Silent Night…

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I should be in bed. Jeremy’s been in zir room for over an hour now and I’m fully expecting zir to wake me before sunrise. Zie’s so anxiously hopeful about getting a remote control car, to the point where I’m glad I bought it (and remembered batteries) because I’m pretty sure zir Christmas would be crushed without it. The flip side is I’m also reasonably sure finding a big purple remote control car is going to be the highlight of zir day.

Tomorrow should be relatively peaceful. I say ‘should’ because nothing ever truly goes as planned. It’s about as un-chaotic a day as anyone could organize though. Emma and Mark are coming over for lunch and then Jeremy and I are spending the rest of the day on our own. I did originally invite their grandmother to join us but their Dad came down to spend Christmas with her instead. This meant the kids visited them yesterday.

To say I was nervous about the visit would be an understatement. Their Dad called the day before to inform me that he was going to warn the kids that if they acted up the person who was misbehaving would be sent home.

“That’s fine,” I assured him then added, “As long as it extends to you too.”

“I don’t fight with the kids!” he said, sounding affronted. I simply waited. “I only point out the flaws in what Emma says.”

“Yeah, don’t do that.” His version of pointing out flaws involves picking at her until she blows up then cheerfully complaining about how argumentative she is.

He agreed then I got Jeremy to call zir sister and warn her about their Dad’s new rules. I didn’t want it to be their Dad who shared the news because I knew he wouldn’t be tactful.

The kids started their visit while I was at work. I wondered aloud if I’d need bail money. Thankfully I didn’t because I don’t think our laundry quarters would stretch very far.

Jeremy was worried before zie left because we didn’t get a Tim Hortons coffee mug for zir Dad this year. Their Dad asks for one every year without fail, dropping repeated requests that start back in May. Two years ago I bought him one and Jeremy carefully placed it into a gift bag and signed the tag. Then it sat underneath the tree until I took the tree down and placed it under the end table… where it sat until the summer. By that time the package of coffee inside was about to expire and Jeremy gave the mug to someone else. Last year Emma bought him a mug with her own money. Once again it sat unopened until the summer when she took it out of the package and used it herself. This year he told her he really wants a mug because he threw away every single other mug they’ve given him because he didn’t feel like packing them when he moved. There was no way on earth I was buying him one but that didn’t stop Jeremy from worrying.

I pointed to the counter and the racks of freshly baked cookies. “I’m filling a gift bag of cookies for your Dad. Don’t worry sunshine, you’ll have a present for him.”

Jeremy sighed with relief and headed off to bed. Zie sighed too soon. Their Dad opened his gift then said, with obvious disappointment and sarcasm, “Oh cookies, yum, thanks kids.” Meanwhile he didn’t bring the kids anything, not even a card. I told Emma that if he didn’t want them, I’d take them back. There’s plenty of people who’d appreciate homemade cookies. There’s plenty of people who did appreciate them. I’ve been giving them out all month.

And then he got creepy. Joking that his mother should tell her friend she was too busy banging an 18 year old and a 13 year old to answer the phone. He couldn’t understand why no one else thought that was funny. Plus he repeatedly told the kids that all he wants for Christmas is to unwrap an 18 year old. The kids are 17 and 19 years old and found their Dad’s unsubtle hints that he wants to have sex with someone their age beyond gross. Hearing about his comments makes me want to get a scrubbie from the kitchen and scour myself raw. I can tell myself (truthfully) that he’s gotten worse over the years but still…

Finally it was time for them to leave. Their grandmother bustled around, making sure they had their Christmas cards and that everyone was in their coats and set for a goodbye hug and kiss. Meanwhile their Dad wandered over to the bed and laid down, immediately pretending to fall asleep instead of saying goodbye. He might claim he passed right out except when Emma announced she was sure he was lying on her tablet, he conveniently rolled over and off the device.

Jeremy hasn’t said more than five words about the visit. Instead zie’s been anxious and fidgety about everything else. Repeatedly commenting about the remote control car, dissolving into tears when I asked to pause the Christmas music zie’d wired to the tree so I could listen to a video for a minute, barely able to sit through dinner. Zie settled down at bedtime and has been quiet ever since but I can honestly say I’m glad zie only sees zir Dad about once or twice a year. I wish that wasn’t the case. I wish zie had an amazing father. But as Karen says regularly, it is what it is.

