Let the parents decide…

I’ll admit I don’t see much in the way of news, but even my rock gets internet so I have seen some; including a few articles on Michael Sam (and the brief kiss that’s apparently going to last forever). One comment I’ve seen a few times is that “Reporters/newscasters/media should let parents decide when to discuss certain topics with their kids instead of springing it on them in the news.”

What parent really believes life waits for them to decide when to have these conversations? Really? C’mon, you’d think that ship would have sailed when your toddler wanted to know why Daddy has a penis. At the dinner table. With guests over.

Or am I the only lucky one to have conversations like this?

I don’t remember having a discussion about same sex relationships although I’m assuming we had one. It probably came up very early as I’ve got close friends who are both male and have been together since Colin was born. Apparently the conversation wasn’t memorable. I can’t say the same about our conversation on cross dressing.

It all started on a lovely summer’s trip to the park. I got the kids fed and toileted, slathered them in sunscreen, collected a handful of toys, and set out. We were almost there when a person approached us. They were tall, at least 6ft, and looked even taller in stilettos. Despite it being barely after lunch, they were all dressed up for a night on the town. Make up, styled hair, evening gown… they were ready to go. And, just to make the experience even more interesting, the person wanted directions to the local jail where their boyfriend was waiting for a visit. I’ve found that when life hands us an experience, it goes all out.

I assured the person they were on the right road to get to the local jail and it was no more than a ten minute walk away, then agreed that it must stink to have their boyfriend behind bars. The whole time both kids stared up wide eyed.

They watched the person walk away (a lot more gracefully than I would in heels) then Kait turned to me and said, “Mommy, why is that man wearing a dress?”

The people who complain about how the news took away their right to plan for a conversation seem to think life gives you hours to come up with some suitable answer; in reality it gives you a handful of seconds.

My answer was, “Because he wants to”. Those four little words answered Kait’s question entirely.

I was in the car with my Mom and Kait last week and somehow the conversation came to that trip to the park. I got to the end of the story and my Mom piped up…

“You could have just said he was weird.”

“No I couldn’t,” I replied. There was a long pause.

“No,” my Mom said thoughtfully. “I guess you wouldn’t.”

Do I count?

This conversation happened several months ago when Jeremy was still identifying as bisexual for his sexual orientation and mostly male and a bit female for his gender. He’s currently identifying as completely 100% straight (as long as there’s no lie detector around) and still identifying as mostly male and a bit female for gender.

I can’t remember how the conversation started; Jeremy and I banter back and forth regularly which means our conversations ramble. I do remember we were discussing the word “fabulous” and somehow the conversation sidetracked to how the LGBTQ community has claimed the word.

“That’s my word,” Jeremy protested with a grin. The grin faded.

“Mom?” he asked seriously. “If I’m only interested in men a little and I only feel a little like a woman, do I count?”

Do I count?

I felt like I’d been punched in the gut; which hasn’t happened often but it’s a sensation that’s not easily forgotten. I sat silent and breathless, his words echoed through my mind, bringing tears to my eyes. They still do.

My first thought was that I can’t speak for the LGBTQ community at all. Then I looked into his eyes and thought “fuck it”.

“Yes Jeremy, of course you count,” I assured him.

His smile was fabulous.

I stink at rules…

So, I kind of got nominated for the Liebster Award. I looked at the whole long list of rules then decided to pretty much ignore them all, I’m not good with rules. And like janitorqueer, who nominated me, I am also the kiss of death for any chain letter I’ve ever received.

I do, however, like the idea behind the award. An introduction to the blogger and sharing favourite blogs. So, I’m going to do that part.

1. My name is not Michelle and Jeremy’s real name is not Jeremy. Jeremy isn’t out and I’ve got no interest in actually outing him. One of my big concerns is I’m going to slip up and either use Jeremy’s real name here or call him Jeremy in real life. If I use his real name here, I can at least edit it out quickly. It would be harder to explain in real life why I’ve apparently forgotten the name of my own son.

2. I’d like to be organized but I ignore mess so I can write, chat with friends on Facebook (usually Lenny), and read. When I say write, I’ve written two novels for which I’m now trying to find agents, plus I’m currently working on a third novel. Also, I have no idea how I’ll be able to share those novels here seeing as I’m writing using my real name and using a pseudonym here. I usually walk around without my glasses on, which makes it easier to ignore the clutter although I’m more likely to trip over things.

3. My family thinks I’m weird. No really; they’re a nice, normal, suburban family and then there’s me. I’m an atheist but attend church regularly and I’m a vegan while they’re all confirmed meat eaters. If you run into someone in the grocery store wearing brightly coloured mismatched socks, singing to the canned music, and chatting up random strangers… chances are it’s me. Actually, when you get right down to it, everyone thinks I’m weird. I went to a renowned children’s hospital when I was six years old and was given a battery of tests. At the end my official diagnosis was… I’m a square peg in a round hole. If I knew where that paperwork was, I’d get it framed.

4. I’ve got three cats and two guinea pigs, which is two guinea pigs more than I actually want; I had no idea they lived so long. Emma begged for them when she was 13 years old and I figured they had a lifespan like hamsters, two years tops. No, they live until they’re eight, which means we have about three years to go. Meanwhile Emma lost interest in them after a year. Jeremy’s taught one of our cats to give hugs, another cat likes to sleep under the covers at night, and the third sleeps on his back with all four paws in the air.

5. I pretty much live under a rock. I don’t have cable, I rarely watch movies, and I just listen to songs because I like them. I also don’t watch sports of any type. When people talk about celebrities, I usually have no idea at all who they’re talking about. My news comes from Facebook so I get lots of cute cat and dog videos and a whole whack of pro-LGBTQ news (which is handy for posts here).

