Hello… anyone there?

That would be me calling out the title inside Jeremy’s brain; I get the feeling he spends as little time in there as possible. I freely admit that I am venting and that I don’t understand. That being said, I don’t understand!

Take last summer for instance. Jeremy told me several times that he was interested in boys as well as girls. Over the next half year he waffled, telling me he didn’t know if he was interested in boys because he tried his hardest not to think about it… then he started telling me he was straight. Which is fine, it’s not like there’s some quota I’m trying to fill…

“Jeremy, we don’t have enough LGBTQ people in our family so you’re it. Pick a group and run with it.”

… but at the same time I really don’t get the “I’m trying hard not to think about it” comments.

When Jeremy saw the video on Just Kidding News, he insisted he needed to write a letter and share it with them. I decided to share a letter as well.

I called him into the room before I published it and said, “Hon, I need you to listen to this and tell me if my letter is correct. I’m not in your head and don’t want to put words in your mouth. Please tell me if I mis-identified you in any way.”

Jeremy listed to the letter and told me he agreed 100%. He even agreed the words “gender nonconforming” fit him. Then I asked him if I could share the letters in a closed Facebook group I belong to and he said yes. I wanted to go back and add a link to the blog a little while later and he refused.

“Jeremy? I was just wondering why you turned down the link to our blog,” I asked. “Considering how much was in the letter, I’m not sure there’s anything else in the blog that would be a surprise.”

He looked confused. “Well what was in the letter?”

I scrolled back to the post, “I said you identify as non-conforming, haven’t sorted out your gender identity yet, and are likely trans.”

He smirked. “That’s just you putting words in my mouth.” I thought the smoke coming from my ears was going to set off the alarm.

“I read you that letter,” I retorted. “AND I asked you to tell me if you agreed or disagreed with what I wrote AND you told me you agreed 100%. What the hell is the point of me asking you if you’re going to agree then and claim I made it all up later? If I’m wrong, tell me where it is so I can try and fix it.”

He looked embarrassed. “It’s fine,” he finally said. “What you wrote is fine.”

Then came this morning. To be totally honest, I can’t even remember how the conversation started. Jeremy had been up since 4am and woke me up with him rustling around, talking to himself and the cats, and making something to eat. My alarm was set for 5:45am, I had not planned on getting up almost two hours early and was not very conscious. I do remember asking him if he could at least tell me whether he was 100% male or not. I figured that one would be easy. It wasn’t. He had no idea. And once again he informed me he tries his hardest not to think about the subject. Which made me picture the inside of Jeremy’s skull looking like this…

Tumbleweeds2

 

Then to top it off, he asked when he’d ever said he was bisexual because he couldn’t remember ever saying that. I told him when (again) and he looked surprised (again). I’m sure he’ll forget again soon.

I told him I loved him, grabbed my lunch, and headed off to catch the bus. Once I got on I messaged Lenny.

“I freely admit I don’t get it. He can’t even tell me if he feels 100% male or not because he tries his hardest not to think about it. He did this with being bisexual too. Told me for ages that he didn’t know at all. Then we had a conversation where he went from saying he didn’t know to saying he was straight in less than a minute. Now he keeps forgetting he ever told me he was bi. It’s just frustrating and concerning that he blocks and hides this stuff from himself.”

Lenny replied, “This path will cause me pain is a powerful reason not to let it all hang out.”

Which makes sense. I just wish he’d spend a little more time thinking and a lot less time ignoring himself. He’s a good kid to hang around with, I wish he was happier with himself and happier to be himself.

(Also, I found the tumbleweed gif at Awesomely Luvvie)

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6 thoughts on “Hello… anyone there?

  1. As hard as it might be to believe, Jeremy is miles ahead of where I was at his age. I wasn’t just in the closet, I was all the way into Narnia.

    I had feelings that something was wrong with my gender, but I pushed them down as far as I could till I’d almost forgotten they were there. I only managed to convince myself I was male by adopting really strict and sexist views about gender roles.