I’ve got a very laid back day planned for tomorrow. Roasted sweet potato soup and homemade cinnamon buns for lunch with Emma and Mark followed by a quiet afternoon and an easy dinner. And this is what’s waiting for Jeremy when zie wakes up.

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I can’t say it’s a silent night anymore because we’re now getting wind gusts of 100km/hr but hopefully tomorrow will be filled with peace.

Sweet dreams and best holiday wishes to everyone!

One whole year…

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I wrote my first post. I’d spent the previous month pondering whether I should start a new blog. I already had one, which was well known to family and friends, but I found myself with lots to say and, since I didn’t want to ‘out’ my kid, nowhere to write it. Plus the few blogs I read were about younger kids, which meant we were dealing with completely different situations. I figured if I couldn’t find blogs about what I was dealing with, there was a space my blog needed to fill. I picked WordPress because my original blog was on Blogspot (I worried my new blog might inadvertently get linked to the old one if they were through the same site) and carefully wrote out an introduction. The rest, as they say, is history.

So much has changed this year. When I started writing, Jeremy was an effeminate young man who thought “he” might be bisexual. Today zie identifies as bigender trans and says zie’s interested solely in women. Zie doesn’t identify as straight though, which makes sense considering zie identifies as partly female. Jeremy’s been struggling with anxiety for a while, becoming increasingly house-bound. Jeremy missed our Solstice Service last night plus the last PFLAG meeting due to anxiety. Zie started on EffexorXR two days ago and I’m hoping it will make a difference.

Writing this blog has made a huge difference for me. I’ve made several friends through here and have found two groups for parents of transgender children (one of which is linked on my resources page; the other is a secret group). The friendships and groups also gave me the confidence to start attending our local chapter of PFLAG, which in turn has a teen group for Jeremy.

In real life I’m quite shy. The support and encouragement I’ve received here has helped me stand up more in real life. I’ve become more vocal and huggy at work and, well, more vocal everywhere. I had my Christmas party on Saturday and a friend of mine started talking about one of my former neighbours, someone I didn’t know (we’re talking about a 20 storey high rise… there are a LOT of neighbours I didn’t know). The neighbour is FtM trans.

“She was a really ugly female but now she’s really hot,” my friend continued.

I’d said “he” several times as she’d talked but my friend remained oblivious. This time I marched over and stood in front of her, my hands on my hips.

“He,” I said firmly. “He’s really hot. He was never female and you need to stop referring to him as she.”

“Oh, sorry,” my friend said and switched to using he. I then gave a mini talk on hormones and how sex organs develop before brains while my friends listened with obvious interest. This isn’t something I would have done a year ago. This isn’t something I really knew about a year ago.

And now we’re moving on to Christmas and 2015. I can’t wait to see what the following year brings 🙂

Anxiety…

“Mom? Do we really live in a democracy?”

I turned around from brushing my hair and blinked at Jeremy. It wasn’t even 6am and I was barely awake. I’d heard Jeremy up several hours earlier though.

“I mean we vote for three people who were chosen by their parties. How can that be a democracy when we have such little choice?”

I put down my hair brush and tried to think of a coherent answer. “Umm… I think we’re in a democratic oligarchy.” That didn’t sound right but it was as close as I could get before the sun rose. “Hon, can we talk about this later?”

Zie rolled zir eyes and headed out to the living room. I followed along behind, thinking of what I needed to do next. My lunch was in the fridge and my phone charging. I grabbed both and put them by the front door then I pulled my shoes from the closet.

“Mom! The computer’s still screwed up! We need to take it in to get fixed immediately!”

I was leaning against the wall while lacing up one shoe. “So it won’t turn on?” I called back.

“No, it turns on. It just drops down to three frames per second once it loads.”

Huh? I had no idea what zie was talking about and didn’t have time to find out. It had taken me much too long to drag myself out of bed and now I only had 10 minutes until I needed to leave and I still needed to make breakfast.

“Hon, can we talk about this when I get home tonight?” I asked then sighed to myself. It wasn’t like tonight was going to be any less busy. I wasn’t getting home until 5pm and we needed to leave by 6:30pm to get to PFLAG.

