I come from a pretty enlightened family.  Usually this kind of thing doesn’t come up at all.  Sometimes my dad is a little behind the times, but he’ll ask for guidance. (“Char, what’s the difference between transsexual and transgendered?  I don’t wanna offend anyone”).  But tonight I was having dinner with my mom and her partner, and my mom’s partner ended up PISSING ME THE FUCK OFF.  We got into some random discussion about Chaz Bono, which started off having absolutely NOTHING to do with his gender identity, but ended up with my mom’s partner referring to Chaz as ‘she’ over and over and over and fucking OVER again, and ignoring my mother and I as we asked him multiple times to please use the appropriate, and therefore respectful pronoun.  In fact, at one point he kind of rolled his eyes and said “well, I don’t know if it’s a he or a she.”  I pretty much lost my calm sense of civility at that point, and asked him to please never refer to a human being as it in front of me ever again.  He kind of just ignored that and instead  started in on “hey, it doesn’t mean I have to like her.  It doesn’t mean that she’s a good person,” etc. etc.  And then I had to proceed to say, over and over and over again (because he apparently wasn’t really listening since NOTHING I say seems to permeate his brain) that we were not talking about the content of Chaz Bono’s character, we were talking about Chaz Bono’s gender identity, and everyone, including people we may not like, are deserving of the very basic respect involved in having their gender identity validated.  Then he went off on how if Chaz Bono hadn’t had rich parents, she wouldn’t have been able to get surgery and she would have just had to be herself and basically started inferring that only rich and privileged people are transgendered.  Then I attempted to explain that it isn’t surgery or biology that makes a man a man or a woman a woman, it is who one knows oneself to be on an innate level.  Ignoring that, he then went into “well, when Chaz decided that she wanted to be a man…”

And that’s when I excused myself from the table.

The worst part is that my mother is with this man, and even though she was bothered by what he was saying and how he was behaving as well, I know it won’t be a dealbreaker for her.  I’ve never been this guy’s biggest fan, but tonight just turned mild irritation into outright dislike.  I love my mother but this makes me want to avoid having dinner at her house.  Her partner is an asshole and I KNOW that even if she talks to him about it more extensively when they’re alone (which I’m pretty sure she will), he still won’t get it.  And she’ll make excuses for him, and it’s just so fucking disappointing, because my mother has always been my idol.  She was my first and most significant spiritual teacher, she raised us on a steady diet of social justice work and feminist ideology, and I never thought she’d be with someone not only this ignorant and transphobic, but also someone who refuses to even listen to people who challenge him or ask him to use different language as a matter of respect. 

It doesn’t just make me angry, it also kind of breaks my heart.

Thank you for listening.  I really just needed to get this out.

  1. sgtsweetcheeks reblogged this from chazzam and added:
    I know how you feel love. my da can be a huge dick sometimes. he thinks he’s being funny, and he’s all like “I’m not a...
  2. blurtitoutalready said: Ugh - I feel like I have been through that exact same conversation 15 times.
  3. chazzam posted this