Friends and family…

I wrote a letter two days ago and, after reading it to Jeremy and getting zir approval, I posted it on Facebook. This is the letter…

Seventeen and a half years ago the doctor told me I had a baby boy. The doctor was wrong. Jeremy is transgender, identifying as non-binary trans or bi-gender. Zie explained this to our family doctor as “if gender was a cupcake, I’d be a blue cupcake with pink frosting”, which has got to be the sweetest analogy ever.

Since Jeremy isn’t male, zie is no longer using the pronouns he and him. Instead zie’s using the pronouns zie and zir. These are not hard to use. Zie is used exactly the same as he/she and zir is used like her/him. You can read an excerpt of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland here to see them in action: http://genderneutralpronoun.wordpress.com/about/alice/zie-zir/

If you care about and respect Jeremy, you will use these pronouns. It is that simple. You will slip up and make mistakes. I do and so does Emma. Heck, so does Jeremy for that matter. The important part is simply trying. What I find helps is using the pronouns when you’re thinking about Jeremy, that way it becomes a habit.

There is a 41% attempted suicide rate for trans people (compared with a 1.6% rate for cisgender people) mostly due to a lack of acceptance. Jeremy has already expressed thoughts of suicide. That 41% is not an abstract number, it is real and terrifying. Using zie and zir for pronouns makes Jeremy feel safe and accepted. Please use them, especially if you see zir in real life. It will make a huge difference.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Thank you 🙂

The response was overwhelmingly positive. So far 60 people have liked the post and I got a wide assortment of comments like…

I’m sure you took a deep breath before sitting down to make this post. It had to be a hard one to type up… I hope you and Jeremy are met with loving and accepting responses to this post. I know meeting you and hearing so much about Jeremy has been an eye opener for me. I try my best to be open-minded and accepting of others, and you all have helped to open my mind in areas that I didn’t realized it was closed. Thank you, Michelle and thank you, Jeremy.

Zie is a sweetie, always has been 🙂

Zie is adorable. Every time you post zir pictures, I just want to go all cheek pinching Auntie on zir.

Followed by…

BUT YOU’RE SO FLIPPIN ADORABLE, JEREMY! COME LET AUNTIE SQUISH YOUR CHEEKS!!!

Huge hugs to both of you and the rest of your family! My oldest is also trans and having a family that supports them is so super important! I just want to give zie a big ol’ hug!!!! If you also need any support info, I have tons of stuff!

What a brave zie! So proud of you both for sharing this. This zie and zir is not something I had heard of before. Thank you!

Great pronoun explanation! I’m so happy Jeremy is so strong and free to be true to zirself, and has a great family and friends that has zir back! (How did I do? lol)

Zie is so adorable. Please give zir a hug from me (I will refrain from cheek-pinching!)

Yay!! Coming out is hard but so worth it. Good for zir and good for you!!!  Also… I guess you’re no longer obligated to write “kidlet” several times a sentence, eh? lol 🙂

Everyone deserves to be happy in his/her/zie/zir body. So glad Jeremy has a family who supports zir.
Now if we could just get the rest of society on board….

I’ll be honest. Posting this on Facebook was more for me than Jeremy. Zie has a Facebook account but never uses it, meanwhile I’m on Facebook multiple times a day and I was growing increasingly tired of avoiding pronouns. Besides, as one friend commented via message (and as my Mom said when I told her originally), it wasn’t really much of a surprise. Now we can move on and I can use pronouns again. I was using kidlet a lot.

While I posted my letter, Emma wrote a poem for zir sibling.

Jeremy

To call Emma supportive might be a bit of an understatement 🙂

Then came the disappointing part. I have 22 relatives on Facebook (not counting Emma and Jeremy). Not a single one of them commented or liked the post. Karen posted pictures within minutes of my letter and an aunt popped up to comment on the pictures. But silence on my page. With 60 likes and 85 comments, there’s no way my post was missed. Facebook loves posts like that; I’m sure it’s still showing up at the top of people’s pages.

I have no idea if we’re being gossiped about. If we are, we aren’t hearing about it. And, if they aren’t being supportive, I don’t want to hear about it.

The best part about my letter is my friends. Every single reply since I’ve posted has used Jeremy’s proper pronouns. Maybe, with some luck, my family will see it’s not odd to be supportive and they’ll follow suit.

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14 thoughts on “Friends and family…

  1. I’m glad you got so many good responses, sorry that your family aren’t among the positive responders. Much love to you all.

  2. What an awesome way to explain the importance of pronouns; love your letter!! I had a similar response when I came out about my wife being trans on Facebook– overwhelming love from friends, including those who I least expected. But total radio silence from my extended family.

  3. This really shows the value of friends: neither of the members of my family (father and brother) have contacted me since I came out as a trans woman a year ago. But my friends have been awesome! 🙂

  4. from personal experience, more often than not family is the hardest group to accept, but the first to disapprove , sometimes you have to cut out the negative people even if they are family, and replace them with the supportive people and create a new family.

  5. Yeah, I think that clinches it- our families must be one and the same.

    I’ve posted a few things- articles and videos- and although I have some supportive cousins—- not a single like or comment from siblings, their spouses or nieces and nephews. Not one. (Even after I made it quite loud and clear how far that one little thumbs up like would go as a sign of support……and then in the middle of a rather nasty email about me not pulling my weight in regard to other family issues, being asked what could be done to show support for Kris and me)

    I’m thrilled with all of your wonderfully supportive remarks- it’s incredible and I’m glad you have the support of these other people.

  6. What a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful support network you have! I am so happy for all the positive and acceptance! I hope your family sees that it is okay to accept this as another variation of normal. Maybe all the kindness and love your friends are showing will help guide them. Hugs to you both! (PS: Great letter!!)

  7. Also, I should add, I know it sucks when family rejects or ignores. The not responding only leads us to believe/infer/assume they are rejecting. I am truly sorry for their lack of acceptance. We have family who are the same way and we have some who don’t accept our sweet girl, but who tolerate her…which I try to accept, but it is still not enough for me (but I let it be for now). Anyway, I am not being overly coherent, but I do know the pain of family rejection and I am sorry you continue to suffer through it. I hope your friends help lead the way for them…they have a lot of concrete examples of acceptance sitting right in front of them now!

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