“Our computer is pretty much destroyed and you’re not going to do anything about it! You’re just going to let it get ruined!” Jeremy yelled before storming off to zir room. I tied my other shoe and headed to the kitchen.

“Where are my track pants? I need them! I can’t go to school without them! What did you do with them!” Jeremy screamed from zir room.

“Jeremy, I haven’t even seen them. You had a blanket wrapped around you last night before bed. They should be in your room.”

“You don’t understand. I need these track pants! You just don’t care! What happened to them? I wasn’t wearing them yesterday, I was wearing my jeans, but they’re too big and my teacher says I can’t wear them anymore and, oh, there they are…” Jeremy’s voice dropped about 5 decibels. I got the peanut butter from the cupboard and signed.

“So, are you going to apologize to me?” I asked.

“No,” Jeremy replied scornfully. I sighed again.

Then I went to work and jumped every time the phone rang even though the school hasn’t called in ages. Instead they’ve been sending Jeremy to the AR room to do whatever zie wants. I don’t think Jeremy’s been learning anything at school for several months now.

I called Jeremy on my way home and was surprised by how quiet zir voice was.

“Can we just stay home tonight Mom? I’m feeling really anxious. I can’t go out anywhere. Please?”

There wasn’t any point in forcing zir to go to PFLAG. Not if zie felt that bad.

“Okay,” I said gently. “Just make sure the big pots are washed so I can make dinner when I get home.”

“I’ll try,” zie whispered.

Jeremy was asleep in front of the electric fireplace when I walked in the door. Zie immediately grabbed zir phone and headed off to bed to watch videos. It wasn’t even 6pm yet. Then zie turned down dinner and even the hash browns I’d brought home from work. Zie loves hash browns.

The kid reads like a checklist on depression. Zie’s barely eating… unless it’s 3am. Zie can sleep for hours… unless it’s night. But zie can also stay up for hours too (I think zir record was 36 hours). Anger… lethargy… tears… anxiety attacks. We’re seeing our family doctor tomorrow. Something has to be done.

I feel like I’m losing myself…

We were sitting in my room. Jeremy sprawled on my computer chair, zir feet propped up on my footstool, while I sat cross legged on my bed with Blackie draped across my lap. Blackie was the only happy one in my room. Her purrs echoed loudly while she butted her head against my hand and arm for more scratches. The fur was flying, in a good (albeit sneezy) way.

We’d been in my room talking earlier or rather Jeremy had been talking. Zie’d quite animatedly explained zir plans for zir bedroom. Jeremy wants to build a kitchen counter with space for zir mostly working Tassimo and a real sink, one that has a tank for fresh water and a tank for used water. I’m not sure my insurance would cover a homemade working sink in Jeremy’s bedroom.

Jeremy’s hands moved while zie talked, they fluttered like butterflies. Zie looked very feminine. I called Jeremy over to my dresser and zie waited patiently while I spread bronze eyeshadow across zir eyelids, swiped a tiny bit of blush along zir cheek bones, and put on some lip gloss. I’d gone with the gloss because it’s pale but I should have gone with lipstick instead. The gloss has a gummy, sticky texture; zie winced as soon as it was applied.

Jeremy hurried into the bathroom. “I don’t like it. This isn’t me,” zie said urgently. “How do I get it off?”

“With a washcloth,” I replied. “No, in the closet beside you,” I added as zie reached for the hand towel. Jeremy smiled briefly and reached around the corner.

“This isn’t me,” zie repeated again, sounding scared.

“Come back into my room. We need to talk,” I announced when Jeremy’s face was clean. Zie rolled zir eyes, not really a good sign but hardly unexpected.

“Just let me use the washroom,” Jeremy sighed.

Zie took a while, which I also expected. This was less a break to use the bathroom and more time to work up some courage. I needed this time too.

Jeremy walked in and every bit of planned speech disappeared out of my mind. I was left staring at zir, positive everything I said was going to come out completely wrong.

“Your gender is not determined by the clothes you wear, makeup, your interests, or how you look. It’s determined by how you feel inside. In one way your Nana was right when she talked about clothing and appearance, they aren’t you. In another way Nana was wrong. She’s under the impression that you need to conform and fit in, ignoring your own comfort levels, because the inner you isn’t the same as the outer you. She’s saying this because she fits in; no one wants her to change her appearance. If everyone insisted she wore micro mini skirts and crop tops she’d be really uncomfortable.”