That’s enough stuff about me. If anyone’s got any burning questions, I can answer them below.

Now for the blogs. These are the blogs I read regularly (some are updated more frequently than others). They’re in no particular order and will all open in their own tab:

Janitorqueer

Shades of Lenny Grey

Trains and Dresses

Transiteration

The Pink Agendist

My Migraine Family

Fjarilar och Zebror (the blog is in English, don’t let the name scare you)

Dandelion Fuzz

Raising my Rainbow

Living a Bold Life

Jeremy’s photos…

Jeremy came back from CanUUdle late last night, bouncing with excitement and giggling madly over jokes that made no sense; a lack of sleep likely accounted for the latter. He had a great time. They swam, went to a park, and played capture the flag. He loved the hot tub more than the pool, although it only seated eight (which is eight more than our imaginary one can seat). I asked him if he wore his pyjamas and he looked at me in bewildered surprise before saying “yes”.

“Did anyone say anything?” I asked, trying to sound casual. His look of bewilderment increased.

“No. I just put them on and hopped into my sleeping bag. I was the first one asleep.”

Considering how late Jeremy stays up, they must have stayed up really late.

And Jeremy took pictures. Lots of pictures. 139 to be exact. None of them were people, he says he hadn’t asked for permission to take anyone’s picture. Almost none of them were scenery so I have no real idea of where he was or what he saw. I also need to show him how to use the macro setting of the camera as most of the pictures ended up being nothing but a huge blur. But he did take some interesting shots.

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Here, he made an attempt at a macro shot. I know he’s seen me do similar. What he didn’t realize was I had the camera on super macro and my hand actually wasn’t in the shot. It was a good attempt though.

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Hypocritical Family Values

Jeremy’s made it through his third night and I’ve still heard nothing. He should be home tonight with lots of stories and no pictures on the camera I sent with him… and possibly in his pjs, if he follows the same pattern he has for every other youth gathering. I’m looking forward to seeing him and not looking forward to the laundry (which is the same pattern I have for every other youth gathering).

A friend of mine shared a video on Facebook yesterday and I’d like to share it with you. I’ll share it with Jeremy later:

Edited to add: Wow that’s one heck of an interesting still YouTube chose to freeze for the video LOL

I was given comebacks…

I posted on a forum I frequent and asked for comebacks on the “he looks like a half girl” comment. Quite a few were not suitable to say to a teenager but I got a couple of good ones. My favourites were…

“Which half?”
“Why is that a bad thing?”
“Your shitty, archaic preconceived notions of gender roles [sic] make the baby Jesus cry.”
“Is there something wrong with girls?”
“How do you mean?” Then stare at her while she tries to explain.

My favourite comment from there didn’t come from that thread and (of course) I completely forgot to use it yesterday. “I’m surprised you feel comfortable saying that.”

By this time, Jeremy’s two nights into his youth gathering and I haven’t heard a word from him, which is good. That means he’s been too busy to text. One more night and then he’ll be on his way home. I’m curious to find out what they did and if he wore the only pair of pyjamas he packed or if he simply crashed in clothes for three nights. I’m hoping for pjs, I didn’t pack much in the way of clothes.

Also, here’s an article (and video) from CBC: Transgender blood donor turned away in Vancouver.

I’d hope this gets sorted out soon but, honestly, donating blood can be a crap shoot for anyone; their criteria is much too vague. I got turned away once because I admitted to taking vitamin B12 when asked about medication. Not injections, just the plain vitamin tablets sold in the drug store. They hadn’t been prescribed, I wasn’t anaemic, I simply started taking them on my own because I’m vegan. It floored the nurse, she’d never heard of anyone taking vitamin B12 before without it being injected by a doctor (I’ve seen the shelves at every drug store and find this hard to believe). No matter how many times I told her it wasn’t a prescription, it wasn’t injected, and I wasn’t anaemic, she kept insisting it was all three. I got sent away “just this once” as long as I talked to my doctor and got his permission. Verbal permission was fine too so theoretically I could have just shown up in another month and lied. I did talk to my doctor, who was confused why it would be an issue, and it wasn’t even brought up at the next donation. I’m taking B12 and D now and there’s no way in hell I’m letting the nurses know this at Canadian Blood Services.

Canadian Blood Services routinely turn away all men who have sex with another male, although they’ve relaxed their rules now. It used to be if they’ve had sex at any time, even once, since 1977 and now it’s in the past five years. Jeremy simply snorted when I told him this and said, “So they’re pretty much still banning every adult gay male.”

I personally think they should look more at promiscuity than gender, a woman who sleeps with someone whose sexual background is unknown can donate again within a year while a gay man who’s been in a monogamous relationship for the past twenty years can’t donate at all. But they didn’t ask me my opinion.

What do you say?

I was sitting in the break room at work enjoying a bag of cherries when a young coworker sat down beside me. She smiled and we went through our usual hellos then I told her I had a few new pictures on my phone. I shared a Mother’s Day shot of my sister, my Mom, and I then scrolled to one of Jeremy with his new purple dye.

“Oh,” she blurted, sounding surprised. One side of her mouth quirked down. “Oh,” she repeated. She took another quick look at the screen. “Why did he pick that colour?” she asked, her tone pure disapproval. “He looks like a half girl.”

I had absolutely no idea what to say, so I settled on “okay”. To be fair, I don’t think she had any idea what to say to my response. The rest of break was quiet.

Also, today’s the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. There are 77 countries where it’s against the law to be gay. Jeremy told me a couple of weeks ago that he thought it would be really cool to travel to Russia then promised he wouldn’t go when I started to cry.