (at least in some states) are the rules that now allow same-sex marriages. With this said, I don’t think it’s so far-fetched to wonder about such a thing – like this child’s question. Especially since this lifestyle appears to be growing by leaps and bounds.
Miss, didn’t God make any ‘real men?’
Because this particular meet was in my car (I drive Uber); the ride was about 15, no 20 minutes. Not to divulge too much of the mother’s conversation, it did involve a divorce based on new information she had learned about her husband of nearly a decade.
He was also the father of this little girl. The ending of their marriage was recent and the aftermath was still fresh — especially for the little girl.
With this aspect of the lifestyle still being so new in the whole scheme of things, I had never really thought deeply about how it affects the children…in school? With friends? In extracurricular activities? Bullying?
Or just sitting alone in their room.
Kids can be so cruel.
EVERYBODY KNOWS. My friends laugh at me because my dad is now a girl.
I used to call him “daddy” — what should I call him now?
Granted, parents who go through this know that they must sit down and have a serious talk with the children. But at the same time, don’t insult anyone’s intelligence by making this sound easy. Or making it appear that the children who have had “the talk” and are still “having issues” don’t exist.
And I have no doubt whatsoever that a decision to live this lifestyle has or will traumatize them on some level. No matter what age they are.
And the process to deal with this will take A LOT of time.
How could it not? There are other children in their environment? Those children will say things. They will mimic the parents they go home to; some of whom are ignorant or insensitive, lack compassion, are homophobic and unapologetic.
All of this is not to say that you should continue to live a lie (being who you are not); nor that you shouldn’t have taken the route you took. It’s just to acknowledge this part of the fallout. That the decision you made affects more than just YOU.
As parents continue to grapple with choices, options, all I can hope for is they consider the children; and talk to their spouse so together they come to terms with how they will present the lifestyle to their child/children…on a continuous basis…as new situations and behaviors arise.
Obviously this goes deeper than some of the questions heterosexuals have to consider after becoming parents. Am I still going to party as hard? Or will I let new “friends” stay …overnight?
This is a whole new ballgame, folks. And you’re going to need more than a catcher’s mitt to support your child’s behavioral responses.
I wish you well…always.
***Editor’s note: This article only dealt with transitions of men to women because of the question asked by the child. Stock photo of little girl. No relation to story.
I am DeBorah B. Pryor and I approve this message.