Jeremy smiled and nodded but didn’t try to speak so I continued.

“I want you to understand that I’m not trying to change you. I’m not trying to force you into gender roles. I just don’t know. When you were in the bathroom I couldn’t tell if you didn’t like the makeup because it didn’t suit you or if you were scared to like the makeup. And that scares me. I love you as you, you’re my child, and I want you to be happy with yourself. I want you to feel comfortable expressing yourself.” By this time tears were streaming down my cheeks. I didn’t try to wipe them off. I just kept watching Jeremy.

“When you were little, we used to joke you’d walk away with the mailman if we let you. You thought everyone was your friend and loved being around people. You got a bit older and I let you wander a little more, but not too much. You had to stay in front of the building where I could see you. This bugged you because your friends could go further.” Jeremy nodded zir head. “But considering they were going behind the building to play in the garbage dumpsters…”

I’d found that out later from one of my neighbours. Those bins had maggots in them, which apparently the kids knew because they were throwing them at each other. I’d have intervened if I’d known at the time. Unfortunately the neighbour hadn’t. Jeremy grimaced and nodded again.

“Then you got old enough to go around on your own. I’d walk into stores and have people tell me what a great kid you are. We’d be in [neighbouring town] and people would honk and yell, “Hi Jeremy!” out their car windows. Even when we first moved here, you’d bike around and meet up with kids. But these days the only times you go out are when you’re with me.”

“I feel like I’m losing myself,” Jeremy said hoarsely. “Like I don’t know who I am.”

My gaze focused on zir, waiting for some honest insight, something I could use to help zir.

“That’s why I need a soldering gun,” zie continued.

Or maybe not.

“Every time I make something, I put a bit of myself into it and then it breaks and I lose some of myself. If I had a soldering gun I could make my inventions stronger so they’d last and I wouldn’t keep losing myself.”

“You are not your inventions,” I protested. “You are more than that. You need to see yourself as more than your collection of electronics.”

“Like you are with your writing?” zie asked pointedly. “How would you feel if you couldn’t write anymore?”

I’d be devastated. I’d hate it. But at the same time, I’m more than my writing.

“Jeremy, I have other things. I have my scrapbooking, I talk with friends, I sing, I go for walks, I swim, I bake. You need to find other things-”

I broke off as music began playing in the living room. It was one of Jeremy’s favourite songs. Had zie set an alarm?

“It’s my ringtone,” Jeremy said as zie got up. “I changed it today.”

“Who’s calling?” I asked and zie shrugged.

“I only set a personal ringtone for you.”

It was Emma. They had a great conversation that lasted well over a half hour. My head was pounding by the time they finished. I’d taken some Advil and was crawling into bed.

Jeremy stayed home from school again yesterday due to stress and I’ve got the weekend off. Hopefully we’ll have another chance at an honest conversation. Hopefully I’ll be able to help Jeremy start finding zirself soon.

Jeremy’s in love…

Zie fell in love at Target and it was infatuation at first sight. At least on Jeremy’s side, I’m pretty sure the toaster was indifferent.

It wasn’t just any toaster though, it was this…chevrons
… an expensive, chevron coated toaster. Jeremy stopped so suddenly, I almost walked into zir.

“Oh wow,” zie breathed. “Mom! Look at those!”

“Yes, that’s a lot of chevrons.” I blinked rapidly. The patterns were blinding.

“We have to get them! At the very least the toaster!”

I couldn’t manage to stifle my sigh. By this time we’d been through all of Dollarama and half of Target with Jeremy begging for “just this” every few steps. If I’d bought everything zie wanted, I’d need to rent a U-haul to take it home. Besides…

“I bought a toaster this summer,” I reminded zir. It was zir turn to sigh.

“Our toaster’s boring. You have no sense of style,” Jeremy retorted. Zie gave the toaster a longing glance. “This is fabulous. We need it. Look! It has a bagel button.”

“Our toaster already has one.” Which was pointless because we might have two or three bagels a year. “I’m not spending $40 on a toaster we don’t need.”

I snapped a quick picture than we left with Jeremy muttering under zir breath about my decorating skills. I ignored the comments. I also didn’t remind zir about how much zie liked our toaster when I bought it.

