A young friend of my daughter got a bombshell dropped on her yesterday when her mother returned from an overseas trip.
Firstly she noticed that her mum was dressed in very masculine clothes, and also appeared to have lost a lot of weight, so much so that her boobs had almost disappeared. Sarah, aged 21 (not her real name) breathed a sigh of relief, hoping that her mum had finally ‘come out’ as a lesbian (a sentiment shared by her two brothers and sister as well). From all reports, it was sort of a ‘duh, mum’ moment.
Except it wasn’t quite that simple. Sarah’s mum has embarked upon a gender reassignment program, and it has thrown the family into utter turmoil…sort of.
Sarah is a remarkable and viciously intelligent young lady. She is being ever so reasonable and philosophical about the changes her mum is about to go through, and the prospect of a radical change in the relationship she has with the ‘woman’ who gave birth to her becoming a man. As she told her mum after hearing the news, “Hey, mum, you really put the FUN in dysFUNctional dontcha??”
But I’m not quite so reassured. Sarah is living with me at the moment (for a couple of months until she heads to London to Make Her Fortune) and I sense a little girl putting on a brave front…trying very hard to live up to her ‘remarkable and viciously intelligent’ tag that she has worn for many years now. I need to be able to give her ‘permission’ that it is really ok to feel scared and worried and to grieve for the mother she is losing, even though the ‘person’ might remain the same. It is not going to be easy, and I seek opinions about how to help her through this time.
I would especially like advice from those who have undergone such procedures, and how their** families** dealt and coped with the changes.