    And while I was (and still am) primarily attracted to women, I definitely had (and still have) some interest in men, too. I pushed that down as well. I only managed to convince myself I was straight by being openly homophobic and angry towards gay people.

    And just now I’m starting to recall some of the horrible, mean things I said during that time and I’m crying because of how hurtful and stupid they were.

    In order to deny who I was, I had to become an asshole. And I will always be sorry for that.

    So yeah. Jeremy isn’t being 100% honest with himself about his gender or his orientation. But it could be much, much worse.

    (Not that that nessecarily makes it any less frustrating for you, though.)

    • (((hugs)))

      No one can do anything to change the past, which doesn’t make it easier. All you can do now is change today and tomorrow.

      I guess the hard part for me is that Jeremy looked very feminine right through childhood and into his teens…. even when he was fourteen since he didn’t hit puberty until he was fifteen. Now he’s six two, has a mustache and is starting to get funky looking hair patches on his cheeks and chin. They look a tad mouldy but I’m guessing they’ll eventually form into a beard. If he eventually identifies as female… forget second guessing myself, I’ll be 200th guessing myself that if I’d said or done something different, he’d have come out sooner. But I can’t change the past either and am not really sure what I could have done differently.

      I keep reading stories where preschoolers are coming out as trans and then there’s Jeremy. It’s good to know he’s not alone at least.

  2. When the time is right, he will know. Even though gender and sexual orientation are two separate things they are closely linked. It must be confusing figuring out if you like boys as a boy or boys as a girl and so on making you either gay or straight depending on how you like them as who you really are… if that makes any sense.

    You are doing a great job- just be there for him and when he’s ready he will know. 🙂

  3. Oh man, I know it was so hard for me not knowing what Kegan was thinking and she is only five. I can’t even imagine how hard it is at 17! The not knowing is so hard. For them, but for us as moms too. It is hard to make a plan when you don’t know what you are preparing for. It is hard to fix things when you are not sure what is broken. Obviously I don’t mean anything is broken, I know you know that about me, but as moms, we always want to make things easier, make the path simpler, and if we can’t do that we want three plans and five contingency plans organized and in place. When our kid doesn’t know his/her gender yet, it is really hard to get those plans in place.

    For me the hardest part was the waiting.

    You are an awesome mom, doing an awesome job, having a tremendous amount of faith in the process and in Jeremy. Providing a safe, secure, open-minded environment for him to figure it out. You are doing everything you can. You really are!!!

    • Thanks 🙂

      He goes back to school in just over a month and, since he’s in a life skills class, they focus a lot on personal care and daily routines. He finds this frustrating because they bring up gender stereotypes quite a bit. Boys can’t have long hair or long nails etc. They’ve chastised him for arguing in English class that boys and girls were not opposites and you could feel both male and female because it was a class on opposites and they were only looking at words and not gender. They even brought in a hair dresser (solely to try and get Jeremy’s hair cut boy short) and encouraged several classmates to tell Jeremy how much better he’d look with his hair cut. He did and regretted it within days.

      I know he’s miserable at school. He doesn’t feel supported or listened to. The class is supposed to go right up to 21 years old, giving the kids a chance to either bridge to college or to a job. Jeremy’s plan right now is to drop out at 18 so he won’t have to deal with them anymore. Sigh… having something firm to tell them would give me that much more of an edge in dealing with them. He was very uncomfortable in the spring when they only discussed binary gender pronouns in English and asked me to speak to the teacher for him. They told me they could only discuss other pronouns if he identifies as trans AND was using that pronoun. Then they’d explain that one pronoun.

      And, yep, I’m huge with plans (and back up plans). Last time we went on vacation, I had our tickets booked and our hotels reserved nine months in advance. Whereas Jeremy’s gender seems more like a windsock in a hurricane. It’s here… it’s there… whoops, it’s back here again and, wait, I think it’s now inside out. Not consistent and definitely no plans.

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