Meet the Parents

so, last night, (super evil-fighting) trans man met brown grrrl’s dad.  over dinner.  at a restaurant.

now, many of you reading this don’t know my dad.  let’s just put it this way: he’s fucking weird.  he buys $300 fire-proof pants, even though his daily life involves 0 flames.  i went my whole life thinking my dad didn’t wear skin-care products with alcohol in them because he was allergic.  turns out he has no alcohol allergy.  nope, he just won’t wear anything with alcohol in it because he thinks it makes him more flammable.  he wears fishing vests to weddings, even though i’ve never known him to go fishing.  he spends hundreds (perhaps thousands) of dollars on wilderness medical society conferences, even though he never even goes camping.  he subscribes to anti-terrorist magazines and supports israel.

in short, he’s fucking weird.

when asking trans man how it went, he says, “uhhhm…”

yeah.

my mom was also there, which you’d think would make it slightly better, except she kept talking about wedding details.  indian wedding details.  such as, “oh!  i’d like to have your WHOLE FAMILY at my house, trans-guy-who-barely-sees-his-family-once-a-week!”

i felt my stomach churn in embarrassment.  it was elementary school all over again.  i had invited a white friend into my home.  what was i thinking?  it smelled bad, my mom’s weird, my dad’s a freak, and people are going to find out that I’M NOT WHITE!

and then i took a look at myself and realized that what i was feeling wasn’t just embarrassment.  it was racism.

luckily, i have a partner who’s fantastic enough to recognize that.  we talked about it as we were talking home after dinner.  i told him about being embarrassed over who i was, about my culture, about my identity… and he told me he’s experiencing some culture shock, but that it’s nothing he’s upset over.  it’s just a different culture than his and his culture is different from mine and he doesn’t know what it’s like to be made to feel embarrassed over his skin (etc.) and he made me realize that being with a white man, trans or not, i need to look at where this shame over who i am comes from.  because it shouldn’t be there.  at all.

you know what else is great?  that i’m marrying him for a reason: he’s fucking awesome!

for example!  we were talking about the hindu ceremony when i said some changes have to be made.  i am not, for example, being “given away” to anyone as if i’m property to be passed over from one family to another.  my dad asked me why.  i explained that it’s sexist and bullshit (perhaps not in so many words, but still.)  my dad snickered, looked over at trans guy, shook his head and motioned as if, “look at those crazy women!  what can you do!”  i got all fired up and reminded my dad, “what are you looking at him for!?  he’s not going to agree with you.  i married him for a reason.”  to which my dad responded, “calm down!”  CALM DOWN!  look at me, this HYSTERICAL WOMAN, daring to point out his rampant sexism.  alejhtpq29upquhh!!!  i especially love how he tried to form this macho bond with this man who he thinks is cisgender but is fucking trans!!!  i can’t imagine that was very great for trans guy.

but i guess this is what the whole experience is about for us: we’ve both inhabited such different worlds, yet both have been relegated to the margins.  we both experience different privileges and different oppressions.  and we both love each other and we’re both in this healthy relationship that’s caught in the intersection of love and marginalization.

and that’s why we’re writing.

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