Krissie: Busy Days

This is ancient Pooska, Kaim’s kitty. She’s seventeen, and she was being sickly, so we took her up to the vet and he thought she had kidney failure. I’m not going there. In fact, I didn’t think he was actually very good — he gave Cello antibiotics for a bladder infection but didn’t take his temperature.
So we’ll see. $258 later …
However, I got wonderful ideas for Richie from you guys (ideas for Richie to get me), and I cheered up and even put stuff on my wish list at Amazon. YOu guys cheered me up with reminding me what was important – time with Richie, foot rubs, etc.

So I thought I’d explain about a good friend of mine and her daughter. She and her daughter were very very close growing up and then her daughter, we’ll call her Mary, ended up in school on the west coast (after three years of drifting through other schools). Her daughter has emotional issues. Anyway, she settled into school very happily in San Francisco. She’s very reserved and somewhat shy, but eventually she found a comfortable situation and good roomies. Anyway, things happened, she decided she was Gender Queer (which means kind of androgynous and sort of waffling between male and female) and didn’t want to be called “baby girl” (a term of affection from her mother) or daughter, or Mary. She chose a new name that no one had ever heard of (let’s call it Maim) and now her family has to call her that and they get corrected every time they get it wrong. And they get it wrong a lot. Though she corrects them nicely enough. And they’re allowed to use her and she. But she’s not their daughter, she’s their child. And don’t get me started on wanting her breasts removed, and she’s a tiny little thing with probably a 34 B.
Infer what you wish. My poor friend is very supportive but a little frustrated, and her father is confused and annoyed. He just wants her to finish school after about 9 years of school and never holding a job and being supported by her parents her entire life.

Anyway, that’s the story of Maim. Oooh, that’s a terribly alternative name. Maik. Ah, that’s a good fictional name.

Anyway, just another thing to add to the mix of depression.

But anyway, off to get the car looked at and do some last minute shopping (plus have a nice lunch). So we’ll have a good day.

If anyone had advice on how my friend should handle Maik let me know and I’ll pass it along.

50 thoughts on “Krissie: Busy Days

  1. Deborah Blake says:

    My first advice is to you (since that’s NOT what you asked for–lol). And that is: don’t let other people’s troubles, especially ones you have no control over, bring you down. Those of us who grew up with the idea that somehow we are responsible for the whole world, and should be able to fix everything for everybody, tend to take on other people’s problems as if they were our own. But they’re not. You can’t fix this. (Hell, your friend probably can’t fix it either.) So send her love and let it go as much as you can

    As for your friend’s daughter…my step-daughter (who has some serious issues, and at almost 31 is finally getting her act together) spent from her late teens until a few years ago as a lesbian. She’s finally decided that she is probably bi, but now prefers men. [I couldn’t care less either way, as long as she is in a healthy relationship.] Some of her men-issues were clearly father-asshole issues. While Maik may end up truly sticking with this choice, in which case more power to her, it sounds to me like it is a mental health issue more than a gender issue. Big hugs to you and your friend.

  2. Rose says:

    Wow, what a difficult situation for your friend and her family. I would tell your friend to do her best to always use her child’s preferred name and pronouns, and to keep in mind that the child’s gender identity issues are not a rejection of her family. Her mother probably feels rejected every time she has to call Maik a different name from the one she chose for her baby, and might feel saddened by the reduced prospect of granchildren from Maik. As difficult as it is for Maik’s mother and the rest of her family, it must be 100-fold difficult for Maik, and sheds new light on any problems Maik might have had in the past. I can’t imagine feeling like the I was born into the wrong gender.

    Damnit, I sort of feel like I’m preaching, which is not what I meant to do. I follow Dan Savage’s twitter feed, and he linked to two really good articles about transgendered children in the past year (I know Maik is not identifying as trans, but the issues are similar) , but I can’t find them now. Your friend and her child have my sympathies for their difficult situation. I hope that everyone treats everyone with compassion and forgiveness and respect. I also hope that Maik doesn’t have any surgery until she is completely sure, and that she doesn’t try to rope her family into financially backing her surgeries if they can’t afford to do so.

