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

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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)