An afternoon walk…

Jeremy and I went for a walk yesterday. It was a gorgeous summer day (we got good weather just in time for fall) and it was nice just to get out and spend some time together. I got an amazing shot of them in the woods, but it’s a full face shot so I can’t share it here; they truly looked lovely though. Meanwhile we simply chattered about nothing in particular.

We were walking back towards home when I looked over at Jeremy and remembered something they’d said this winter.

“Mom, I’ve thought about killing myself this month. My life’s pointless, it’s just not going to get any better. I’m never going to amount to anything.”

“Jeremy,” I said hesitantly. “You know I go on a parenting group for mothers. There’s a few people in that group who don’t identify with either gender. One thing to remember though is they’ve grown up, are in relationships, and have kids.”

“Are there any fathers in that group?”

I shook my head. “There’s another group for fathers though.”

“What do they wear?”

“Whatever they want to wear,” I replied. “Some wear masculine clothes, some wear feminine, some alternate between, and some try for more neutral clothes. It just depends on what they feel more comfortable in.” They smiled.

We walked a bit further. “Do any of them live nearby,” they asked hopefully.

“Umm, I know someone who lives across the lake but that’s not exactly convenient. Why?”

“I was hoping maybe they could come in and talk to my teacher… but it wouldn’t make a difference. When that kid came out as trans in the other class…”

I looked over to see Jeremy scowl. “Our teacher sat us down to explain that the kid was male and not female and one of my classmates started to cry because he had to stay a girl and wasn’t allowed to change. She cried so much the teacher ended up sending her into the hall to calm down. She didn’t try to explain anything to [classmate] at all. She should have told her it didn’t have anything to do with her. If it was me, I’d have sent her home for a week.”

“That’s not fair either,” I interrupted. “She’s developmentally delayed. She should have gotten an explanation instead of being sent into the hall.”

“That’s why I said a week,” Jeremy protested. “I’d go look up information.”

“You wouldn’t need a week. The teacher should have already had the information ready ahead of time.” They nodded.

“I’m going to do a teach,” they said decisively. “I’ll explain everything and they’ll have to listen, no excuses.”

So Jeremy’s going to teach a group of teens in a life skills class about non-binary trans… under the supervision of their teacher, who’s been critiquing Jeremy’s hair and nails for the past two years. This is going to be one heck of an interesting fall.

And now I’m off to dye their hair purple and watch an episode of Doctor Who. School goes back in tomorrow.

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10 thoughts on “An afternoon walk…

  1. Wow! You are in for quite a year with Jeremy, aren’t you? I’m happy to hear they are starting off the year with fresh purple color! 🙂

    Unfortunately, too many people, including the professionals who deal with our children, are not educated in gender issues.

  2. Micah from their blog Neutrois Nonsense can give you all kinds of advice. (I’m going to give you other links, sorry they don’t hyperlink, you’ll have to cut and paste, as I’m on my phone doing this.) other sites that focus on non-binary and gender queer trans youth are neutrois.com, nonbinary.org, genderqueerid.com, asexuality.org (1 in 5 people who are ace identify as agender or other genderqueer labels), genderfork.com, and genderodyssey.org.

    Two sources I would stay away from are anything on Tumblr, because they are teens who often don’t present accurate information; and this guy Sam who maintains the blog itspronouncedmetrosexual.com, because he plagiarizes research made by members of the GLBT community, and passes himself as someone who can explains our issues better than we can ourselves.

    Hope this helps, especially for them!

  3. And you may have to relabel the one tag. They are mtf, not ftm. I have also seen mt* and ft* for people born of either sex and are transitioning to something other than a binary gender, e.g. ftn, female-to-neutrois (Micah whom I just mentioned identified as that.)

    Labels help us identify ourselves and validate our existence, as well as find others who are like us in some way. We shouldn’t pigeon-hold ourselves with them, but that is why I mention it.

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