  3. Tai says:

    Please tell your friend that acceptance is what she needs to give her not-daughter and affirmation for the attributes that are not gender or sexual related. And it sounds like her mom needs to let go of some things about her, stop supporting her (but since I was on my own at sixteen, I’m always a fan of not being supported by parents), set positive healthy respectful boundaries and if either cross them, go to separate rooms until clarity, calm civility and kind words that are problem solving are found.
    On a side note that is totally unrelated, I just read “Honor Bound” and loved it. Thank you for sharing your writing with us.

  4. Kieran says:

    I hope Maik’s mom will just be supportive of her. If Maik asks her mom’s advice or opinion, she can give it. Otherwise, since Maik is an adult, she needs to figure this out on her own. If her mother tries to push too hard on Maik, she could lose that relationship.

    My daughter and I were talking about all this gender identity stuff the other day, and I told her that while I think it’s great there’s more acceptance now for putting yourself wherever you want to on the spectrum between male and female, I told her I also think that it adds just another layer of choice–which in a way is more pressure and stress in life.

    My daughter says there’s no choice about it–people are who they are. Now they are simply allowed to *be* who they really are. Which is something to celebrate. But I also think there will be some people who won’t know who they are right away–sort of like having “gender ADD” issues–and who will be intimidated or confused by the array of choices on the gender spectrum and flounder in their search for an identity. I’m thinking this could lead to great unhappiness.

    My daughter agrees there will be some people like that, but she says we can’t go back to confining definitions –it would be denying the majority their right to express who they are.

    Oh, and then she told me that gender ID issues are totally separate from sexual partner preference issues, and my head really began to spin. But she’s right. And now I’m more confused than ever. :>)

    How do you pronounce Kaim? I’ve never heard that name before. I’d love to know more about its origins, etc.

  5. Tracey says:

    I was wondering the same thing, but I identify w/the mom’s confusion and need for support. Perhaps on balance, best to take the post down.

    • SInce I’m talking about someone else’s family I think it’s okay. I think as long as i’m not identifying my friend that it’s not a problem, and there won’t be any backlash. This is a very safe place for me, even though it’s open to the public, and I think the post is okay. If there’s any kind of blowback it’ll be minor.

  6. jinx says:

    All I can say is that nicknames need to be pretty much mutual, and if they bother the person being called by the nickname, I think it’s best to suppress them.

  7. Is this random Wednesday? 🙂 Didn’t see this one coming. And I have no advice. I’d say acceptance but this sounds like a really specific situation and without experience in this area, I got nothin’. Seems like there must be articles or even books on the topic though.

  8. Love is all your friend needs to impart. Just to love, honor, and respect the young person for simply being another human being and part of her immediate family. To hell with what others think. Acceptance is the key.

  9. Sharon says:

    This entire business of what to call this grown up person seems like a lot of created drama-like my Dad used to say”I don’t care what you call me, just don’t call me late to dinner.” Ask yourself why this daughter is making these demands on her parents-it seems like a way to contol them. “You must call me by this name now.” What will it be be next time she visits-“You can only wear blue when I’m around” or ” I worship this can of peas so you must respect this.”?? Her sexual preferences are her own business but her support issues are obviously the PARENT’S business. They need to discuss what is important and it is NOT what to call her but how she is going to survive in the coming years without their support.

  10. The way I see it, what it means to be a “woman” has already changed a lot. You know, like being allowed to wear trousers if we want to, have jobs other than domestic ones, own property, vote, go to university. And along with that there’s been some recognition of the fact that women are not emotional, deceptive creatures whose uteruses will malfunction if they try to study.

