The conversation came out of nowhere. One minute we were getting ready to catch the bus and the next Colin was talking about whether trans people should out themselves to prospective dates. I was on the side of no and Colin, surprisingly enough, went for yes.
“It’s no one’s business what’s in someone else’s pants,” I said as I locked the front door. “Genitals are private.”
“What about you and L?” he asked. “You must know about her.”
“No,” I replied. “I’ll probably find out if we get serious but right now it’s none of my business.”
“Well it’s not right,” Colin loudly insisted. “I don’t want to find out my girlfriend’s transgender after I’ve been dating her for a while. I don’t want to find out we can’t have kids together. Not when I’ve given up my own happiness for a kid.”
Those words free fell from his mouth to crash onto the tiled floor.
“Given up my own happiness”
I couldn’t cry, I just couldn’t. He didn’t need that. His pain was his own and I couldn’t add to it.
We were halfway to the bus stop when I casually commented, “Did you know disabled kids are the least likely to get adopted?”
I tried to keep my tone light and non-committal. We’ve already had the adoption talk before and it wouldn’t help to go through it twice. But I was talking to the person who asked the store clerk if they had any special needs guinea pigs. Luckily I succeeded and he proceeded to talk about special needs all the way to the bus stop. Hopefully I’ve planted a seed.
I wish he’d put his own happiness ahead of a baby that doesn’t exist and a girlfriend he has yet to meet but that’s got to be decided by him, not me. So I’ll just keep remembering “given up my own happiness” and let the tears trickle down on the inside where he can’t see.