Our bedtime discussion…

I’m not sure what most people discuss at bedtime but I’m reasonably sure it’s not what we talk about.

Jeremy stomped into my bedroom yesterday evening. “I’m mad at some celebrities,” they announced as they flopped onto my bed.

I put my book down beside me and waited. As far as I knew, celebrities hadn’t done anything to us.

“There are trans celebrities who won’t tell people if they’ve had surgery on their genitals or not,” Jeremy continued. “People are going to continue to be scared of surgery unless they know of people who had it done and say it’s easy and safe.”

I’ve talked to people and watched videos before; easy wasn’t a word that came to my mind when affirmation surgery was mentioned. But I could see their point.

“Besides, celebrities need to let normal people know it’s okay for them to have surgery. That way they won’t worry about having it themselves and once it becomes normal, it’ll be easier to get.”

I ignored the whole ‘celebrities are weird’ insinuation. “Except trans people already get too many pointed questions about their genitals,” I pointed out. “Everyone, even celebrities, need to be seen as more than just their private parts. Cis people aren’t asked about their privates.”

“Except everyone already knows that someone like you has a vagina and they know I have a penis. What people need is information and celebrities can give that,” they said as they Blackie’s tummy. She started purring.

“I think most people get their information from their peers,” I pointed out. “There’s all sorts of groups out there.” And Jeremy wasn’t in any of them. Were their questions just general thought or was this of specific interest to them?

“If you ever need any information you can always come to me,” I added.

Jeremy stopped petting the cat. “I have that information,” they blurted indignantly. “You signed me up for sex ed classes through our church.”

The Unitarian Universalist church has a very liberal and comprehensive program. It does not, however, delve into gender affirmation surgery. I pointed that out and Jeremy snorted.

“You’ve explained that to me too. The penis gets cut in half and turned inside out to make a vagina.” They demonstrated with their hands.

It was a little more detailed than that but they had the gist.

“Has your thoughts about your gender changed at all?” I asked hesitantly.

They shook their head. “I still think gender isn’t real, well society’s version of gender. I still believe in science’s version. People start out with basic bodies of male or female.”

“Well that’s not really science,” I pointed out. “That’s society’s version. Science is a lot more complex-”

“But people are born with either a penis or vagina,” they interrupted.

“Not exactly,” I replied. “People are born anywhere from female to male or in between. Doctors look between a baby’s legs and if what’s there is under an inch, it’s a girl with a clitoris. If it’s over three inches it’s a boy with a penis. And if it’s in between then the baby is intersex and the doctors try to guess what the baby is. They either decide it’s a really small penis or a large clitoris and, if it’s a clitoris, they’ll cut it down to size.”

Three inches sounded big for a newborn. Maybe it was two inches? How would I google something like that?

Jeremy winced. “That’s not fair. They need to let the baby decide when they’re older.”

“I agree and they’re starting to do that now.”

“But what about the chromosomes?” Jeremy asked. “Those say if they’re male or female.”

“Usually,” I replied. “But there’s more than just XX or XY. There’s single X and XXX and XYY.” Or wait, that last one might just be an airport.

“I think people need to stop giving out genders to babies,” they said emphatically. “People can decide when they’re twenty years old what their gender is.”

“Most people know their gender by the time they’re two years old,” I said as tactfully as I could, fully aware that Jeremy’s still questioning at nineteen.

They nodded, “People need to be allowed to transition as needed and they can change their mind if they want to.”

Music started playing from the other room. “Oh, my show’s back on,” they announced. “Talk to you later.” And they left, abandoning Blackie and I.

I wonder what today’s topic is going to be.


Jeremy on a recent walk


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*