    In other words, we’ve been breaking down the strict divisions between what “women” are/can do and what “men” are/can do. I think that’s a good thing. Not all people with a particular kind of body think or feel or behave the same way, or have the same interests. And if someone doesn’t want to be stuck with a label that comes with lots of inappropriate/inaccurate expectations about how they should think, feel and behave it makes sense that they would reject that label.

  11. Alis says:

    I don’t believe you need to take it down. There’s an entire Internet, and you deserve to have your own safe corner of it. Requests can be made and denied–one is not required to acquiesce, even within a loving relationship.

    You’ve talked about your own mental health being tied up in your isolation from like minded people. Posting here is no more an invasion/criticism than if you were talking about things over coffee at the Fellowship Hall at your church, and no one can say you don’t deserve to discuss things that are important with people who understand and care about you.

    • Exactly, and everything that Tai, Brussels Sprout, and Rachel V Said too!

      As to the suggestions that you remove this post, to put it more respectfully than I’m feeling it, this is YOUR corner of the internet and you can write whatever the hell you damned well please here. If your friend’s biologically female child has any issue with YOUR conversation with YOUR friends then zir can do the grown-up, non-manipulative thing and put a lid on it (or not so grown-up, go get zir own friends to talk to about you all zie wants).

      I get kinda Irish about anybody implying anybody else shouldn’t express their opinion in a manner where it does no harm in a free society. And no, posting, discussing here does no intrinsic harm because zie has the choice to not view, review, nor engage in this space. Dammit. And if anybody has a problem with that, come see me.

      Pooska is a beautiful girl and I hope whatever stage of life she’s entering there’s still lots of love and purring to be enjoyed. Enough loss for a while, eh?

      I’m off to hunt your Amazon wish list hee…

      Love and smooches!

  12. Hugs to you….er…and to your friend.

    Poor Kitty. I want to launch into “Soft kitty, warm kitty” now, but I think I’ve done enough to put it in everyone’s head (those familiar with Big Bang Theory).

    You’re welcome.

  13. Whatever Maik does with her life, is Maik’s choice. If it is confusing and upsetting for the parents,imagine how difficult and confusing it is for the child, herself. Only MAIK can do what is best for her- and I would seriously suggest intensive therapy. Not to change her, or change her mind- but to help her sort through all the confusion. Therapy is not a bad idea for the parents, either. In the long run they have to make the choice of whether to accept Maik as she is, or to lose her completely. We raise our children, but we have no rights to dictate their lives once they are adullts themselves.

  14. I absolutely agree that Maik should know she is loved and respected no matter what sexual and/or gender identity she embraces.

    The being financially supported is another issue. The parents do have a right to ask their adult child to be a self-supporting adult.

    But I think the mother also needs some kindness in this as well. While Maik’s choices are entirely within her rights, it does impact her mother as well. There are dreams Mom had that may now have to be set aside. I don’t think that means Maik has to change who she is; I just mean that Mom gets to have her emotions respected as well. A good friend can offer that love and understanding.

    Also, one of the books that helped me draw boundaries is The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Early on Covey talked about the difference between Circles of Influence and Circles of Concern. What has stuck with me is that when you emotionally invest in a circle of concern that is not within your circle of influence, you are frustrated and ineffective. So, what Maik does, how her family responds: that is outside your circle of influence. What is inside your circle of influence is how you respond to your friend.

    Perhaps one of the hardest lessons is to really know that we can’t “fix” the lives of the people we love. What I’ve learned is taking care of my own self is more than enough challenge for me.

  15. Brussels sprout says:

    Maik needs to speak to someone about a) finishing school b) sexuality…in that order. S/he needs to move on from student life and get into the real world where orientation and gender assignment are less important than being a functioning adult. The honest truth about sexuality and gender is that it doesn’t matter, if her family and friends continue to accept her as an individual, but deliberately keeping herself in an environment where she can avoid adult responsibilities is a major cause for concern. S/he should have a masters and some serious work experience behind her, but it seems like there is too much angsting about stuff and not enough living and experiencing going on. Gently, but firmly, your friend should do what Hannah’s parents did in Girls and be honest, say, sorry, Maik, darling we love you any which way you come, please do not think about surgery of any kind until you have your own savings and health insurance, and we are now pulling the financial plug. I don’t think she needs a standard therapist, but a good careers counsellor who will (kindly but firmly) give her a kick up the jaxie and help her find gainful employment.