And if this is a taste of how Jeremy’s going to decorate when zie has a place of zir own, I’m going to need to stock up on sunglasses.

School Identification Forms…

Ever since Emma started kindergarten I’ve been getting at least one school identification form home on the first day of school; the second at the very latest. I immediately read through, checking phone numbers and email addresses, ticking off permission for them to take neighbourhood walks, and pondering whether we actually live close enough to a nuclear power plant to tick the potassium iodine tablet section. I check it off just in case… better to be safe than sorry. Even if we’re all glowing, at least they’ll have less chance of cancer.

Jeremy came home on the first day of school this year and I promptly checked zir backpack. No form. Same with the second, third, and fourth day. I was just about to write a note to zir teacher asking if it had gone missing when zie got suspended. I got the form a few days after zie returned. By then I wasn’t worried about sitting right down to proofread it, figuring if they wanted it back promptly they’d have given it to me the first week.

I filled it at the end of September so you can imagine my surprise when Jeremy informed me zir teacher wanted me to look around the apartment for zir form.

“Wait, I gave that to you over a month ago,” I blurted. Zie sighed and shook zir head.

“I told my teacher ages ago that I lost it on the way to school but she won’t believe me. She keeps saying it’s an official school document and she can’t just go print out a new copy.”

“Well, it’s not around here,” I replied. “If it was we’d have found it. I’ll write a note saying I can’t find it and that you lost it in transit.”

Emma, Mark, and I were talking in the living room this evening when I looked down at a sheet of paper. It was Jeremy’s school identification form. I have no idea where it came from, at this point you could blame aliens and I’d almost believe you. My apartment isn’t the cleanest place on the planet but we’re far from candidates for an episode on Hoarders and it was sitting right there in the middle of the floor.

Also it’s a good thing I never wrote that letter to the teacher.

I gave the form a quick scan then looked once again at the gender marker. X was already typed into the male section, the only other option was female. I glanced over at Jeremy and wrote in another X…

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Emma peered over my shoulder. “Shouldn’t you write something down?” she asked. “What if they think you just marked it by accident?”

I thought about writing down bigender then circled male/female instead. She nodded her approval.

There’s a good chance the school board will have me fill in a new copy or simply change the marker back to M but it was worth it just to see the expression on Jeremy’s face when zie saw what I’d done.

Monday musings…

Jeremy borrowed my phone a few days ago to listen to music. What I didn’t know is zie was listening to a podcast instead of the songs I’ve got downloaded. What zie didn’t know is I turn off my wifi while I’m at work because our lunch room only *just* gets wifi, enough to connect but not enough to actually load any pages, and I hadn’t bothered to turn it back on. I hadn’t been home for long and was using my netbook and not my phone. It wasn’t until zie started laughing that I realized what was going on and by then zie’d gone through about 300mb of my 750mb bandwidth allotment. I’d already used that much myself and still have half a month to go.

I usually go on Facebook while I’m on the bus to and from work but for the next two weeks I need to find an alternate form of entertainment. Today I listened to the bus voice. Our local transit company has modernized our buses. Each bus is fitted with a computerized sign on the front, which means half the time I catch The Pulse and the rest of the time I catch A1 Message. Inside there’s another sign which has text scrolling across the screen at the same time as a computerized voice announces the street name. The transit company decided the local companies were too expensive and outsourced to a German company, where they guessed at what our foreign street names might sound like. Gibbons has transformed into Gibbles, Garrard (which is locally pronounced as Juhrard) is Gare-red, and Athol is enunciated in a gleeful, sing-song voice. It doesn’t sound anything like Athol. Emma snickers every time she hears it.

I met two new coworkers and showed them each a recent picture of Jeremy. I show *everyone* pictures of my kids. Emma lucks out because she no longer lives at home so I don’t have nearly as many photos of her (everyone thinks Tiny Cat is adorable btw). The first coworker looked at Jeremy’s picture and proclaimed “her” to be beautiful.

“How old is she?” my coworker asked, smiling as she gave the picture a closer look.

“Zie’s 17 years old,” I replied.

The next coworker heard someone else refer to Jeremy as “my son” and automatically called zir “he”.

Then I sat down for lunch with one of my coworkers (the one who gave me potato curry). She started talking about a distant relative of hers who she knew in her old country.

