The other day I was sitting in the car with my mother and my grandmother—three generations of women all in one Ford Taurus—when I pulled out a book to read. It’s not that I’m anti-social, only that they were talking about people I didn’t know and…I don’t know…sometimes when we’re with family we regress and behave like children all over again.
Anyway, I took out my book and grandma asked, “What’s that you’re reading?” An expression of curiosity and the fact that she can hardly see anymore.
I said, “It’s a book written by a trans man—a female-to-male transsexual—about his transition from living as a woman to living as a man.”
My grandmother hit at my fingers and said, “Yes, I know what a transsexual is, thank you! What’s his name? Maybe I know him. I know a few.”
As my grandmother spoke, I thought to myself, I wish Sweet were here right now to hear this! My girlfriend Sweet, herself a trans woman, is scared of…everything? Well, maybe not everything, but she’s very cautious about who gets to know what about her gender expression. That’s because she’s convinced everybody outside the trans community will judge her harshly, or simply not understand where she’s coming from.
Sweet would never have conceived that an 80-year-old grandmother chosen at random from my genetic pool might have a first-hand association with (and acceptance of) the trans community.
That’ll show you, babygirl!
It showed me too, I must admit. I always knew how accepting my grandmother was of ethnic diversity and the gay and lesbian population, but it wouldn’t have occurred to me that she would know people who are transgender. What I very often hear from people who are advocates of women’s rights and gay and lesbian rights is, “I have nothing against transgender people, I just don’t know anything about them.” That’s the most I thought I could expect of my grandmother.I guess I’ve still got a lot to learn about grandma.
Canada just got hotter!