    But I am rather British about this. My husband’s boss is female to male transgender and no one gives a damn. However he is a useless boss, and that people do care about.

    • Rachel V says:

      Ditto this. In the work world, co-workers in general care very much about what kind of co-worker you are and not that much about what you do away from work. Unless you work with a bunch of teenagers and you are a fellow teenager!
      And finding a career, or even a decent JOB with some benefits and responsibilities most likely will give the daughter some direction and confidence in addition to financial independence.
      Beyond that, mom should be personally supportive, not fret about things she has no control over, do the best she can with shifting nicknames, and allow the wallet to close with a decisive snap.

  16. Jessie says:

    I have had 4 cats with kidney infections/failure. None died of it. In fact 3 were stable after having it for 9, 9 and 7 years. One of the ones that lasted 9 years longer only had 25 percent kidney function (these 3 all made it to 20 years old). The other cat died of something else entirely after having his kidney failure “cured”.

  17. KellyR says:

    I’m with everyone else. The gender identity issues aren’t yours. This is something your friends child has to work out for his/herself. You can be supportive, emotionally but not financially. And the child needs to learn to stand on her/his own two feet. Every child does. That is just a part of life, however you gender identify.

  18. Cindy says:

    Maik needs to see a therapist.

    Her family needs to be supportive and non-intrusive.

    Maik sounds like she’s had a prolonged adolescence & has stewed in her own juices for way too long. Becoming an adult, being financially independent, finishing school – these foster self-respect, self-esteem – and in turn she’ll have earned the respect & admiration from others.

    The main issue isn’t her sexuality – the family can be supportive and go with the flow ( the whole name thing just seems childish – if she were not exhibiting childishness in all other things I wouldn’t say this – I know adults going through these issues but they are otherwise functioning, healthy, responsible adults). But, the other issues are the rub. These need to be addressed – for her health and the family’s.

  19. Carol says:

    I think your friend is getting wonderful advice here.

    Just as an anecdote, I have a friend who I met as Kathy, who decided at age 30 she wanted to be Kate. So every time someone in our (fairly sizable) social circle called her Kathy, she, very nicely and matter-of-factly, would say, “I’m going by Kate now.” It worked, both because of the repetition and the niceness of it. Perhaps Maik’s mother could urge her to adopt such a strategy, i.e., same words every time. It will eventually sink in, I can tell you from experience. And maybe your friend could come up with a new term of endearment, (Baby Child, maybe?) to replace the old one.

    And yeah, Maik needs to, for her own good, stop living off her parents. It’s got to be so crippling to her self-esteem.

    • KAte says:

      Yes Carol I was thinking along the same lines as you.
      Focus should definitely be put on the fact that Maik went by a different name for many years, and that while the family is not maliciously trying to be mean it will take some time for the habits to change. They’ve been thinking of Maik as Mary for 20+ years and it will take a long time for them to learn a new one. It sounds like Maik is being very polite about correcting name usage and that politeness needs to continue. It is the repetition that will help the family build new memory habits.

      I would say the larger issue here is that Maik needs to stand on her own. That at this point a finished degree would be lovely but either way it’s time to be an adult, and regardless of gender identifications being a self supporting adult it what’s important. Parents like having things like degrees to use to brag about their kids to the world, but they’re not absolutely necessary. I have learned this after watching my brother struggle through two different attempts at a degree and not make it. He’s fine without one right now. Sure he may not statistically make as much money as they say he could over his lifetime with a degree, but the degree has to be weighed against the efforts (both monetary and emotional) of earning it.