“When we were little he always used to sit with the girls and wear all sorts of bracelets. I lost track of him when we moved and then my husband went to visit some relatives and he answered the door. He was wearing a dress. Can you believe that?” I could but she barely took a breath so I assumed she didn’t want an answer. “My husband asked him why and he said it was his bleeding time and that made him feel more comfortable. He really acts and looks like a woman now.”

I debated on bringing up pronouns again but I already had once in the conversation and figured that horse was well and truly dead. “I’m thinking she’s probably intersex,” I said instead. “Hormones can do a lot but they can’t give someone who was born looking male a working uterus.”

My coworker sat silently for a few seconds, probably translating what I’d just said, then she smiled. “So he’s like Jeremy,” she exclaimed cheerfully. “He looks like a boy on the outside but is a girl on the inside while Jeremy looks like a boy on the inside and like a girl on the outside.”

She was close enough so I agreed.

I got off work early today, which is good because Jeremy woke up at 3am last night. I was up then too. It’s hard to sleep while someone’s laughing at a video, opening and closing cupboard doors looking for a snack, and rummaging through the closet for clothes. You’d think looking for clothes would be quiet. Jeremy sounds like zie’s falling down a flight of stairs while juggling coat hangers.

Jeremy complained that I was keeping zir up this evening when I said I wanted to watch an episode of Doctor Who with zir. To be fair I was. It was only 5:30pm at the time and there was no way zie was going to bed that early. Zie stayed awake through most of the episode and headed off as soon as it was done. Hopefully zie’ll sleep through the night. A few more sleepless nights and I’ll be going for the rubber mallet sleep training approach. Not really but it’s tempting at 4am.

*tiptoeing off to bed so I don’t wake Jeremy*

You are so beautiful…

It was almost dinner time and Jeremy and I were on my parents’ couch. I was chatting on Facebook messenger with my friend Lenny while Jeremy played around with the panoramic setting on zir new phone. Light streamed through the living room window, highlighting Jeremy’s hair. Zie looked lovely. I quickly snapped a picture before we got up to make our plates.

“You look beautiful,” I said as I stood on tiptoe to kiss zir cheek. Jeremy usually smiles at that but today zie didn’t.

“What’s wrong?” I asked. “Don’t you like being called beautiful?” Zie shook zir head.

“Would you rather be called handsome?” I was surprised when zie nodded.

“Oh, okay,” I replied. “I’ll start calling you handsome.”

I was going to say more but zie’d walked into the kitchen with the rest of the family and I didn’t want to embarrass zir. Discussing gender and terms of affection in front of family would be embarrassing for everyone but I’m more concerned about Jeremy. I figured the conversation could wait until later.

Later didn’t come until we got back home.

“Do you remember the conversation we had about beautiful and handsome last month?” I asked almost as soon as we walked in our door.

Jeremy finished pulling off zir shoes then shook zir head.

Jeremy’s face had been cheerful and animated that autumn afternoon as zie gestured, describing something I can no longer recall. I’d watched for a minute then said zie looked handsome. Jeremy’s hands stilled and zie winced.

“I asked you if you’d rather be called handsome or beautiful and you told me you’d like to be called beautiful.”

Jeremy squirmed with embarrassment. “I’m allowed to change my mind sometimes,” zie pointed out. “I’m still sorting stuff out.”

“That’s fine,” I replied gently.

Maybe I’ll just call zir cute and fabulous.

Happy Hallowe’en!

This year I didn’t think Jeremy was going to have a costume. Zie’s the kid who usually has one picked out months in advance and, to be fair, this year was no exception. Zie wanted to be the 11th Doctor from Doctor Who. For those who don’t watch the show, this is the 11th Doctor…

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Picture from Wikipedia

Emma and Mark went to the local Hallowe’en costume shop and found a costume… for $80. I don’t buy outfits for that price let alone a costume that would be worn for only one night. It stayed on the rack.

We live right near a Value Village so I figured it wouldn’t be a problem to pick up a suitable jacket. And, sure enough, we found almost the perfect one on our first trip. It would have been perfect if it was bigger than a medium. It didn’t fit and Jeremy left the store feeling defeated and too big… insisting zie just wasn’t going to have a costume this year. It wasn’t until yesterday that zie was willing to try again. Thankfully this time we had more success.