      Love doesn’t sound like the issue here, just remember patience and calm! And best wishes for continued kitty health!

  20. Oh for fork sake. Okay, I am with everyone else – don’t own your friend’s child’s shit. Tell your friend to drop girl and use the endearment “baby” as it is gender neutral although it seems to encourage the mindset of a child perhaps “honey” or “my sweet little pumpernickel” would be better.

    It isn’t as if the kid wants to be male, it just wants to be nothing which truly sounds like it needs help. Unfortunately, there are two gender options and nothing isn’t a fall back option. The ideal of being nothing seems to suggest there are far more issues at work here than being transgendered.

    Yes, you can be supportive, of your friend. She can be supportive of the child. She doesn’t need to be financially supporting the child while the child drifts along “exploring” its issues of being non-gendered. The whole thing seems like the kid has been studying nihilism with the idea that “there is no gender outside of that which has been abstractly contrived.” Or, “the only reason I see myself as a gender is because other people told me I am (pick a gender) and thus, I am not really (pick a gender) nor am I (default gender). I am neither.”

    Sigh. It almost makes me happy that my kid chose to do stupid things like get pregnant at 18 and stay with the “yes-he’s-getting-better” father of her children rather than go to college. Okay — not really, but close.

  21. Wondering if your friend changed her last name when she got married? Is changing your first name that much different? (maybe it is…just asking)

    I think you are a great friend for being so concerned about your friend and her daughter. But please, please don’t take this on as your own worry. Based on what you’ve been through and written about over the last several months, you have more than enough of your own stuff to work through. You could suggest the mother talk with a therapist – maybe even suggest a name – but she and her daughter need to sort it out on their own.

  22. Bottom line, I just needed to talk about it because the situation has been intrusive. Therapy is definitely called for, growing up is definitely called for. Letting go is hard, unconditional love is easy, and if you have unconditional love the rest works itself out.

  23. Theresa says:

    This past year, my younger sister (who was a lesbian) began the transition to my younger brother (sexuality somewhat in flux). He began taking testosterone early in the summer, and he has legally changed his name. He is planning to have the surgery to have the breast reduction/removal early next year.

    My family is all still working on using the right pronouns and using the right names to refer to him. But, he’s really, really happy. It’s been hard to wrap my head around, because it’s just not something I can imagine. But as I told him from the beginning, he is loved and accepted whatever choices he makes.

    My suggestions:
    – See if there’s a PFLAG chapter somewhere not too far away that may have other parents or friends of transgender or gender queer persons. After reading a lot about transgendered individuals (because I knew virtually nothing), I sent an email asking if there was someone I could talk to, and was contacted and later talked to the mother of a transgender girl. The PFLAG website also has a number of resources for parents of transgender children. http://www.pflag.org, and in particular http://community.pflag.org/Document.Doc?id=202

    – I stumbled across this website which looks like it might have a lot of information: http://artoftransliness.tumblr.com/

    In this situation, you don’t have to understand. You just have to love and accept. And caution slowness, and counseling, because if the decision is made to make physical changes, there’s no going back. I still wish sometimes that my was-sister-now-brother had made different choices about what to do with his body. And I worry, about all kinds of things. But what it comes down to is that it’s his body. The essence of who he is is still the same as before. I just have to love and accept him for who he is in his soul.

  24. This post inspired me to talk to my son today about privacy on the internet and how he felt about my respecting his and whether he wanted to set ground rules, at which point he interrupted me and said, “Mom, I’ve read what you write about me. You make me sound smarter, funnier, and far more charming than I really am. Feel free to continue.” Ha.

    Anyway, I mention that because I too feel that the chance exists that your friend’s daughter will feel violated by this post and that it will feel to her like a huge betrayal. If I were in her shoes, I would be furious, and the fury (anger is always a secondary emotion) would be covering up the hurt at knowing my parent’s friend doesn’t respect me, my wishes, or my choices. My .02. Sorry.

    On to the advice giving — I spent a lot of time in SF, lived in the Castro district for several years, had many gay friends, and a friend that I was pretty close to went from female to male during the time that I knew her/him. It sounds to me like Maik is trying very hard to grow up which means finding a way to separate. Most people have to make those breaks during the teenage years. For girls especially, they are typically years of storm and drama and much, much anti-mom behavior. I’m going to throw out a wild guess that Maik maybe had a sibling who was in such dramatic need during those years that she didn’t have a chance to do her own separating and that maybe her family needed her to be the “good girl” and so she did/was.

    And now she needs to find a way to stop being the “good girl.” Personally, when I went through that, I chose to stop being “good”. Sounds like Maik can’t bring herself to do that, so she’s chosen to stop being “girl.” I don’t know which is healthier, really — my mother would have been appalled, horrified, dismayed and shocked to the core to find out some of the things I did, but I got lucky and made it through without too much damage.

    Either way, I think Maik’s parents need to understand her behavior as part of growing up and separating, more extreme than most because it has been so long delayed. Were I in their shoes, I would do my absolute best to respect Maik’s wishes as I would any other adult with whom I interacted — I wouldn’t call you Anne if you corrected me and told me your name was Krissie, for example — and I would wipe “baby” from my vocabulary as permanently as possible. She’s trying to grow up. Help her.

    All that said, I feel like I should put in a disclaimer — I dropped out of therapy school! I’m just a stranger on the internet! I know nothing!! Don’t listen to me. 🙂

    • Julie says:

      This is the best advice… if the parents want Maik to grow up then it’s time to let her. Cut the apron strings, the financial support and respect her choices for her life, gender identity and body. No more baby, call her love or dear or honeybear or sweetums but no more baby.

    • Hmmmm. I don’t think my friend’s daughter will see it as a betrayal, but now I feel sneaky and bad. Should I ask her if this is okay, and then remove it if she says no? Or should I just shut up and let things rest?

      • Lily C says:

        It doesn’t do any harm to check. It does seem to be a pretty personal issue, but I’m sure she would appreciate that you cared enough to seek advice to support her.

      • I think approaching it with a “I thought a names-changed story would be fine but a couple people felt it might bother you, tell me how you feel and I’ll take it down if you want” probably can’t hurt. If it’s really not going to bother her, then no need to keep it a secret from her. If it does bother her, than better to be upfront and honest about it, and apologize as needed. Obviously, you’re not expecting her to be angry, but in general, the honest “did I screw up? if so, I’m sorry, I’ll fix it” is easier territory to live in than worry, guilt, and fear ever are. But then I’m a worrier.

      • Deb says:

        You should do exactly what you like with this safe place and community you’ve created. This is your place and you don’t need anyone’s permission to express yourself however you see fit.

        I know you’re a people pleaser and go to great lengths to accommodate others….but you’re supposed to be working on setting limits and I think this is a good opportunity to claim this place as yours where you are free to be yourself. The Kingdom of Krissie.

        My rant for the day.

        • If people have specifically asked that we not discuss them on the internet and we then choose to discuss them under thinly-veiled pseudonyms, we should expect potential personal repercussions.

          Picture this: Maik has mentioned to a casual friend that her mother’s, ahem, friend, is an author. Said casual friend googles. Said casual friend then asks Maik about the possibility of surgery and mentions her bra size.

          Our safe places are safe for us to share our stuff. Sharing other people’s stuff is not fair to them. Especially when it is against their express wishes. And even more especially when there is not even the remote possibility of anonymity.

          • I’m going to add something to this — it took me literally twenty seconds to find out that Maik’s last name probably starts with O and ends with E and includes a couple of Gs. I’m not typing the whole thing because I don’t want Google to find it. (And it is absolutely okay with me if you delete this message immediately after reading it!) Also, she’s quite pretty.

            I think, unequivocally, that this is too much information to have provided in a world where employers know how to use Google and you’d like Maik to get a job someday.