I had to work today so I got up, got Jeremy’s hair temporarily dyed black (with spray on dye that lasts about 3.2 minutes) then raced out the door. I dressed as a crazy cat lady (talk about truth in advertising), wearing my cat pyjamas from Emma and pinning three of Jeremy’s stuffed orange cats across me. Jeremy offered me zir favourite pink glittery cat as well but that one was too big (sadly because it’s cute).

I called Jeremy on the way home from work. I asked about zir day and zie promptly told me, much to my surprise, that zie’d gone as the female version of the 11th Doctor.

“What did you wear?” I asked curiously. I couldn’t picture Jeremy pulling on a dress for school and the stuff we’d bought was definitely from the men’s side of the store.

“My suit jacket, my purple tie, my button up shirt, and a pair of jeans,” came the immediate reply, which didn’t exactly scream feminine to me.

Jeremy’s too old to trick or treat so when I got an invitation to a vegetarian Hallowe’en Party, I immediately signed us both up. I got home, we spruced up our outfits, snapped a few shots, then headed out the door. Jeremy even scored candy in our lobby. We got to the bus stop at the same time as the bus and tumbled through the doors with me hurriedly checking my pockets for Jeremy’s tickets.

The driver smiled as we exited downtown.

“Have a good evening ladies,” he called cheerfully.

Maybe claiming to be the female version of the 11th Doctor was more accurate than I thought.

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Jeremy was thrilled to discover what looked like a TARDIS in this otherwise abstract painting.

My invisible child…

Okay, zie’s not really invisible, especially not right now while zie’s screaming at zir video game on the computer, but sometimes it feels that way.

My coworkers are great, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think a single one of them has used Jeremy’s correct pronouns even once. I was showing Jeremy’s picture to a couple of coworkers at lunch today and had this conversation.

“This is my child Jeremy,” I said as I swiped my finger across the screen. “Zie’s wearing the cupcake bracelet zir sister made.”

The coworkers peered at the screen.

“He’s handsome,” one of my coworkers said. “He looks a lot like you.”

“Thank you,” I replied. “I think zie is lovely. Zie’s a beautiful child.”

The coworker turned slightly to the person standing beside her. “That’s Michelle’s son Jeremy,” she said as she pointed at Jeremy’s picture on the screen.

“Zie’s not my son,” I retorted. “Zie’s my child. Zie doesn’t identify as male so isn’t my son.”

I swiped to the next picture and showed off Emma with Tiny Cat.

“She’s pretty,” the same coworker said. “She looks like you too and your son looks a lot like her.”

“Yes,” I agreed. “My daughter and my child look a lot alike.”

And so  it went.

Later I got asked to go outside and change the garbage bins. I was standing beside the break room digging out the vest and garbage bags when I heard the chime of a message. I quickly ran to check it.

“That’s why I don’t have a cellphone,” one of my coworkers said with obvious disdain.

“I’m glad I have mine,” I retorted. “I don’t usually check my phone at work but I’m waiting for information about a friend of mine. Zie hasn’t been feeling well lately.

“Is your friend a boy or a girl?” the coworker asked bluntly.

“Neither,” I replied equally as blunt.

“Oh so like Jeremy?” she asked. I sighed with relief far too soon.

“Yes, exactly,” I replied. The coworker immediately went on to refer to my friend as he/him. I didn’t bother to correct her more than once, figuring at least the pronouns were he/him and not she/her.

And then there’s family. Do they think I’m blind? Do they think I won’t notice they, oops, never like or comment on Jeremy’s pictures? That they never liked or commented on zir coming out post? Especially when they are online commenting on other family’s pictures and posts. To be fair, Karen likes Jeremy’s pictures regularly and my Mom (who’s rarely online) likes zir pictures too. Amy never does and has never responded to my private message or the public one. I’ve pretty much given up on Amy.

Well, Jeremy’s asked about four times if I’m almost ready to watch Doctor Who so I better stop writing and start watching. I’ll leave everyone with an amazing cartoon I found on Facebook. It’s credited and linked to the artist’s page so if anyone wants to share it, just click on the link for the URL…

by Robot Hugs

by Robot Hugs

A friend of mine also shared this link with me: What You’re Actually Saying When You Ignore Someone’s Preferred Gender Pronouns