  25. Barbara Cameron says:

    Maybe your friend’s daughter should look into a job on the campus. I went back to college to become a teacher and the more I was on a campus the more I realized I loved that world. These days I teach online but I’m still part of that campus experience. She might like to get a part-time or full-time job and take a class a semester — usually it’s free for employees.

    As for the gender issue: someone I knew at church bragged about her wild weekends with her boyfriend. Then she went off to do grad work and stayed in a dorm with nuns…and came home to tell her friends that she was now a lesbian. College students often explore gender issues but everything works out.

  26. Micki says:

    It sounds like the independence issues may be close to some of the issues in your own family. What advice do you want to give to the other family?

    It seems to me that family counselling or some sort of arbitration is in order. Because Maik should get what she wants . . . but so should her father. Is it really a money issue? Is it really a power issue? An outsider can help determine what the real issues are.

    The other advice I had was to have Maik make up a “sweetie” name that the family could use to express love towards her. It doesn’t have to be a weak name … could be “tiger” or something. Maybe it would work better as a brainstorm. But it would only work if she feels safe with the family. (And of course, the family feels safe with her.)

    I’m glad you chose to talk about this. My daughter will be graduating in a couple of years, and I’m concerned about where to draw the boundaries. (And I don’t want to go through Japanese therapy . . . that just seems too alien to me.)

  27. I think there’s a lot of need for mutual respect. Your friend’s child is an adult and has a right to ask that the family respect her preferences. Is it such a big issue not to call her baby girl? There are so many alternative expressions of affection and caring from which to choose. If it bothers her, why persist?

    As far as the degree completion… that’s up to the person. However, no parent is obligated to financially support an adult child forever.

    • I’m going to finish talking about this here rather than on a new day because I may end up just removing today (or asking Lani too). There’s a huge amount of mutual respect and love between mother and daughter (and father and daughter). There’s respect for the choices made. There’s resistance and doubt about surgery when it’s not a case of trans-gender on the parents’ part, and there’s understanding about separation, about environment, about finally growing up, and this is all part of it. It was simply an issue, not like problems with Tim are, but a change we were struggling with on both practical and perhaps subconscious levels. When you throw adoption into the ring things get even more complicated.
      But it isn’t a major issue in the family. Just something I felt like exploring a bit.

      • Theresa says:

        My other comment is awaiting moderation, but I wanted to add, that my was-sister-now-brother started her investigation into where she fell on the gender spectrum by thinking she was just gender queer, unsure whether she would want to eventually take testosterone and not imagining ever having surgery. Over time, how he saw himself changed. Also, my sibling transitioned more quick or at least came out with friends first, and was living effectively as a guy where he lived before he even talked to my parents.

        Perhaps something similar is going on with Maik. What pronouns do her friends use? You say that she’s not identifying as transgender, but perhaps she’s just not identifying as transgender yet?

  28. hope biggs says:

    My sister’s best beloved is a boi (his term), who dresses male and prefers male pronouns, but is a gay woman. He has had periods of being more female than male, but has been most comfortable with the boi identity for the longest time. It was really hard for his family to let go of ‘Samantha’ and embrace ‘Sam,’ but they went to PFLAG meetings and read all they could about gender identity and now are, if not comfortable, at least not outwardly awkward about it.
    His mom, a very thoughtful and devout person, says she learned so much about love and gratitude and acceptance. I would urge your friend to think about her child’s personality and good traits and celebrate those, and consciously practice the pronouns. 🙂

    On the old cat front, I have two ancient girl cats who thrive on nettle tea and cordyceps mushrooms. Nettles are cheap and easy to administer and support the old obligate carnivore kidneys wonderfully, and cordyceps are freaking miracles of nature. I’d be happy to expand on that, if you’re interested.

    Much love to your friend! My own daughter has never had a romantic relationship, and I have to hoe my own row with accepting her lifelong bachelorhood.

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